The REALLY Wild Wasteland. (The Fallout RP!)

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"I realize we didn't exactly have time to make any introductions, I'm Lucy Black" she smiled and extended her hand "And you are? The fact that you're here probably means we cleared this place, you're an amazing fighter."
[Perception]Wait, she didn't see Frank painted across his breastplate above a single rose on his breastplate?
Frank looked down at his armor to see his elaborate paint-job had completely faded, leaving him looking like the average Brotherhood mook.
[Intellignce]That meant this whole time she thought he was just an asshole paladin butting his nose where it didn't belong, and not a concerned citizen who was investigating an odd situation.
He chuckled. "I'm Frank Rose, Former Knight of the Brotherhood, (We're still on speaking terms, because of their touchy-feely direction) wandering adventurer, and a can of whoopass."
Frank wondered what type of paint the Outcasts used to keep their armor so consistently distinct.
[Perception]The Ghoul was wearing a suit. Ghouls in suits usually have ties back to Morgan, this warranted investigation.
"It's nice to meet you Lucy, I'm going to be hauling this ghoul on my shoulders till we get to civilization. Since you knocked him out, you have to carry the loot we pick up from these mooks. If you see any Flamer Fuel, I could use some for a... Side project..."
[medicine 26/35]Frank couldn't tell much about the state of this guy, but he was pretty sure he was still alive even with the drugs and the bump to the noggin'. Frank hoisted the ghoul onto his shoulders.
"I gotta say, it's quite an honour to fight alongside you...my father would've been proud"
"So how'd your pops get his hands on that tech?"
Frank took a small piece of Brahmin meat, and put it into a small port on the side of his armor's neck. When it finished being ground up, tested for toxins, and purified by his armor it would taste great! Frank poured some water in after it.

"Not friends... not our friends..."

Rex bristled a bit. Dark armor equals bad. Not friendly. Steal from them. Got it.

Brandon pointed at himself, and then at Rex. "...good friends." Then he pointed back at the dark armored ones. "Not friends."

Steal from the dark armored men, give it to Brandon. Rex could work with these commands.

Brandon gave Rex a bit of a rubdown, put on his silvery armor, and then they left the cave and walked in the opposite direction of the darkly armored men.

Several hours later, they reached ragtag walls surrounding some buildings. Immediately, three men grabbed guns and aimed them at them. Rex barked angrily, ready to attack. Brandon lifted his hands up in the air instead.

"...down!"

Well, never mind then.

"We... not... dog... looking... night."

A few minutes later, the oldest of the other men stepped forward. "My... mole rat..."

MOLE RATS! WHERE? REX WOULD KILL THEM! HE'D KILL THEM ALL! -Oh, they're fenced in. No problems, then.

"...Brandon... my friend's... Rex."

"...happy... aren't hostile... good... good... Brandon."

Then the men walked off.

Brandon relaxed, and walked into the village past the mole rats. Rex snarled at them as he passed them.

They entered a big building at the center. Rex stopped and stared. Considering his scavenger skills, he had never seen so many "good things" in one place. He followed Brandon around the store, gawping at the guns, water bottles, bullets, and meds that surrounded him at every turn. Old Master would have been so happy to know this place existed!

Brandon scooped up a couple tins and boxes of good-smelling things and went to talk to the man over a counter that Rex couldn't properly see over. Brandon's brow suddenly fell in surprise and displeasure, but Rex couldn't figure out why. Quickly bored, he turned the corner and walked up a different isle, dazzled by shiny bits of products he didn't recognize.

Past a hole in the floor, he saw it.

It was a bright blue box. It had a metal and very shiny thing attached to the side with duct tape. It had clearly been relentlessly cleaned and placed prominently, as if the man behind the counter was proud of it. It was beside a piece of wood marked "BOTTLECAP MINE". Whatever that read.

Rex wasn't sure he could leave without taking it. He looked over at the shopkeeper, who he could just see had his back turned and was trying to count something. With his instincts taking over, Rex grabbed the box in his mouth, and slipped stealthily towards the door, making sure the shopkeeper was facing the other way when he did so.

Upon getting outside, Rex gently placed the box under a bench beside the store and sat, waiting for Brandon to see his acquisition.

"I'm Frank Rose, Former Knight of the Brotherhood, (We're still on speaking terms, because of their touchy-feely direction) wandering adventurer, and a can of whoopass."

"Former Knight?" Lucy mumbled in between bites of a stubborn piece of meat "Wait, you can just leave? I don't know much about how things work in the Brotherhood exactly, but I was under the impression that it was a lifetime membership sort-of-deal"

Lucy took a walk around, still in earshot of her conversation with Frank, she leaned over a counter and spotted a few unarmed bottlecap mines. It's a good thing we got here before they managed to set these up. Lucy recalled how they rushed in without considering traps. Well, Frank was a walking tank, Lucy was very agile and dexterous, but she was still susceptible to explosives.

"It's nice to meet you Lucy, I'm going to be hauling this ghoul on my shoulders till we get to civilization. Since you knocked him out, you have to carry the loot we pick up from these mooks. If you see any Flamer Fuel, I could use some for a... Side project..."

"Heh, I couldn't help myself when it came to that guy. You would've done the same thing if he humped your leg and tried to ride you like a brahmin" Lucy grimaced over that whole ordeal. "Don't worry, I got the loot covered"

Lucy started to look around the mattresses searching for blankets or backpacks. "I found two blankets that can be turned into makeshift bags for the smaller loot and there's also two duffel bags for larger items."

"Oh and flamer fuel, huh? Planning on making a chainsaw variant of a shishkebab or something?" Lucy tried to figure out how that would work.

Lucy reflected on her three greatest qualities. She was proficient with energy weapons, repairing items and she was quite charismatic. If she managed to befriend a former Brotherhood Knight and a yellow...ghoul/mutant she must be doing something right. I should really get around to asking Vikki about herself, Lucy reflected.

Lucy figured she wanted to surprise Frank, hauling back everything she mentioned, she turned to him "Tada!" and presented him with a full canister of flamer fuel. "The raiders here were probably going to use it to cook their food or something. Lucky for us, we crashed their little party."

"Oh and are we spending the night? I found these" Lucy showed Frank 3 unarmed bottlecap mines "I figure we place them at the entrances if anybody tries to ambush us while we rest? They're rigged together, so I'm familiar with their use. Don't ask me about frag mines though"

Lucy beckoned Vikki over to help her round up all the raider corpses together. Placing the guns, ammo, caps and anything interesting they could find on the pharmacy counters.

"So how'd your pops get his hands on that tech?"

Lucy's heart sank a little, but she did owe Frank an explanation about why she has this kind of tech. She propped herself on the counter and laid her Gauss Rifle next to her "My dad, Isaac Black, made a name for himself by being a skilled loot finder and tradesman. He used to travel to The Underworld, Megaton and Rivet City mainly, maybe meeting an odd trader along the way. Always bringing home weapons for us to repair, you know, father-daughter time. We loved energy weapons though, I used to practice with a laser pistol a lot, even tried a few laser rifles, but we traded them pretty soon since we needed food and such."

"Anyway, two years ago my Dad brings home this very Gauss Rifle, showed me how it worked and let me fire it just once before putting it in a secret compartment under our bed. Over the next two weeks, my dad just brings in hauls of ammo for it. No weapons this time. It was odd, but he always seemed both in awe about this rifle and simultaneously fearful about it. He never told me where he got it."

"The very next day, our settlement, Springvale, gets hit by a raid - no, a slaughter. Organised soldiers killed everyone, no helmets, plasma weapons, rippers. I watched my dad get killed with a Ripper. I tried to attack, but I was 20, I never had to train for combat before and they beat me till I was barely breathing. Injecting me with a stimpack and med-x before doing it again, laughing the entire time and they left me for dead."

"Two years of never wanting to be weak and honing your own skills and here I am."

"That's my story, there isn't a short version and I owed you the truth" Lucy was shaking with anger over whoever did that to her, she just rested her head against the wall. Silent...

Marlon's brief moment of disappointment at the sheriff's directions to avoid disintergration in favour of disarmament passed very quickly once the mutant started to have its madcap growthspurt. "The hell?"

And then Simms opened fire.

"Glad you're seeing it my way sheriff!"

The Van Graff needed no encouragement at all to join in with a flurry of lasers, though he made sure he was aiming towards the upper body and head. Who wants to miss and hit your own car after all? Marlon sure didn't! He also had no damn clue what the hell was going on with the mutant, but he'd feel better when it was dead.

Maybe that crazy Moira dame knew something about this sort of thing. She acted like a mad scientist for starters. That said though, he'd save the speculation until after the firefight, backing away a little as he fired and moving a little to the side as well. He wanted distance between him and the mutant in case it charged him and if it went for Simms he'd have a clear shot and it'd still be too far away to hit him. That said, if it came for him the sheriff had damn well better keep shooting it.

The bottom line of course, is that no one wants to be in a fist fight with a super mutant. Specially not one with extra arms.

Barry noticed that his head was only coming up to this man's stomach. He leaned his head back and took a step away in an attempt to get in a position where he could look at this man's face, well helmet if you want to get specific. This Enclave had a great towering physical presence unmatched by just about anyone else in the wasteland. He listened to Number 1. Then Barry looked over his shoulder at #43 and said, "See! This is what I was talking about. This is an original and interesting looking costume. I would have picked brighter colors, but to each his own. I mean there always has to be a broody dark guy. Just look at Batman." Then he turned back to the towering Enclave and said, "So what are you proposing? A SUPERHERO TEAM?! Or something else," Barry said as excited as he was curious. Flash added, "And if it is a superhero team I have several names. Though I am open to suggestions. Let me just get one of my favorites out there. *Makes drum roll noises with mouth*..."FREEDOM'S EAGLES"! I mean you guys do have a kind of Government vibe and I think thats a good option. But I have a whole list of them if that one doesn't suit your tastes."

D.C. was grey, his mute companion was grey and the sky was grey. Except for the few breaks in colour from the old pre-war posters there wasn't much to break the monotony or the greyness. Most were propaganda, others were proposing hope after the war but most were too damaged to make out what they said, they were also grey. He wanted to turn on his radio, Three Dog would break up the drabness, it would also attract any and all super mutants in the area. At least green would be different than grey.

After his suggestion, the mute changed routes away from the giant grey pillar to a backstreet, he felt less exposed there and if anything did come charging at them they would have to get to them first. He suspected it lead to the subway, it was the quickest way to navigate the ruins, if you knew how. There would certainly be ghouls waiting for them there, but they were dumb and easy to kill. You just had to shoot them during their kamikaze run and hope you hit them in the head.

The subway was dank and cold, radioactive fungi was growing between the cracks in the concrete walls and old nuka-cola vending machines were somehow in operation. It was dim, but it gave them some light to see by. All the ghouls were already dead, perhaps someone had already came this way? Then he heard it, a roar he sometimes heard when he was travelling near water. It sounded like a Mirelurk, the people he had met at Wilhelm's Wharf had told him about them, shot them in the face, the achilles heel in it's armour, only there will you be able to damage it. But what was a Mirelurk doing in the subway?

What came charging towards them was like no Mirelurk he had seen, it was blue with veins of blue light pulsating from it's body.

"What the hell is that" Michael said, forgetting that his companion couldn't tell him if he knew.

He raised up his assault rifle, aimed and hoped he would hit it's face in the the twilight.

As much as he loved Dave's franticly digging his own hole it was quite a bit distressing. However with the 'silver tongue' the main Enclave Beetle inside it was as good a time to act as any. Wary that they might of some pre-war communication that he was unaware of he began to formulate a plan...

Okay it wasn't really much a plan.

Using all his guile and cunning he pressed himself up against the side of the Male bunks where the other two were now laughing openly and if his ears heard correctly discussing cigarettes... As intriguing as the daily thoughts of an beetle may have been it was time to... ring their bell... naw... Shock them with a dinger of a anecdote. Playful (and terrible) pun making aside he readied his bat and leapt around the corner swinging deftly for the first mans head. His bat was met with a muffled ting, sadly not the reception he'd been hoping for. Put off slightly by the blow and staggering for the moment the first soldier was pushed off to the side bringing the second into view. Not as trained as they would have liked Sully to think the second soldier only managed to draw his rifle over his head before the aging pink bat span into his visor. Not sure how well an APC round would work against the men he snatched the plasma rifle off the recovering first soldier's back spinning past his attempts to snatch it back. The second was launched back by sheer force as the badly aimed shot tore through his armour in tightly dispersed scatter. Rushed with adrenaline he swept the rifle around to the first lucking out and taking him straight through the visor. Turning again almost dizzy now, he saw the not quite dead survivor reach for his fallen rifle. Solemnly Sully stood behind the stooped man watching as the skin grew over the bloody holes left in the back of his armour lifting his own rifle towards the man's head. Bloody red and iridescent green erupted from the back of his helmet and two comrades lay dead over a tiny blot of mould in a world with nothing but.

Uncanny pulses of noise from inside the main building told Sully all he needed to know about the situation. He ran heedlessly toward the door almost daring him to drop guard for the moment it would take to turn around and check if the pilot was wise. He slammed his discarded duffel bag he'd left by the building at the thin iron door rending it open. His worldly possessions burst into a strange green liquid flame and continued speeding across the room like a shooting star. Running completely on instinct and way out of his element, normal people, be fired of was many rounds (?) as he could into the source of the shot. Stopping only when the dull woosh of the rifle stopped he cautiously entered the room.

Relieved he dropped the now useless rifle at the sight of Silver's slightly bloody, partially melted corpse. Pausing for a second to look at, what although for only a moment, had been his adversary he regarded the masked man free of danger and intimidation. By the way he held himself he was probably a young man and very well versed. If you forget about the whole Enclave bit, he thought warmly, he probably made a great friend.
He probably already had great friends at that...
Powerful ones.

Snapping out of his now almost habitual mental flight of fancy he began to survey the scope of the damage. Shocked and relieved of a stomach Dave's lifeless corpse lay against the far wall of his office. Large pock marked holes littered the walls of the office.
Detached at the instant nature of the confrontation he cracked open the Nuka Quantum Dave had displayed above his safe. Shell shocked but content he sat there drinking until the whispering began. Dropping the bottle where he stood his arms went out like a tight rope walker and he inched his way out of the building. Receding the voices gave way to an equally concerning roar. Sully turned around just in time to see the Vertibird rise from its dusty landing in the distance. Retrieving his fallen bat he proceeded to knock down the doors of both the dormotories.

'INTO THE SCHOOL HOUSE BOYS AND GIRLS! UNDER THE DESKS!'

Brandon was negotiating with the trader, the trader however wouldn't even give in an inch. Brandon eventually paid the full price and grabbed an silencer for his new hunting revolver. After paying the full price for the silencer too he began to walk out of the store. Brandon wondered where Rex had gone when he was still inside the store, he must have gone for a little walk or something like that. Brandon looked around the store one last time before going out the door. He had wanted to buy an gun there, but he wasn't about to spend most of his savings to get one.

Brandon left the store he was greeted by the sun who was standing low in the sky, it was almost dark. Brandon looked around spotting Rex, Brandon smiled as he walked over to him. "Hey Rex why did you walk of back there?" Rex seemed eager to show Brandon something, so Brandon followed Rex to the bench. Rex was trying to make him look underneath it seemed, Brandon wondering what could be down there took an look to find an bottle cap mine. Brandon turned a little pale as he looked at Rex who seemed really proud. The pieces fell together and Brandon grabbed the mine quickly putting it in his bag, Brandon smiled again petting the dog. "Good boy, but you can only steal from enemies or not friends, you aren't allowed to steal from friends. So steal from enemies and non friends. And don't steal from friends okay?" Brandon petted the dog some more before indicating that they would go again.

Brandon walked over to the small hotel, he was looking around when he saw an man sitting in a chair. "Uh pardon me but this wouldn't happen to be your hotel would it?" The man looked up a bit surprised when he smiled and stood up. "The name is Rafael friend and I am the owner of this fine establishment." Brandon responded with. "Good day to you Rafael my name is Brandon an this here is Rex. We are looking for an room for tonight." Rafael smiled happily and after short negotiation Brandon got his key. Brandon petted Rex on his bag and he walked to their room. He opened the door and closed it as soon as Rex had entered.

The room looked quite decent and Brandon was happy to see that there were 2 beds. That meant that Rex if he wanted could also sleep on a bed. Brandon grabbed some food from the fridge and after short while had prepared an good looking meal for the both. He placed the food for Rex on the ground and ate his won meal. His cooking skills didn't let him down as the food tasted quite good. His left eye began to sting quite bad though, he stood up halfway through dinner as he walked over to the mirror. He gave Rex on pet on his nose to indicate he was fine, no need to worry him. He closed the door just in case.

He looked in the mirror to see his eye had something in it, something like an small metal disk. Brandon was shocked as the metal thing expanded and touched the walls of his eye that did quite allot of pain. Brandon grabbed the side of the sink as he grabbed his eye, the pain quickly stopped however. He looked back into the mirror to see that everything was perfectly normal. Brandon felt that strange itch come up again on his left arm this time, he hesitated but knew that he had to scratch for months to get that out. Brandon grabbed his machete and slowly put it on his arm, he grabbed an small cotton rag and put it into his mouth. Brandon readied himself and then cut deep into the flesh blood spew from the wound, and Brandon bit deep on the thing in his mouth. The pain quickly faded as something appeared from his arm and he used one of his 4 stinpacks the wound healed. The new thing was an pad with 6 on and off switch, there were all non active except one the only one with an name 'healing implants'. Well that explains my quick healing. Brandon thought to himself.

He switched them all on and off none of them seemed to work. Until he then got to the last button before the healing implants. He switched it on and his eye seemed to glow for an second then turning back to normal. Suddenly he was flooded with date his eyes began to scan everything around him and then compare it to what he knew. He could see how he cut the stumbled on his chin, and he could also see the small blood spatter in perfect detail. This eye was amazing but all of the things had an downside. He had no idea how to control it, and it was flooding him with data blocking his vision. So he clicked it off and the small switch thing went back into his arm. He quickly wiped the blood away and opened the door again. He wondered if Rex would have noticed what had happened in the room.

Vikki sat, listening to the two exchange their stories, her eyes filling up as Lucy spoke of her past, slowly the blood trickled down as she spoke of the raiders repeatedly attacking her.

The knight had become more likable since they had entered the market and was actively talking to the pair of them.

Thinking of the slaughter they had committed on their way in to escape the Enclave.

"These raiders?" she mutter aloud, "what did they do wrong? Except attack us? I mean I know that's bad, but why aren't they allowed in other settlements. Are they like me and my cousins? Hated by everyone else for nothing but we're different?" she asks, wiping away her tears as the mechanic that helped her so much floated back into her mind as she spoke.

"And who do the Enclave think they are to judge who has the right to live?" she asks again, "why are we so terrified of them?" she mutters, pulling her sword from its sheath, as if it could protect her from the answers.

"These raiders?" Vikki muttered aloud, "what did they do wrong? Except attack us? I mean I know that's bad, but why aren't they allowed in other settlements. Are they like me and my cousins? Hated by everyone else for nothing but we're different?"

"And who do the Enclave think they are to judge who has the right to live?" she asks again, "why are we so terrified of them?"

Lucy opened her eyes turned to look at her friend, "Personal motivation is what separates us, Vikki" Lucy heart fell a little as she watched her wipe what looked like bloody tears from her face. "If you go into the bathroom, you'll see these guys tied and drugged this ghoul up"

Lucy recalled the stimpack and med-x being thrust into her while she was beaten.

"I don't care if someone in this wasteland is a ghoul, super-mutant, regular human or even a friendly mole-rat. It's what they intend to do to other's that differentiates them from each other." Lucy continued darkly "These raiders openly attack travelers and probably even settlements. Ordinary people just trying to survive."

Lucy recalled the Ripper being plunged into her father's stomach. She pulled out her knife and gripped it tightly.

"People who prey on others...they ruin lives, possible future's and they take what's most valuable to you." At this point, Lucy couldn't hold back the tears. "Dammit!"

"As for the Enclave, I'm becoming more convinced that they were involved behind the attack on Springvale. They had plasma weapons. Although you'd be better off asking Frank about them."

Lucy brought her knees to her chest, buried her head into them, with the knife gripped tightly in her hands, trembling. "I enjoyed killing them. It feels like I'm avenging my dad with every raider or scumbag I take down."..."Dad would hate what I've become. I shouldn't be enjoying this."

She grew silent again...

"...Rex...?"

Here! Over here! I have a thing for you! It's shiny! Gah! Here!

Rex yipped, grabbing Brandon's attention. He came over, looked under the bench and pulled out the thing.

He stared at it uncomprehendingly.

Then he stuffed it into his bag. He grinned and scratched Rex's head. "Good boy... you... steal... enemies... not-friends, you aren't... steal... friends... steal... enemies... non-friends... don't steal... friends...?"

Enemies: The crazy men that Old Master hated, Rex assumed. Also, the men in dark armor.

Not-friends: Brandon didn't like that trader much, so a not-friend is someone Brandon doesn't like.

Thus: Steal from men in black armor, the crazies Rex had stolen lots of things from already, and people Brandon didn't like.

Brandon dislikes enemies, presumably.

Condensed further, steal from people Brandon doesn't like. Condensed and easy.

Rex wagged his tail to show he got it.

They crossed the road to a small two-floor building with symbols on it. "HOTEL". They looked familiar, but Rex wasn't sure how.

Brandon marched right on in and started talking to the man behind the counter. They both seemed relaxed. Rex supposed this meant they were friends.

Sounds good to Rex. No stealing.

Brandon lead them to a room and closed the door. Rex's brain lit right up. BED! A BED! WANT BED! Rex had slept on a bed once, and it had been so very soft and nice. It was probably Brandon's, though. Not for Rex. Oh well. No change isn't the worst thing that could happen. Rex walked into the middle of the room, and looked past the bed.

TWO BEDS!

Rex leaped onto the second bed and sat there, panting happily. BED! His mind overloaded a bit. The bed wasn't as soft as the one he'd slept on years back, but it was way better than the floor.

Such was his ecstasy that he didn't even notice Brandon cooking something. Rex leaped off the bed and approached him, curious and hungry.

Brandon put a plate on the floor, and Rex dug in. He wasn't sure what it was, but man, it tasted good. He whimpered a bit as he pawed the empty plate. Dah! No more food! Maybe tomorrow.

Brandon scratched Rex's nose suddenly and stepped into the bathroom. Rex looked over where he was sitting.

There was still food on his plate.

Was it for Rex? No, that's silly. Brandon would have put it on his plate.

But he didn't want it!

...Did he?

What were bathrooms for, anyways? Old Master had used one, but never let Rex in while he was there.

But Old Master always finished his food before he went. This must mean that Brandon was done eating, and so he wouldn't mind if Rex ate the rest.

Rex approached the food hungrily, having justified to himself his eating of it.

"GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!"

Rex leaped away from it, and sailed across to the bathroom door, were the yell had come from. He stood there, alert and listening.

Brandon muttered something about healing.

A stench of blood, fresh and warm, wafted under the door. Rex panicked. He needed to get help! He galloped to the door. Locked. He couldn't get out. The window? Also locked. No one could hear him. Rex curled up on the bed, whimpering unhappily.

Brandon abruptly walked out of the bathroom, still smelling of blood, but not as much.

Rex stared at him, waiting for him to keel over. He didn't. He just walked up to Rex, scritched him behind the ears, and sat on his bed.

Rex curled into a ball on his bed, hoping the nonsense of the last fifteen minutes would go away tomorrow.

After watching Lucy's outburst, Vikki stood in awe of what these people truly were and people called her and her cousins monsters? They only fought back cause they are scared of how they would be treated!

"I'm sorry Lucy," she whispers, placing her hand on her back, rubbing it gently trying to calm her.

"You're dad wouldn't hate you!" she says in the silence, "he'd be proud, you're cleaning these monsters away so they can't harm others like they did to you!" Suddenly, Vikki stands up, leaving Lucy on the floor.

"I'm not letting you hate yourself, you saved me! You could have shot at me as soon as you seen me like most humans do! And I've seen you shoot, you'd have killed me! But you didn't, you let me come with you and you, both of you protected me in this place!" she shouts, "you're not like them, you're nothing like them. You've saved people and they will never even know."

The mutant moves in front of the trembling woman on the floor, "to me, you're a hero," she smiles shyly, putting her hand on top of the knife, trying to get her to stop shaking.

"Frank, do you have anything to say?" she asks, hoping the former knight would help save Lucy from herself.

Vikki's surprisingly soothing whisper rang out to her while she weeped "I'm sorry Lucy" her hand unexpectedly on her back. She's trying to calm me down.

Lucy didn't move or speak, she had said too much and the memories were rushing back. She had always tried to suppress them as best as she could and try and keep a cheery disposition towards others. A smile for others, not myself. She reflected on her how she mercilessly beat the raider's skull in with a rifle and knocked out that ghoul when she lost her temper. I suppose the bottled up anger over the years comes out when I have to fight for my life...although in my defense, the ghoul did hump my leg

"You're dad wouldn't hate you!" Vikki uttered to her in the silence, "he'd be proud, you're cleaning these monsters away so they can't harm others like they did to you!"

Lucy lifted her head, listening, but her stare was vacant.

Vikki voice was layered with emotion as her voice grew louder.

"I'm not letting you hate yourself, you saved me! You could have shot at me as soon as you seen me like most humans do! And I've seen you shoot, you'd have killed me! But you didn't, you let me come with you and you, both of you protected me in this place!" she shouts, "you're not like them, you're nothing like them. You've saved people and they will never even know."

Lucy opened her eyes and stared in awe at her yellow mutant friend. When did I warrant such compassion from someone else? I always wanted a friend. I know I'm never getting Dad back. However, I wanted to find a friend and make a new unorthodox family of my own.

Vikki laid her hand on the trembling blade and smiled at Lucy, "To me, you're a hero,"

I never knew I could have such an impact on someone

Lucy wiped the tears with her free hand and dropped the blade, before it hit the floor, she already had Vikki in a tight hug. Whispering to her "I think you're the one that's been protecting me this whole time. In the short time that we've known each other, I never saw you for what you looked like, I see a person with a good heart and a true friend."

Lucy trembled a little and broke the hug sheepishly, she looked at her friend with admiration and turned to Frank as well "About my past, that was the first time I really told anyone all the details. It-it was so much to let out all at once, but I'll be fine. Thank you both for protecting me, really. I'll always look out for you."

Lucy turned to Vikki "But you're the one who saved me today. I'll always have your back" she mustered a familiar smile "And subsequently, I'll always be by your side"

"To me, you're my hero" she said to Vikki

"Heh, yeah, I'll hit ya up if I ever need a job." Dudley called after him, grinning wide at the prospect of getting a job from a rich guy. His grin did fail though as he realized that he...didn't really have a way of contacting him, and would probably have to ask at Underworld the next time he was there. "Fuck...oh well, time'ta get my ass a new battery." He swung off of his bike and wandered over the bridge.

==Inside==

"You want HOW many caps?!" Dudley was shocked at the amount that one of the men running the gun store had told him. The man took a cigarette out of his leather coat and lit it, looking up lazily at Dudley, and stated matter-of-factly "200 caps."

"You have any idea how many I can get at Craterside fer less?" Dudley tried his attempt at bartering, but his silver tongue doesn't always work in the matters of money.

"You'd have to get there first. And judgin' by that heap you rode in on, that wouldn't happen quick." The man smirked smugly and flicked some ash into a nearby dumpster. "Now this ain't a library. Buy or get goin'."

Dudley grumbled under his breath and pulled out a little sack of caps, paying the man for the overpriced microfusion cells. "Glad we could do buisness...come again." The owner said, as Dudley on his way to Gary's for some food before hitting the road, grumbling the whole way. "Jus' like Shrapnel'ta fuck a guy in th' ass for that kinda price..."

When he arrived to the other end of the aircraft carrier, he noticed a familiar ghoul in a top hat seated at one of the tables, flanked by the large amount of guards again and grinned widely. "Hey, now I can get an address or somethin'!"

Frank remained silent while the girls had their emotional bonding. It was almost as if a guy who never took off his armor or let anyone see his face had intimacy issues.
[Intelligence]"If your dad trained you to shoot things, he probably expected you to have to shoot raiders at some point. I doubt he'd be upset with you."
Frank shifted his weight to better support the ghoul.
"I think we've been here long enough. If we spend too long here, the Enclave will probably poke their noses in looking for us."
Frank took the container of flamer fuel, and hooked it up to a small port on his suit's love-handles region. He then tossed away the container.
"We should probably get this guy to a doctor, and the nearest one's in Megaton. He's a bit of an ass, but he does good work."
Frank began walking towards the door.
"Besides, there's someone I need to see there."
"Oh, and in regards to your first question, I simply stopped taking orders and going to club-meetings. I still pay my membership dues though."

Rex seemed very worried but he quickly calmed down when Brandon starched him behind his ear. Brandon took off his armor and sat down on one of the beds. He wondered why his eye activated right now. Still he would found that out if he kept following the Brandon knew that for an fact. Rex seemed to be very happy with his bed, Brandon was happy to see this as he turned off the lights and went to sleep. It took him a while to fall asleep, he was still thinking about what he was and what his purpose was in life. Brandon eventually shrugged and turned around, he knew that all things would be made clear as soon as he reached whoever was leaving those messages.

Brandon was surprised in the morning, he hadn't had an nightmare that was something that didn't happen often. Still it was an good thing considering that he didn't want to wake Rex again. Rex seemed to look a bit better then when Brandon had found him, Rex must have been underfed since he was alone. Brandon grabbed the remaining things from the fridge he and manged to make an quite good meal. He looked over at Rex he walked toward him as he petted him on his nose waking up the dog. Brandon gave him his meal as he also sat down to eat, Brandon was planning to head to the underworld now. He had been there before when he saved an strange ghouls live. Still he might have been strange but he was smart, if anyone knew how to help him understand more about his robot tech besides the enclave it was him. Brandon finished his meal and put the dishes into the sink, he grabbed his armor and put it on. I should really get an power armor one of these days. Maybe an brotherhood armor but paint it to make sure people knew that I am not one of them? Maybe still I will have to find one first though.

Brandon and Rex left the hotel room after they had prepared for another day of walking. Brandon saw that Rafael wasn't here yet, so he put the money and the key on the counter and walked out of the hotel. He looked around the town he saw that the merchant was talking quite angrily at Jack the leader of the militia. Must be because of the theft of the the mine. Brandon smiled as he petted Rex and began walking it would take quite some time before the would reach Underworld. Still they weren't that far away if they were to keep walking for 2 days they would reach it. But knowing the road he would say about 3-4 days something was sure to happen to slow them down. The eye bot was still following Brandon, it wasn't picking up anything interesting though.

Brandon and Rex were traveling faster then expected, and they had been traveling for about 5 hours before they saw something suspicious. The ground had been blown up in several places and the smell burned flesh was still hanging in the air. Brandon looked around to see that the trail of explosions and fighting was leading to the right. "Okay Rex you have to be careful now, this might get very dangerous so be ready to defend yourself." Brandon grabbed his hunting revolver as he began to carefully follow the trail. Brandon saw quite a few dead raiders on the way, whoever had fought here was skilled. The trail continued for about 100 meters before ending, Brandon saw an dead paladin laying on the ground. The person that had killed him was an big raider with an chainsaw. The chainsaw was broken and is looked like the paladin had bled out. The battle looked to be an few hours old. Brandon looked around for any survivors but after checking there were none that he could see, he began to loot the corpses. Brandon found quite allot of ammo and med's and a few stinpacks along with some bottlecaps.

Sadly most of the weapons were beyond repair including the chainsaw. The paladin had used an gauss rifle, but since it was sawed in half and blown up Brandon knew it couldn't be repaired. "That is a damned shame. I always wanted one of those." Brandon looked an bit sad before he walked over to the Paladin. He was sorry to see an brotherhood of steel member dead, he was rooting for their side so he was saddened to find a dead one. still this presented him with an change, the armor was badly damaged but not irreparable. Brandon began to take the armor of the paladin to find the paladin was an veteran looking 50 year old man. Brandon grabbed an nearby hammer as he walked back to the armor. Brandon could knock out some of the dents himself. The giant hole was an problem though, still Brandon was sure there were skilled enough people in the underworld to repair such an hole. Brandon began knocking out the dents when he wondered where Rex had gone, Brandon turned around to look if he could see his friend anywhere.

"We should probably get this guy to a doctor, and the nearest one's in Megaton. He's a bit of an ass, but he does good work."

Lucy turned to Frank, "You're right. We should do some trading, get some proper rest and fill up on supplies while we're there."

She turned to the pharmacy counters and started packing the loot they gathered into two duffel bags. One was filled with 3 10mm SMG's, 4 10mm pistols, a sawn-off, 3 combat knives and the hunting rifle poking out due to its size. The second bag was filled with various ammunition for each weapon, 3 bottles of purified water, the unarmed bottlecap mines and about 360 caps.

Lucy holstered her Gauss Rifle on her leg straps and clipped her Combat knife on the other. Hoisting the duffel bags on each shoulder. While feeling like a brahmin. she was comfortable with the weight.

"I'm familiar with Megaton, stayed there awhile after the attack, plus my Dad used to trade there frequently. Doc Church is always grumpy, but he know's what he's doing. Oh and I want to give Moira one of these hot-little-potatoes" gesturing towards the bottlecap mine "She'll give us a big discount if you're with me." she said smiling.

Lucy checked her backpack, mostly filled with ammo for her Gauss Rifle and three stimpacks. All good.

"Thank you guys, again." Lucy muttered with a smile "Don't worry, the waterworks are over"

She headed to the door, walking behind Frank. Eager and ready to make her way to Megaton.

"Dorothy, you're the only one of us with a weapon suitable for the job, so if you see a vertibird; aim for the strut attaching a rotor to the center. That's the structurally weakest point, and the best way to ensure we don't have plasma rifles shoved up our collective asses."
Frank shoved open the door, hoping the Enclave hadn't tracked them here.

"I've never been to Megaton, what's it like there?" Vikki asks as the two discuss the next town on their visit.

"I'll take one of them Lucy!" she offers, "I'm stronger than I look," she grins, holding her hand out, "will he be alright?" she asks, pointing at the ghoul slung over Frank's shoulder, "he should be able to help us get to the Underworld, before realising her stomach was rumbling, quickly she decides to pull out a couple of pieces of ant meat that she had stored before, eating the pieces quickly.

"Sorry! Are either of you hungry?" she asks, holding out another piece of ant meat.

"Aim for the strut, got it Tin-man" Lucy smirked

"Thanks Vikki" she handed her one of the duffel bags, adjusting the remaining bag so that the strap went across her chest, freed up her arms, so she readied her Gauss Rifle.

"Oh, our leg-humping friend?" Lucy gave him a brief inspection "Well his breathing is steady, but his head is going to be pounding after I broke a hunting rifle over it" Lucy pondered for a moment "When he does wake up, I think you should ask him about any quicker routes to the Underworld. I think he likes me a bit too much...a girl has standards and I at least expect to be taken on a date first."

Lucy walked side by side with Vikki while Frank walked with ease in his power armour. While carrying dead weight no less I wouldn't be surprised if a miniature Deathclaw was under that helmet

"No thanks, I ate earlier. Small stomach, girlish figure and all that..." She said to Vikki food offering

Turning to Vikki as they made their way to Megaton, Lucy caught a glimpse of the familiar silhouette of the town in the distance. "Megaton is kinda...brown and dull-looking. The place is built around an atomic bomb in the center. It's defused and no longer a hazard as far as I know. The people there are friendly. The sheriff, Lucas Simms will respect you if you keep your nose clean. Doc Church has a permanent stick up his ass, but he'll patch you up with skill. Steer clear of Moriarty, owns a bar, guy's a scumbag. And my absolute favourite and where her kookiness rubbed off on me...Moira Brown. Owns a general store, she has a few screws loose in her noggin, but I did odd repair jobs for her and helped with the store. We'll get a discount if I give her one of the potato- bottlecap mines. Overall, it's a crappy place with good people" Lucy beamed at Vikki.

Her smile was short-lived as she saw a floating ball in the distance to their far right. It wasn't facing the group but she remembered how it alerted Frank the first time.

Lucy dropped onto one knee for stability, aimed through the scope and fired off a bolt, blowing up the eye-thingy...

"Good work Dorothy; it's always a good idea to keep your enemy blind."
Megaton grew closer.
"So scarecrow, do you have any information on why super mutants are mutating even more?"
[Perception]Frank saw a Duper-mutant with an extra arm growing out of it being fired upon in the distance, standing over a car with front-mounted lasers and a VanGraff lion on the hood and doors.
"They kind of look like that!"
Frank put down the ghoul, began running towards and with his left hand began flipping switches on his right shoulder.
The back plates of his armor shifted, and suddenly he was running significantly faster, thanks to the rocket modification he installed in his armor.
Frank struck a mighty blow against the beast, just as he had run out of fuel. He would need to restock.

The sudden appearance of a paladin joining the fray certainly surprised Marlon, but he continued firing on the mutant. In all honesty, he wasn't all that concerned about the man in the armor just yet. Not until the mutant was dead. But of course, if his leaping in resulted in a stray shot from Simms or Marlon hitting him, the Van Graff would not complain.

Of course, once the mutant was dealt with, unless he was lucky enough for it to take the paladin with it, he had a whole new problem to deal with. Which could be messy. With any luck though, Simms being the law would see off any attempt to confiscate his belongings as the BoS are so keen to do with tech belonging to other people.

For now, he just grit his teeth at the thought of having to deal with one of the tinpot solders and set about finishing the mutant off.

Cassie stepped up quitely to the sniper rifle and took aim at the beast wreaking the building. She had laid eyes on a super mutant before, but this was an extreme case of ugly she never encountered before.

Still, the thing more or less had human physiology. The same aliments that would be befall Cassie's fellow man would just as easily take down an epicly powered super mutant. In Cassie's mind, this translated to-

"Get this asshole right between the eyes"

Cassie set the sights on the mutant's forehead and let off the three remaining bullets in the clip.

Frank continued striking the beast, but took a moment to shout up to the man firing lasers down.
"Van Graff, when we're done with this, get down here, and we'll settle this! I'm feeling sporting, so since I get to be encased in metal, you get to use your car to even it out!"
[Science 52/50]When mutations cause additional limbs to sprout, the fresh limb is more fragile than the others as it is not as developed.
Frank struck at the elbow joint of the mutant's new arm and heard a very satisfying crack.

Rex and Brandon left the hotel next morning with little of note happening. Rex had no idea where they were going.

As they approached the entrance, Rex heard a man yelling... the man in the big store full of things. Rex cocked his ear.

"...bitches!... mole-rat breath... dog shit... rotten med... brahmin... bitches!..."

Rex shook his head and walked on.

As they walked, Rex picked up on a whirring sound. He hated it immediately. Looking back, he saw a robot thing following them.

whiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrr

It kept following. And following. It wouldn't go away!

The sun climbed to the highest point in the sky, and the horrible buzzing still clouded Rex's brain. He felt he would go mad and become one of those awful other dogs with the ickyness on them.

whiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrr

Suddenly, the smell of fresh blood snapped Rex's thoughts out of it. Congealed, crisped clottings and spats of uncooked vitals.

It was everywhere. Ick.

"Rex, you... careful... very dangerous... yourself."

whiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrr

HOW DID BRANDON STAND IT?

Brandon grabbed his gun, and followed the trail of gore. Why he'd do this was beyond Rex. They walked for thirty seconds before stopping and listening.

whiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

They moved slowly forward again, with Rex calmly and passively going out of his gourd. Brandon approached a man on the ground in shiny armor, but it was different than Brandon's... more complex and shiny. Rex stayed back, the smell of blood was too strong.

whiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Rex turned and looked at the robot. It was about thirty meters back, but Rex heard it clearly.

whiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Rex trotted over to it. He looked at it, trying to understand.

whiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

It was loud and annoying. It was round. Metal. Easily dented, apparently. It was very loud and annoying. There was a very shiny and new object on it, as if it was placed on it recently. It was supremely loud and annoying.

whiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Let's see. It could be hostile and trying to annoy them to death. Or maybe it was totally unaware of itself and tried to join them. That seemed likely to Rex. Plus, the shiny thing looked very nice on the robot.

So, likely friendly, looks nice, might be able to handle itself in a fight. Rex decided right there that he should-

whiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

-KILL IT UNTIL IT'S DEAD.

Unbeknownst to Rex, the shiny thing was a newly upgraded Eyebot defense energy gun. However, it was the first thing he grabbed. It shot off uselessly, and Rex pulled on it until it came clean off. The robot, destabilized, veered hard to the right and spun out onto the ground.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Rex pounced it, the sounds unnoticed by Brandon, who was hitting something with a hammer. Rex sank his teeth into the cracked shell, split by the impact, and tore everything up, saved from electrocution by the power supply failing when the bot fell.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Justice was served.

When Brandon turned to see what Rex was doing, Rex sat happily beside the pile of scrap, wagging his tail and holding an intact energy gun in his mouth.

"You don't get to make demands of me, metalhead!" Marlon called back, emptying another few shots into the mutant. "I'm a legitimate businessman and unlike your kind, I don't go around stealing things that don't belong to them!"

Marlon was good and proper pissed off now. He'd barely started to put in place a base of operations and already the brotherhood were breathing down his neck...And he'd have to be careful. Can't just do something stupid, albeit satisfying, like trying to vaporise the guy. Wouldn't sit real well with Simms. Simms he needed to at least be neutral if he was gonna pull this off.

Goddamn brotherhood tin cans.

*Bang* Frank shot the gun out of the mutant's hand.
"I'm a legitimate businessman and unlike your kind, I don't go around stealing things that don't belong to them!"
*Bang* Frank shot the mutant in its right knee.
Frank had never been to the west coast, he was born in the citadel when the brotherhood had just set up shop, but he had heard and read a lot of things about the Van Graffs. They ran legitimate businesses yes, but they illegitimately forced out all their competition, or any threats.
*Bang* Frank shot the mutant in its left knee.
"Hey Simms, this guy may seem legit, but he's just another Moriarty waiting to happen, except this guy will spend more time vaporizing, and less time making skeevy deals!"
*Pow* Frank punched the mutant in its freshly crippled elbow. This combined with its wounded knees caused it to collapse.
"You know the Brotherhood, we've protected you and brought you water. I'm not asking that you off the guy, I'm just asking that you let me deal with him!"
*Crunch* Frank placed a massive blow on the mutant's head.
"How'd you lose your eye anyways cowardly lion; you try to hit the broad-side of a barn and shoot out your own eye by mistake?"

Marlon could hardly believe the words the paladin was saying. "Oh this is rich tinpot. This is rich!" Barely suppressing his laughter, he half turned to Simms as he fired off another shot.

"Is this loon for real sheriff? You didn't strike me as the kind to let Guilty until proven Innocent go unchecked."

Raising his voice again to continue speaking to Frank, he peppered the mutant with another few bursts of laser. "Little problem with your theory there pal! I haven't seen or heard of anyone else dealin' in energy weapons...Only folk I know of with large stocks of 'em sides for me is..." He paused to grin. "Funny thing, it's you. An' the Enclave o' course! But I'm not dumb enough to walk into your base and start shooting."

He paused a moment to reload. "So what's your angle tin can? You got something half solid against me, or you just gonna talk shit and try to tell Simms how to run his town?"

"So scarecrow, do you have any information on why super mutants are mutating even more?" Frank asked Vikki.

What's he talking about? Lucy wondered for a moment. Her thoughts were cut short when she heard him shout.

"They kind of look like that!"

Frank put down the ghoul, his armor shifted, and suddenly he was running at an extraordinary pace. So that's what the flamer fuel was for

Lucy needed to find out what was going on, she looked through the scope of her rifle and watched Frank heavily strike a super mutant which was convulsing and sprouting limbs.

She heard regular gunfire and the familiar zap of a laser rifle pelting the mutant. This thing was not going down

Lucy dragged the ghoul behind a nearby rock, she perched herself on the rock and trained her sight on super mutant. It's movements were erratic, but if she was going to hit it, she was going to hit it hard. This was not the time to ponder, this super mutant was clearly different and very dangerous.

She heard Frank shouting at someone, but couldn't make out what he was he was saying. Frank managed to bring the super mutant to its knees and deliver a massive blow to the head.

Careful not to hit Frank, she waited for an instinctive opening "Lucy entering, stage right..."

She fired a bolt from her Gauss Rifle into the super mutant's weakened head, the velocity of the round caused severe destruction upon impact. "...and roll credits".

Lucy reloaded quickly, just in case more support was needed.

Frank knew the sound of my rifle, she wondered what the other people there thought of this mysterious but heavy shot ringing out of nowhere to hit their target in the head.

"Little problem with your theory there pal! I haven't seen or heard of anyone else dealin' in energy weapons...Only folk I know of with large stocks of 'em sides for me is..." He paused to grin. "Funny thing, it's you. An' the Enclave o' course! But I'm not dumb enough to walk into your base and start shooting."
*Bang* A magnetically accelerated slug caused the mutant's head to pop. At least Lucy had his back.
"Actually, you'd be surprised. Most merchants at least stock some pew-pews since the Enclave's last campaign flooded the market. The only evidence we have, is Brotherhood communications, and you'd declare those nonobjective or something similar!"
"So what's your angle tin can? You got something half solid against me, or you just gonna talk shit and try to tell Simms how to run his town?"
"My angle is I don't like people fucking with my wasteland. I'm giving you a chance to go down with some dignity little Simba, because pretty soon the Brotherhood is going to send someone a lot less polite to me."
"Don't be a bitch, just face me like a man. I doubt your whore of a mother would approve of a member of the family backing down from a challenge like this."

Lucy hoisted the ghoul over her shoulder, struggling slightly under the weight, she walked closer to where Frank and the super mutant was. She perched the leg-humping ghoul against a nearby rock and gave him a small kick..."For a speedy recovery" she sarcastically muttered.

She perched herself on a nearby boulder, having fond memories of shooting radscorpions here with a laser pistol.

She had gone unnoticed, then again, they all seemed wrapped up in their own business.

Lucy could hear Frank arguing with someone who was wielding a laser rifle and had a lion-motif on his armor. She adjusted the duffel bag for comfort and had her Gauss Rifle ready if Frank needed any support.

Not likely, I've never seen anyone fight like him before. Maybe he would appreciate the gesture at the very least Lucy mused to herself

She noticed Lucas Simms standing next to the laser rifle-wielding stranger.

"I better sit this one out" Lucy whispered to herself, whatever they were arguing over, it didn't involve me.

Simms knew me, so did Moira. I even did odd jobs for Moira when she took me in not long after the attack.

I intended to vouch for Vikki and Frank if things got sketchy for Lucas Simms.

- EDITOR'S REPORT -

Things have taken an unexpected turn. Actually, scratch that, it's ridiculous to not expect anything anymore. Maybe that's the way it's always been, I've never been one to think too much about these things, the art of the reporter is that of reporting, not supposing.

Since last report, Abe, myself and our new...acquaintances have resolved to head for Washington D.C.; it's becoming increasingly apparent that Abe needs treatment, his stamina has degenerated noticeably, even considering his apparently sustaining draught.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves, I am a reporter after all.

At last report, Abe and - by extension - myself were ensconced in the diner off the main thoroughfare of Canterbury Commons, waiting for things that were becoming increasingly vague to me.

However, during the previous night we picked up signs of a commotion somewhere else in the settlement; Abe thankfully had no intention of investigating, although as I've learned it would be a fruitless task to even attempt placing Abe's 'intentions'. Fortune pans out for me once again, I have no intention of getting shot in the name of journalism.

The following morning, our strange vigil was interrupted in a much more direct manner: a group of souls had gathered outside the diner, and tempers were flaring as raised voices mingled with the unmistakeable clicking and sliding tones of firearms being prepared. Quite unexpectedly, Abe stirred at this commotion, and gradually drew himself up from the booth in which he'd slept. Gripping his crutch, he hobbled over to the door and propped himself up against the frame, thus providing himself with two hands to unscrew the cap on his flask.

Seemingly headed by a somewhat portly and greying man, that the group kept addressing as 'Uncle', the militia had outfitted themselves with an array of crude firearms, probably not culled from any caravan stock, the inhabitants of the Commons surely don't have enough caps between them for that; and threw nervous glances over the town; certainly not professionals by any means, it's simple to identify, professionals don't hesitate.

Another group emerged from inside the town, one leading a laden Brahmin, another three or four struggling to haul...something.

Upon encountering the militia, the second group laid out their cargo before 'Uncle' and his followers. A dark-skinned, bloated beast, clad somehow in a dirtied and torn white garment.

It was the Walrus. The Walrus. Abe's 'catfish'.

The beast raised itself onto it's haunches, or at least what equated to haunches, and was gesturing as desperately as it's limbs - rather unsuited to gesturing - would allow; although evidently a slow, ponderous creature, it appeared to be under some considerable duress, as Uncle's mob levelled their weapons at the beast, no doubt dividing out shares of the meat. They can't be blamed, this new world makes barbarians of us all.

- note: apologies in advance, Ron, having to send this cable in two pieces, couriers are being difficult, and we have little to offer for a better service.

Ed.

Oh that did it. That comment was enough to make Marlon move up from contemptuous to outright fury. "You leave my mother outta this!" Barely managing to rein it in enough to avoid shooting at Frank and blowing anything he had going for him, he unloaded a furious volley of lasers at the mutant.

"So you hear about things from out west huh?" Marlon was technically smiling, but it was the kind of smile that was only there to try and keep some kind of handle of vicious fury. "Okay, you got me, I'll admit a couple of members of my family got caught with their fingers in dirty pies." He hoped this'd throw Frank off a bit, because from what he could tell he was expecting Marlon to deny everything. "That's them though, I'm me. I'm toeing the line. Simms can go and shoot me now if I've broken some laws. But I haven't."

"But hey, speaking of out west, your buddies tell you how things are going for them out there? How they're being hunted down like the dogs they are cos of what they've done. They're just raiders out west. Maybe worse, cos they're harder to kill. They go tramping about the countryside, demanding people hand over all their tech and if they refuse they just kill them and take it anyway." The smile faded into a sneer. "So if you wanna talk about mud from outwest, you're just as sticky pal."

Felt good to say all that. Calmer now, he responded to another comment. "I'm not surprised there's a bunch of bits and pieces on merchants, scavenging happens. But I'm a specialist. You find me someone out here that specialises in the dealing of energy weapons and maybe that'll hold water. From what I hear though, no one's got stock like that round here."

"And just for your information. Ma would say to not do anything stupid. Like letting someone like you judge me rather than a neutral party who ACTUALLY matters, like the sheriff."

Frank stood triumphant over the defeated mutant, and reloaded his pistol.
"Okay, you got me, I'll admit a couple of members of my family got caught with their fingers in dirty pies. That's them though, I'm me. I'm toeing the line. Simms can go and shoot me now if I've broken some laws. But I haven't."
"You still maintain ties to an organization that expects such actions from you. They're your supplier, you have no choice but to."
"But hey, speaking of out west, your buddies tell you how things are going for them out there? How they're being hunted down like the dogs they are cos of what they've done. They're just raiders out west. Maybe worse, cos they're harder to kill. They go tramping about the countryside, demanding people hand over all their tech and if they refuse they just kill them and take it anyway." The smile faded into a sneer. "So if you wanna talk about mud from outwest, you're just as sticky pal."
"Except raiders don't save everyone from Super Mutants and the Enclave. We just share a name, and keep in contact. We don't support their recent actions. There is a group here that is like them though, they're called the Outcasts. They'll ensure that if you open up here, you put the entire settlement in danger."
"I'm not surprised there's a bunch of bits and pieces on merchants, scavenging happens. But I'm a specialist. You find me someone out here that specializes in the dealing of energy weapons and maybe that'll hold water. From what I hear though, no one's got stock like that round here."
"It doesn't matter that we don't have a specialist, folks keep themselves armed fine. Specializing just means you'll try harder to maintain your monopoly to maintain your unique appeal. I know your tricks from out west, I'd half expect you to do something stupid like sell to the raiders in order to drive up your sales from citizens who want to be on even ground."
"And just for your information. Ma would say to not do anything stupid. Like letting someone like you judge me rather than a neutral party who ACTUALLY matters, like the sheriff."
"Look; you clearly want to kill me, and I clearly want to make your eyes match. If we agree to fight each other outside of town, then there's no assault, Simms can't object, and if you win it'll drive your sales waaay up. If you win the annual sales contest, your whore mom will give you that horrible incestuous reward you've been craving."
"So just grow some balls, and lets rumba!"

After the action had calmed down and Vikki was sitting next to Lucy and the ghoul, she thought about what she asked.

"I've heard something about someone called 'Doc' he's supposed to be 'fixing' super mutants," she answers, complete with air quotes, "I wonder if it's the same one who made me like this," she ponders aloud, watching Frank and the new guys arguing with each other.

"Are they raiders? Or just people who like to fight?" she asks Lucy, half watching the ghoul and the action occurring in front of them unfold.

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