Lucy found Vikki taking a seat next her
She listened to Vikki mention a 'Doc' complete with air quotes, which she personally found hilarious.
"What do mean by 'fixing' super mutants?" Lucy replied, complete with air quotes of her own "I hope you don't mind me asking, I didn't want to say anything before if it was a sensitive issue." she continued on "Your outward appearance and voice doesn't match that of a ghoul, but more likely a smaller, more humanoid super mutant. I may just be guessing here, but you mentioned "same one who made me like this", what do you mean? Lucy pondered, hoping she wasn't intruding.
Lucy nudged the ghoul in the face with her foot while searching in her bag for that leftover piece of brahmin jerky.
"Those guys?" she mumbled in between munching "I think this is what guys call a dick-waving contest." Lucy changed her tone to that of an aristocratic woman "You see, a man's ego resides in his penis. When two males clash, they enter an ancient competition known as the 'dick-waving' contest. This duel of the phallus involves copious amounts of swearing, grunting and even brawling. Any effort is made to belittle the other in order to prove that their penis and subsequently their balls is indeed of increased proportions to their opponents."
She smiled after the delivery of that speech.
[Perception]Frank heard the girls talking even with all the yelling going on.
"I think this is what guys call a dick-waving contest." Lucy changed her tone to that of an aristocratic woman "You see, a man's ego resides in his penis. When two males clash, they enter an ancient competition known as the 'dick-waving' contest. This dual of the phallus involves copious amounts of swearing, grunting and even brawling. Any effort is made to belittle the other in order to prove that their penis and subsequently their balls is indeed of increased proportions to their opponents."
Frank looked at Lucy, smiling, although you couldn't tell with the helmet.
"Actually, this is less of a personal dick-waving contest, and more of a family feud dick-waving. It just so happens that I have enough dick to wave on behalf of my family."
Frank raised his voice so the cyclops above him could hear it.
"It just so happens the family we're waving against are a bunch of inbred hicks who stumbled into a business!"
The funny thing about Sully's actions was that he actually lost karma because outright attacking the Enclave soldiers was what triggered #86 to shoot Dave in the first place. Ah, but that's all over now. With that weird bit of combat, he had managed to - very luckily - take out those guards with their own weaponry. It wouldn't be that easy again. Funny thing is...the Vertibird hadn't really moved. Oh, the pilot knew, but it's not the pilot you have to worry about. When Sully knocked in the dorms to get everybody out, he didn't see the newcomer. And he didn't see the newcomer because that man had literally come out of nowhere. Stealth Boy technology! He was in a definitely custom-built Enclave armor, a powersuit over other suits, black with navy-blue highlights. This...was not an ordinary soldier.
"You, sir, are NO fun at all. This land is Dave-land, but not just any Dave. ME Dave. FalloutDavid of the Enclave. And you, my fine baseball-y friend, juuust stepped in it."
The Enclave man pulled out two uzi-shaped plasma weapons and proceeded to spray green gunfire back and forth at both Sully and the dormatories! Good luck! You'll need it...
Dudley and William accosted Morgan at the same time. It amounted to a load of gibberish in the man's ears, though he obviously knew what either man wanted. He held up his hands in a coaxing manner to try and calm them both, however.
Morgan: Gentlemen, please. One at a time, if you would be so kind.
He paused, though, having picked apart in his head what it was that Dudley wanted out from what he had been expecting to hear from William.
Morgan: Actually, I would be fine with seeing you both, provided that you sir...
He looked Dudley's way for this.
Morgan: ...are willing to work with others on a job of some importance. Generous compensation would be given as payment, of course. However, I must warn you...it is dangerous work.
The mutant's thrashing around, though, prevented a clean shot. She did not get the head. Cass shredded muscle and sinew, cracked bone and split blood. And the mutant reacted like a wild animal with a booster shot up the ass. He JUMPED and put his head right through the floor, seeing Cass for the first time with his disfigured face.
And then, he tried to pull her down with him.
Number One listened to what Barry had to say, and then shook his head in a knowing fashion.
"Flash, Flash, Flash... You have to understand, this is more than just a government organization. We are the commitment of many under one cause, united for this before divided we fall. We must appear unified in appearance and act, mind and body, to show just how strong our resolve is. besides, these men are not superheroes like you are. They are the common man elevated to a higher level to affect the world at a superior degree. The meaningful name and design of the Enclave should stay. It holds its own form of elegance and simitry."
The Enclave leader pointed to his sprawling base now.
"Is it not a glorious sight to see so many men and women take up the cause for their suffering nation? That's what it's all about. The old government, even that of the remnant that survived within out group itself, is dead. Out with the old, in with the new. We must re-discover this nation and turn ourselves right-side-up. Now that we have gotten this new world curious about the new Enclave, I would have you speak to the world to explain that we are for great justice! Can you do that for us, Flash? With the words of a true hero, they would flock to our doorstep in droves and we would have more than enough to push out all raiders, mutants, deathclaws, and more."
The Nukalurk charged at Michael, but it was actually stupid enough to walk right into the bullets. So...in a split second, Michael had a glowing crab mutant on top of him, but uhhh...it was also dead. Good work! Now...what was that distant clambering sound...? Did it sound like uhhh...more?
Meanwhile, somewhere back at the Enclave base where they moniter Eyebot patrols, an Enclave soldier was boggling at what he'd just seen. The Eyebot instructed to follow some guy, to which said bot was armed and everything, just got taken out by a dog. Another one had been taken out by a girl with a...gauss rifle.
Soldier: We really need to make these things more durable.
Meanwhile, a car was headed in...generally Brandon's position. It was an open-topped thing with a buncha' guys on it. They all had cross-tattoos on their faces, and they were running down a super mutant with uhh...FOUR LEGS?! Dude was dashing!
The situation with the front of Megaton had gotten under control, and then out of control once more, in that fighting the very-mutated mutant was now down to a standoff between Marlon and Frank. Why hadn't Lucas reacted? Because this was a powder keg. You've got a BoS-looking guy picking fights with a Van Graff, you've got a girl of some familiarity to Lucas on the sidelines, there's a ghoul and a...semi-mutant with her, and they still needed to examine this thing. So, Sheriff Simms let the two men waste their energy, and then shot his rifle into the air once he had both robotic deputies and several wall guards waiting and ready.
Lucas: I'm gonna say this to you just once, to the both of you. Not here. You are not bringing this Brahmin shit to my door and expecting me to get digging. You want access to Megaton? You'd better be calm and peaceful, not carrying on as you are now. I'm going to let you two get on with your business, so long as it isn't the business of killing each other, and if I hear anything about one of you being dead even FAR from here, I will find the other and make sure justice is served, where applicable. Is that clear?
Simms had not grown to be an old sheriff by being stupid. Ever since the Lone Wanderer blasted Mr. Burke as he was trying to shoot him from behind, he had learned to be far more careful with his job. That all having been said and done, he tilted his hat and nodded at Lucy, as if in after-thought.
Lucas: Now, you all help me take this mutant to Moira and DO go on about this...'Doc'.
There are few perfect moments in a man's life. A moment where something a man has dreamed of comes true and nothing hinders it. For Barry this was one of those moments. Despite his delusions of grandeur he was an intelligent man. He understood exactly what number 1 meant. "Individuality is less important than looking like a powerful force FOR GOOD. You can't afford to show to much theatricality because it would undermine everything YOU STAND for. You are MANY as ONE. Plus individuality breeds trouble within the ranks. People are much more efficient as cogs working toward a greater goal than individuals who would bicker and bring the whole down as a result. As long as the people join willingly that sounds like a great concept.I would be Honored to be a uniting symbol for this organization to bring in those who are unsure of your intentions." Now that he had gotten through that, he took the opportunity to gush a little bit and revert to his more usual ridiculous, excitable self, " A SYMBOL OF JUSTICE, AND FREEDOM, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS AND THE BETTERMENT OF ALL HUMANITY! A SYMBOL OF GOOD AGAINST BAD! HEROES DEFEATING VILLIANS BECAUSE GOOD WILL ALWAYS TRIUMPH AS LONG AS WE ALL BELIEVE IT CAN!" At this point he was literally shaking with excitement.
Music to Marlon's ears. He'd been thinking about how he'd have to take care of this brotherhood chump. Plasma is usually a good bet with power armor. Melt the servos, damage the vent ports and cooling systems, you could make one of those suits mighty hard to use or at the very least pretty uncomfortable to be in. Besides, it'd worked last time he had to fight brotherhood goons.
Happily though, Simms had saved him the trouble. Which was good news for his plans of setting up shop here. Especially with news of the Enclave being back in business. Bullets wouldn't do that much against them, but Energy weapons? Much more effective. He had a couple of cases of weapons in the trunk of his car. Hadn't even cracked them open. They weren't his after all. Family merchandise. Maybe he could give one of them to Simms as a good will gesture for the armory. Granted, he hated the idea of losing stock without pay off, but the sheriff's approval was worth its weight in gold if he was any judge. Maybe then he could take the other case and work out a deal with Moriarty to deal out of a room in his tavern. Give ol' Col a decent comission on sales, handle the resupplies of the town's energy ammo when needed and personal sidearms for anyone who wants to buy....Yeah...this could be a real sweet gig.
Composing himself to look less enraged and calming a little, he answered Simms. "You got it sheriff." And with that he climbed down from the walls to get his work gloves from the car before getting in place to haul the body to Craterside. No way in hell was he touching that thing with his bare hands.
I'm gonna say this to you just once, to the both of you. Not here. You are not bringing this Brahmin shit to my door and expecting me to get digging. You want access to Megaton? You'd better be calm and peaceful, not carrying on as you are now. I'm going to let you two get on with your business, so long as it isn't the business of killing each other, and if I hear anything about one of you being dead even FAR from here, I will find the other and make sure justice is served, where applicable. Is that clear?
Frank decided to pitch in with moving the mutant.
"You're making a mistake Simms; if he sets up shop here, people will get vaporized, the raiders will be better armed, the Brotherhood won't want to bring you water, and the Outcasts will murder everyone they can to get to this guy."
Frank had no intention of killing the asshole, he just intended to leave him excessively roughed up, confiscating his stock, and sending a message to the folks out west not to start shit.
"Do you really want to put your son through that?"
As Frank helped haul the mutant, he "accidentally" bumped into the Van Graff's car, denting the door.
"You can prevent another Moriarty here."
Oh, COME ON!
He'd tried to scout the Capital wasteland but instead got corralled into a tiny republic
He'd tried to sucker Dave out of food and ended up in service to him.
He'd tried to warn of the Enclave and save the republic... and got their leader killed
He'd tried to get the civilians to safety and now some crazy was firing blindly into their bunks.
Sully kinda hated DC but as long as this new beetle was firing chances were he wouldn't be living here long. Well with the vertibird defending the skies there wasn't anywhere for him to run... besides... wasn't all this to help Dave's people in the first place? Bob would still have a weapon with him... maybe an assault rifle, maybe a pistol nothing that could dent the shoulder of the angular dark armour that the chameleon was wearing. Right... okay. Killing him wasn't going to ever actually happen. New plan, don't die... yet. Thinking as quickly as one can while barreling through the air and rolling around the corner of the rusty boys dorm his mind turned to the uzis.
Somehow if the vengeful Gods that had toyed with him this long willed it, might just be able to disarm him. Swinging out from around the corner and emptying an entire clip he managed to with all but one of the eight rounds the last deflecting harmlessly off his chest.
'Oh God damn it'
Heart beating faster than he had felt in years he pressed up against the wall hefting his bat preparing himself to make a final maddening swipe at at the uzis before he was surely ended. The shots finished leaving Sully just slightly aware of the sizzling noise made by the melted holes that the few penetrating sections of plasma left. Toying with the thought of breaking cover to grab the unfired plasma rife his first, victim he supposed, had left main building he heard another a rush of wind and a heavy clank. He stayed perfectly still resisting the urge to pop around the corner.
clank clank clank...
'No fucking way'
He leapt back from the wall eyes peeled open wildly rolling about as his head wheeled up to stare at the beetle on the roof now simply a black figure against the noon-sun. 'I don't expect you to beg, but strugglings fine. You've ruined all the fun here anyway...' it offered in a lilting voice putting the uzis away and instead retrieving the sniper rifle from its back.
Struggling may not have been very high on his list but running was rising steadily. Not that running would help him to keep breathing as much as it would satisfy his need to act.
Rex had seemed a bit annoyed during their trip. Brandon had wondered why, when he turned around to look at Rex he found out why. He saw what was left of an eye bot and Rex happily sitting next to the scrap with an laser gun in his mouth. Brandon was worried that he hadn't picked up on their little follower, still Rex had. Brandon walked over to Rex done with looting the corpses, he petted Rex. "Rex you are a very good boy, that flying things was from the enclave. You know the men with black armor? The eye bot." Brandon pointed at the scrap. "The eye bot was their friend, the eye bot was our enemy. So you did an very good job." Brandon grabbed the laser gun out of Rex mouth. It looked to be in a very good state, Brandon put it in his backpack. Brandon petted Rex some more, Brandon then stood up looking around that was when he saw it.
Brandon saw it in the distance an car heading their way. Might as well try my new eye out. Brandon's eye activated and he could see the car and the men in great detail, he also saw an mutant with four legs?! Then his eye overloaded and he had to go back to his normal vision. Brandon was a bit surprised by this turn of events, he looked at Rex. "Let's see what is happening there Rex." Brandon walked forward an bit remaining hidden behind a couple of rocks. He grabbed an small part of an broken mirror and shined into the super mutant eye, getting his attention, Brandon made an signal that the super mutant had to go to him. In an likelihood those were a couple of raiders hunting down an super mutant. While most super mutants were hostile some of them weren't, Brandon trusted the super mutant more then the raiders.
Just when she thought she could catch a break, Cassie got even for fucked than before. The sniper bullet missed the mutants head completely, and the flesh that was hit didnt seem to phase him. The Big bastard had jumped through the floor, and was pulling at her leg.
Shiiit. At least aiming wont be as much of a problem.
Cassie threw down the rifle and drew both of her magnums. She stuck one on the mutants big green forehead, and the other pressed against his mouth. She emptied both guns into his head as he pulled her down to the first floor. Somewhere between the lead getting cozy with the creature madula, and the impact of the fall, Cassie's leg was free.
She ignored her aching skull and pulled herself up to her feet and ran for the exit as quick as she could. There was no telling if that thing was really dead, and this building was coming down regardless.
"Rex... very good boy... black armor?... eye bot." Brandon pointed at the scrap. "... eye bot... their friend... eye bot... our enemy... very good." Brandon took the shiny thing and put it in his backpack. It looked like a gun of some kind, but it was different than any gun Rex had ever seen.
Brandon suddenly turned and looked into the distance. Rex couldn't see anything. At this point, he was ure that humans simply saw better than dogs. Brandon then turned to him. "...Rex."
Brandon walked forward a little bit. Curious, Rex followed him. Brandon then pulled a piece of shiny glass out of his bag and held it at an odd angle, then he made waved his arms.
About five seconds later, a super mutant entered Rex's field of view, bounding along on four legs.
A second later, a loud angry sounding thing entered Rex's view, spewing a grinding noise and angry words Rex did not understand.
The things that Rex did not understand were barreling down on him and Brandon. They'd be there within twenty seconds, give or take Rex hid behind Brandon's legs, trying to sort out what the hell he was looking at.
"I dunno," Vikki replies simply to Lucy's question, "he kept saying he wanted to make us normal again?"
"Me and some of my cousins were experiments for him, most of them died, I ended up like this," she waves halfheartedly at herself, "I want to find him and make him fix me," she growls, her face showing anger temporarily before Lucy's next retort about Frank and his rival, which makes her begin to laugh.
Watching the sheriff talking the two men into being calm and begin to lift the new mutant into Megaton, a small thought popped into her head, "does this mean I'm allowed in too? I know that ones dead," she mutters, pointing to the Duper-Mutant, "but can I? I won't hurt anyone!" she beams, almost pleading with Lucy in tone.
Lucy listened to Vikki's brief story about the experiments on super-mutants. It explained a lot about Vikki's appearance, but left so many questions about this scientist, using people for experiments was a little in the grey area of morality, especially if this guy had good intentions.
She caught Vikki's brief flash of anger before making her 'dick-waving' speech in order to make her laugh.
"I'm really sorry to hear that you had to experience such a nightmare, your cousins are in my thoughts." She said softly and put her arm around her friend "I say we find this 'Doc' and make the bastard right his wrongs." Lucy said with a flash of venom in her voice "Personally, you have a good heart and you're kind, so I don't think you need any fixing" she said with a smile.
Lucy noticed that Lucas Simm's finally put a stop to the bickering. Although she did have 50 caps on Frank. She had bet with the ghoul...he was betting that a mole-rat kill Frank. This bet wasn't rigged at all.
Lucas Simms tilted his hat and nodded at Lucy, she replied with a nod and a short wave.
The guys had begun to lift the 'duper-mutant' towards Megaton.
Lucy noticed Vikki getting all flustered about entrance. She held her expression in a cold stare, shaking her head slowly side-to-side. Raising her Gauss Rifle slowly...
She couldn't keep this up for long and snorted with laughter. "I'm sorry! I couldn't resist! It's ok! I don't know if you noticed the sheriff's nod towards me, but I'm pretty welcomed here. You're with me, so you'll be fine." she said in a cheery tone. "Besides, I want to check in with Moira and give her a hot potato for discount, hopefully she'll still have my extra mattress and the spare for when I used to sleep there."
She hauled the ghoul over her shoulder and made her way towards the Megaton entrance with Vikki at her side, ready to use the ghoul as a makeshift sledgehammer if anyone gives her any trouble.
The walrus flailed around, desperately trying to communicate that he meant no harm, that whatever happened was a huge misunderstanding. Unfortunately, all that everyone else heard was 'WAARRAAUUGHH!'
He was now staring down the barrel of the gun of the head of the mob. Crawver took a deep breath, trying to calm himself. They hadn't shot him yet, so there might be hope. Just need to talk his way out. He spoke as clearly as he could muster.
"Don't shoot, I mean no harm. I'm a doctor."
Success, the leader lowered his gun slightly. Not out of the woods yet, but better than nothing.
"Then why'd you go and destroy half the tents you stupid animal!?" 'Stay calm. Stay calm. He has all right to be angry, and he's the one with a gun.' the walrus thought to himself.
"I don't know what happened, I lost control of myself. I'll move on now and never return, if that's what it takes. Just let me get my things and I'll be off."
The doctor began shuffling himself upwards. His head was pounding hard, and he really didn't want to have to go now, but if it meant keeping a bullet out of his head, he'd pay that price.
'...why hasn't he moved his gun away from me'
"Not so fast animal. You did a lot of damage. You're going to have to pay it back." Crawver started sweating really badly now.
"Ah...about that, I do have some caps...but...not that many..." he trailed off. Was he really going to be executed here?
Suddenly voice rang out from inside the diner
"Excuse me, did you say you were a doctor?"
(I know it's not ideal, but I might be able to hop back in sorta, making a post a day, so let's see if I can keep this ball rolling)
Frank continued to help drag the mutant, snapping the side-mirror off of the Van Graff's car as he brushed against it.
After much hauling, they had made it to craterside.
"Hi there, want me to check out that not very jolly looking jolly green giant? There is definitely something off about him, and I'm not just talking about the fact that he's dead!"
This girl was clearly nuts, maybe Doc Hoff could prescribe her something to make her less so?
-EDITOR'S REPORT Pt.2-
This reporter has to admit, I've broken the critical rules of journalism more times than I'd like to admit; yes, I intervened, but times were desperate, and sense prevailing in these times is often followed by starvation, radiation poisoning, dying on your back stripped of everything but your bones, and explosive bowel evacuations. They broke the mould when the bombs dropped.
Perhaps it was unwise to draw the militia's attentions, more so when the younger ones were itching to fire off a few shots because they can't come or whatever, little bastards.
Of course it could have been a lie, a man has to lie to save his own hide; everyone expects it now, everyday conversation is a labyrinth of bluffs and double-bluffs, words are too heavy to throw about; at least without thinking. But there are exceptions...
Eyes suddenly lay heavy on me, but thankfully the weapons remained levelled at the seabeast.
What was I thinking? What on EARTH was I thinking? It's a Walrus! It doesn't even have opposeable thumbs! It's not a doctor. Couldn't be. Surely. Just a reaction to the mention of a doctor, maybe I thought the medical caravan had finally rolled in; thought is somewhat deficient under the conditions of desperation.
Why was I even desperate? It's Abe who needs medicine, not me. Perhaps I was becoming attached to my charge...not worth writing about at this time.
Abe continued to watch as 'Uncle' addressed me directly, "Now, now, don't be gettin' involved in matters that ain't your business; this beast flattened half our camp and half the folks stayin' there with it; we take care of our own in the Commons. Now I'll say it again, you ain't one of us, therefore it ain't your business."
I was effectively silenced, evidently courage didn't follow desperation; never has before, what reason did it have to now?
The militia returned their attention to the flailing beast; and 'Uncle' raised his hand, about to signal the firing squad. The hand would have dropped much faster if Abe hadn't limped out of the doorway, ranting.
"Ain't you boys ashamed?! If yer'd even spent one day, one damn day on the water, y'd know and know to God that y'don't muscle in on another man's kitch! Abe's been a week wi' his line in the water, waitin' for his catch, and you boys spear it right outta the water without a second's thinkin'?"
'Uncle' turned back to us, at least two gun barrels obliged to follow, guess he had all the control he needed.
"You with the suit? Didn't you hear what ah just said? Not your goddamn business, and I don't reckon it'd be wise of you to say anything more." A few clicks and shuffles behind him proved his seriousness and had the backup to prove it.
But Abe continued to shout himself hoarse, repeating his accusations again and again, interspersing them with, "the fishy owes me! HE OWES ME!"
'Uncle' ignored Abe, and raised his hand again, facing the Walrus, still pleading in a blubbery howl.
...and here's where I made another bad decision; yes, I intervened, but Abe...he wouldn't stop screaming, they had enough shot, they'd come for us next, no questions, and I wasn't going to lose this story, and I wasn't going to die for it either.
"Look, we can settle this! How much for the fish?"
"You ain't got the caps to save this baw, now this is yer last warning, shut the old man up and back off, we got more n' enough shot for you."
A wave of calm seemed to wash over Abe suddenly, and he seemed to be calculating as he spoke, "Naw, you boys don't wanna bunch o' old dirty bottle caps, Abe's got somethin' you boys'll like, if that's what I gotta do to get my catch back."
He motioned to me to fetch something from the diner, I knew what he meant. I brought out the remaining moonshine bottles, and placed them tentatively in front of the group.
'Uncle' looked from the bottles, to Abe, to the Walrus, and back again, "...the hell d'you think you're doin'? A goddamn mirelurk by any other name rolls into town and puts us all at fatal risk, and you think y'can just buy that off with some cheap bathtub gin?"
"Uncle! Wait!" a younger member of the group interrupted, at least his voice attested, the boy was weatherbeaten to all hell, "I thought I recognised somethin'! That's Uriah St. John! The brewdaddy, some call him; m'cousin in Kentucky wrote me about 'im, rumours is that he's found out how to brew whiskey! Not that irradiated pre-war piss, REAL whiskey! This stuff's gotta be worth it's weight in gold an' more!"
'Uncle' kept switching his glance, seemingly weighing up the situation; the Walrus had stopped moving, just stared with his flippers held up in surrender, the Brahmin finally stopped wailing, eyes flickered between the parties, the wind picked up, then fell.
"Fine, take the thing, but we're keeping the steer. Just make sure y'all get the HELL outta my town before we change our minds."
"NO! You'll not take Udders!"
It talks. Of course it talks. At least as much as it can.
"There's no meat on her! She's worth nothing to you! You shan't take my Brahmin, I won't let you!"
A shot rang out, and the creature wailed, but remained standing. Must be a fortunate thing, to have blubber in a place like the Wasteland.
The guns turned on us next, "You've got 'till sundown to leave, we'll find you if you don't."
Finally, the group dispersed into the town, darkening with the passing of noon, the Brahmin frantically shook it's head as it was lead away, the cowbell tones washing over the street.
Abe and I approached the seabeast, he with much less caution than I, as was to be expected.
"Well. ah finally got you, tiger. But, see, where I come from, folk operate on a fair trade. Abe's done given you a gift, n' threw y'back in the water, but see, now ah needs some'n from you; and if there's anythin' Abe need right now, it's a shot. It's mah ol' poor leg, y'see, it's gotten heavy..."
The walrus, still reeling from the shot, stared at Abe, bewildered; pretty much the same way I was staring at both. Finally, it opened it's mouth and something legible somehow emerged.
"Listen, I can help you, but...I'll need to get my Brahmin back."
Pt. 3 will be with you in a few days, we've got enough material for the next issue, right?
'They took Udders...'
The same thought just kept on playing through the doctors mind.
'They took my Udders. They shot me too, but priorities.'
The bullet had barely penetrated his blubber, and after removing the bullet with a pair of tweezers, he had given himself a stimpack shot to make sure he'd heal over alright. It's not like this was the first time he'd be shot.
He'd also picked up a couple of allies it seemed. He had no idea how long they'd stick around. The older one needed medical treatment, and fairly soon. Crawver would have already gone into surgery, were it not for the fact that most of his equipment was with Udders.
They may well have been allies of convenience, but the walrus wasn't going to look a gift brahmin in the mouth. After talking with the two for a while, it had become clear that it was Abe who had caused his...episode earlier. Fate's a bitch.
The Dr eventually gave up talking to the older man, since he had the habit of calling him a catfish. The younger one however was much more receptive, even if he did flinch every time the walrus spoke.
They agreed that they'd wait until sundown, the time when they had to leave, to put their plan into action. Abe insisted that the townsfolk would have already started drinking the whiskey by then, so getting this done would be a lot easier.
They would leave as the town expected, but after only travelling a few hundred meters away, the younger human would sneak back over the rubble, and try to lead Udders back as quietly as possible.
Then Crawver could be a doctor again.
William, Morgan Bloom and this newcomer had adjourned to the Weatherly Hotel for their joint meeting. William assumed it was because Bloom considered anything but the best to be intolerable. To be seen at the Muddy Rudder would be an affront to Bloom's pride.
Morgan Bloom was eloquently setting out his stall, a high paying job, very important, vital ramifications etc, etc (oh and did I mention a little bit of massive danger) Bloom had a habit of brushing the dangerous bits of a job description aside. Since Bloom was speaking predominantly to the newcomer William filtered out the conversation and began musing.
'How many people, how many corpses in the wasteland are only there because they took a job like this? A job with lots of danger that was barely mentioned. Put the word out that you're offering a high paying job and you'll get dozens of eager young fools looking to make their name and fortune, then you'll end up with a lot of corpses scattered around ruins and roads. Mention the danger and you'll get a few professionals and a job well done.'
William had known many an optimistic fool to march happily into danger and never return, blinded by the promises of riches. In fact, William had seen it in his own group of Anver refugees. At first they had all been rather naive. William was one of the few that had gone far from the town walls, yet that had always been with his ambassadors escort. Most of the towns fighters had died in its destruction and none of the survivors could spot danger easily. That had gotten people killed or wounded.
William decided to get the measure of the stranger at the table. He was a veritable giant with a build that made him look like he could go barefisted boxing with a super mutant and win, but for combat the man seemed to be the polar opposite of William, a huge minigun and an axe seemed to be his weapons of choice, large and powerful like their owner. The man had blonde hair and a great big beard which made him look all the more intimidating. Most raiders he knew would probably wet themselves to see this man approaching.
Bloom had managed to stop talking for a moment and William entered the conversation, "Well now, we appear to be at a disadvantage. The esteemed Mr Bloom knows both of us yet we do not know each other." He offered his hand across the table, "William Knight, how do you do?"
Marlon was none too pleased to note the repeated "accidental" damage to his property. That said though, he wasn't dumb enough to make a further scene about it, consoling himself with the notion that Simms wasn't stupid and would have noticed as well. So that way, if he said nothing, it'd just make Frank look a bit more petty.
When the tinplate goon looked like leaving though, Marlon was damn sure he was going to make sure he was standing by the car to make sure he did nothing further as he left.
Focusing more on the present though and Moira's query regarding the dead mutant, he replied with "I'm gonna guess the off part is the extra arm coming out of the gut."
Dudley settled into a surprisingly comfortable chair in the Weatherly Hotel after Bloom and the other guy decided upon moving there. He didn't mind, these chairs were a hell of a lot better than the crappy old bench he was sitting on when he first saw Bloom again, and he got to eyeball Vera in the process. A win-win, if he could say so himself.
He listened to Bloom speak of the job, stating that it'd be very dangerous, but also quite lucrative. He noticed that the other man seemed to be either unfazed at the thought of it, or just tuning out Bloom as he spoke. Dudley grinned and nodded when Bloom finished his proposal only to listen to the other guy speak up about the nature of merc work.
Dudley liked to consider himself an expert in the fine art of being hired muscle, so he'd be in no matter what the other man thought. He noticed that the smaller man was looking at him, as if studying him. He had eyes the shade of a mutant's skin, and hair like what was left of the fur of a Yao Guai. But he was surprisingly well-dressed and spoke quite properly and clearly, so Dudley was left to assume he was either wealthy or from out West somewhere.
Dudley cracked a small smirk at the sight of the Katana that he carried, and patted on the handle of his axe subconsciously, noting that he would have to have a heading contest with him sometime in the future. He let his eyes go half mast a little at the sight of the .45, being one to prefer heavy weapons, and even rifles over a small gun like that, but he figured he wasn't one to judge.
His eyebrows shot up a little when the man extended his hand out to Dudley, introducing himself as William. William Knight. His brother had a "pen pal" out west who was in the military named Knight, but he knew it was just a common last name. But anyway, he grinned wide and gripped William's hand and gave it a pump, not too hard, but firmly and friendly. "Dudley Sullivan's th' name! Nice'ta meet ya, Will."
-EDITOR'S REPORT Pt.3-
"Alright, fishy, you n' me, we got some'n 'twixt us now, don't you ferget it."
Abe retorted the beast's request with a breezy, rather than sinister, air; as if he was bartering over bait at the fishing lake. How he's going to call in a favour from a Walrus remains to be seen; it couldn't possibly be a doctor, surely not.
But it wasn't worth following in the slipstream of cynicism, not at that time, anyway. We resolved to retrieve the Brahmin; I continue to be unsure of the beast's motivations: cattle are a valuable commodity now more than ever, no one with any sense would let one go just like that, even at gunpoint, but the desperation in his rubbery, bleating voice spoke of other things. Either way, the steer had a pack with it. Nothing more need be said.
Dusk swung around conveniently quickly, a few lamps stayed on across the thoroughfare and inside the diner, but not enough to illuminate our activities. We had camped for that day in the courtyard outside the Commons, where the caravans set up, but none came. None spoke; Abe watched the Walrus, while he in turn watched the descent of the sun, I watched all three. I'm not sure I like being the sole concession to things that are normal.
At the apex of dusk, we advanced carefully into the town. No sound existed to mask ours, the gentle click of Abe's crutch, the suppressed grunting of the Walrus as it struggled to move on land. I had drawn the short straw for finding and retrieving the cow, being the only able-bodied being at hand; man and beast would lurk in the shadows, watching the diner.
There is little that can be said about the search, the town lay empty like a corpse, wind whistling through shattered windows, the standard deal for the wasteland. I found the Brahmin tethered outside a nondescript garage, I removed its cowbell and carefully muted the clapper with some crumpled paper, and slipped it into my pocket. The steer followed with little resistance, even remaining silent as we moved across town.
We reconvened with the walrus across the street from the diner, and he went about his reunion, whispering to it in a kindly voice and seeing to the pack.
Abe, however, hadn't waited there as we'd planned, and I noticed his shadow laid out before the diner. But nothing had reacted, it seemed the 'shine had defanged the militia in similar manner to the tender; glassy-eyed bodies were strewn across the booths and the bar.
Abe just stood at the window, watching nothing. After a while, he turned back, with a look of contemplation on his face. I decided not to question him; he had no reason to suddenly become
understandable now, and it was the last of that batch of 'shine.
So, at time of this report, we're wandering, once again. Myself, Abe, the Walrus and it's steer.
Sometimes I wonder if the sun has finally got to me.
The doctor wrapped his flippers around the Brahmin. He had never truly been separated from her since he came across her as a starving calf. The thought of actually losing her was too much to bare. He had never been happier in his life than when the reporter reunited the two.
Now he was travelling along with his two companions, slowly trekking their way through the darkness. Crawver was checking through his packs to see just what medical supplies he had access to. The reporter seemed very suspicious when the walrus said he was a doctor, so he was going to prove him wrong. Not just for the challenge, but also because he felt he had a genuine debt to the pair.
After rummaging through all his packs, he had lost a fair few caps, and some of his more ubiquitous medical apparatus, but nothing too vital. Clearly the militia didn't know what to do with an endoscope, or a orthodolyoptros. They would have been hard to replace. Stimpacks however were common, and it wasn't like he was running low anyway.
His two new companions weren't overly talkative. Actually, one didn't seem to want to talk to him because he thought he wasn't real, and the other one made no sense. Crawver couldn't work out why, if Abe really did think him a catfish, why a catfish would be capable of understanding an agreement of trust, or would even bother.
They eventually found shelter for the night, little more than an empty cave. It took a good few hours to reach it, even with Abes' improved speed due to the painkillers. After a short meal, they all settled down to sleep. All but the walrus.
He knew he should ask, he knew he was overstepping a boundary, but he slipped some sedatives into Abes food while they ate. Once they were both asleep, he quickly prepared a small operating area, and dragged the old man to it as carefully as he could. Considering he was a walrus with flipperhands, it wasn't as smooth as he would have liked.
He turned on the small light he had, and pulled up some of his tools. With precision far beyond a creature like himself should have, he made an incision into the lame leg. After four hours of surgery, three bloodpacks, two super-stims and a metal rod, the doctor finally sewed up the leg, wrapping it in medical sheets and strapping a leg cast around it.
The leg was in terrible shape, and he did what he could. The operation wasn't as smooth as he would have liked it to be, and Abe did lose a lot of blood which Crawver had to react fast just to make sure he didn't go into shock, but he was happy with the result. He was certain that after a few days rest, he wouldn't even need the crutch. Would probably still walk with a limp for the rest of his life, but it's an improvement none the less. Crawver finally rested his head down, having his last thoughts for the day.
'Just have to hope the young one doesn't jump to conclusions.'
Number One waited for Barry to finish talking first before chiming in.
"I...should point out that we DO have some individuals. They aren't superheroes like you still. They're... Ah, what's the term? Badass Normals. The Fallout Sector gains the right to be known by name because they've no fear of their identity being known. Now then-"
"Sir! A report from the field!"
The red-and-black powersuit looked at the interrupting soldier, not pleased at all. This was FUN and he was breaking flow!
"I'm a little busy here, you know. What is this?"
He looked at it, and then he turned it over and looked at it upside-down. This was due to the picture included.
"Soldier, why does that Super Mutant have tendrils?"
"We dunno, sir. Someone's doing weird shit over there."
"This is serious, and requires appropriate action. Send in Bob."
EVERYONE within earshot of that stopped what they were doing and glared.
"Bob, sir? You want it in that many pieces?"
True enough, so the call was made to get Bob over here. Number One turned back to Barry now.
"I'm afraid I've taken too much time away from the work. Pressures of leadership and all that. You may get a ride back with FalloutBob."
As if on a cue, an Enclave hovercraft - an armored tankish machine with powerful engines, plasma turrets, and so on - came in and opened up to reveal a powersuited man with glowing-orange highlights on his black suit and...uhh...was that a Powered Claymore on his back? Nice.
FalloutBob: You rang, boss-man?
Yes, he pulled out his sniper rifle. From this vantage point, he could hit just about anything, even if Sully fled. FalloutDavid loaded up, took aim, and...vanished! Oh shit. He was gonna really play god on this one, but not a merciful god. A smite-happy god. He even let out a "Mwa ha ha ha haaa!" type of villain laugh as he opened fire, almost not trying, but definitely putting it all scary-close to terrify the man. Sully would have to DO something to put this guy off. The Republic of Dave was too far from anything to use as cover from this guy...except...oh god no. No, that was suicide. Would he even make it if he tried? And if he did...what would happen if this soldier braved the Deathclaws anyway?
Uhhh, no Cass. He's dead. He's very dead. That there mutant's head was so badly gibbed that we officially award you the perk, Bloody Mess. Where you go from here is up to you, since your job's finished and the mutant's quite dead.
B-34661 - FAILURE
B-23232 - FAILURE
"Aaaaarrrggghhh!! Dammit, I thought I had it by now! Why won't you just go with the flow already?!?!"
The Raiders were of an unfamiliar type, firing away at the mutant and getting increasingly agitated by the measure in which he was not dying. The mutant saw the light in his eye and went for it, though blinded by it. He still managed to dodge bullets and seemed to gloat about it...right up until he bonked himself into the big rock. The car stopped and one of the raiders shouted.
They all got out and approached the four-legged mutant, now running in circles on the ground.
Damn, that was a helluva thing! We almost lost the walrus-doc and his faithful companion, and then our moonshine extraordinaire would have to go back to talking to himself (we hope). How these two became traveling companions was...well...completely nutzo, but fortunately this was the place for it. Well, where they were off to for now was up to them. However...it should be noted that appearing over a distant hill...was a red glow...that moved!
Morgan was rather pleased by this turn of events. William was such a trusted man and Dudley appeared both decent of character and even pleasant to deal with. It was, of course, HIGHLY dangerous...as he'd explained. The issue was very VERY simple, really. The Enclave being back in full swing, maybe even swinging faster than ever before, they had to be...dealt with. And in order to do that effectively, they would need information of the useful or even confidential kind. And how does one go about getting information like that? Infiltration. Get into the Enclave somehow and find out stuff, important findings on how to deal with them and what weaknesses their technology had. There must be something...
Morgan: May I assume then, that since neither of you has left in a fit, we may consider you up for the job? I will not ask how. Only that it is done, for us ghouls will surely never survive as long as the Enclave is in operation.
"You can prevent another Moriarty here."
This little speech from Frank only served to annoy for the moment, so he was going to let the Steel man understand him a little better.
Lucas: I AM thinking of my son here. Maybe you think you know something, but the long and the short of it is that I need to protect Megaton, and so if a man wants to start selling lasers here to the people that live here... Well, you may notice we don't exactly let raiders in here. Deputy Weld knows right off who's in and who's out. There is a plan in mind, boy. Don't think I won't do anything if I find raiders packing energy all of a sudden. In the meantime, it'll be good to arm the wastelanders against the wasteland.
No one stopped Lucy from coming into Megaton with Vikki. If Sheriff Simms wanted to hear about the 'Doc' business with the mutants, then that was that. But what made THIS...we dunno. Something weird, or someone... They took it in and set it down onto a table for Moira to see and hopefully get some answers and figure out what's wrong here.
"I'm gonna guess the off part is the extra arm coming out of the gut."
Moira: To say nothing of all the other hands. What else was he doing?
Lucas: Babbling and carrying on, and then he upended his stomach contents onto that man's car.
And we know that Marlon's not pleased by that. So, Moira began to give it a close examination when she noticed...
Moira: This mutant's degrading faster than any other I've had before me! Incredible...
Lucas: But...do we know anything?
Moira: It must have gone through excessive mutation. I don't mean just the usual super mutant business. I mean alot of radical changes or attempt at changes. I'd love to meet the machine that did this...
Massive mutations? Mutants going through more weird phases than they were allotted for? What was going on?
Rex peeked out from behind Brandon's legs. The four-legged mutant was still coming at them, as was the loud thing with the angry words. Rex stared for a few seconds, until the mutant ran head-long into a rock.
The angry sounding object stopped behind it.
Rex had a vague idea what mounting was. When he had gone through his turbulent puberty at age two, Old Master had said "Stop mounting me!" whenever Rex had tried to play during one of those heated moments he had. Something about "not a bitch" and "no puppies". Old Master had rambled a lot.
Applying this to the current situation, Rex concluded that the dirty men who were now piling out of the loud thing were all going to mount the mutant.
Rex couldn't help but wonder why they wanted to do this. Were they all two years old and have one of those moments where the heat suddenly rushed through their blood? It seemed like an odd thing to chase a mutant over. Rex had just used a rock at the time if needed.
Rex noticed Brandon running towards the mutant and men. Did he intend to mount the mutant as well?
Immensely puzzled, Rex trotted after Brandon.
Lucy strolled, or rather grudgingly walked with the extra burden of a ghoul over one shoulder and a duffel bag full of guns over the other.
"When did I become the community brahmin?" She muttered as she walked down the slope that lead to Doc Church.
Lucy glanced at the men hauling the corpse of the deceased Duper Mutant over to Moira's. "I'm much more interested in THAT!" she whined.
Knocking on the door and entering the good Doctor's shack, she was greeted with his usual charm. "Oh look, Miss Black, here to complain about another mole-rat bite?"
"That was ONE time, Doc! You're never going to let me live that down, are you?" Lucy glared
Unphased by her attempt at intimidation "No. So suck it up, you big baby. So I'm assuming the unconscious ghoul is my patient today." he sighed "Bring him to the table in the back."
Lucy laid the ghoul on the table and backed away while the Doctor did his preliminary examinations "Recent trauma to the head, breathing and pulse is steady, body suggests he's malnourished and it's safe to say that he is fatigued. What happened, where did you find him?"
"I found him tied up in the bathroom at the Super-Duper Mart. Surrounded by jet, I think the raiders there were using him for entertainment. I cut him loose and he just went...batshit-bonkers. He was mumbling, his behaviour was unpredictable and when he got physical...I lightly bonked him on the head."
"This is no bonk on the head, Lucy" he said while raising an eyebrow in the process.
"He seemed like a danger to himself and others, I was ensuring his safety." Lucy rationalized
"Mmhmm, your solution to most problems are to either hit it in the head or shoot it in the head. Anyway, I'm going to have to keep him overnight for observation, get his wounds cleaned up and I'll let you know when he's awake. This is gonna cost you." He said expectantly
"What? Who was the one who fixed the leaky pipes, the lock on your door and made sure your equipment was still running, in my spare time,by the way?"
"Alright! You're giving me a headache! This is the last favour, understand me?" he replied "Where will you be staying?"
"Yeah yeah. Probably at Moira's, if she has that spare mattress and hopefully an extra one for my friend here."
"Fine. Now get out of here before I reconsider making you pay for this." he barked
Lucy mockingly bowed "And a good day to you too, sir...May your evening be filled with-" her sentence was cut short when she dodged a thrown bone-saw and ducked out of the shack.
"Lovely man, never fails to impress those with his dashing charm" Lucy commented to Vikki.
Pointing up and speaking to Vikki "Let's go up to the Craterside Supply, I mentioned Moira Brown to you, hopefully she'll still take me in and if I give her two bottlecap mines, she'll probably take you in as well...just don't volunteer for ANY experiments."
"Plus I really want to see what's up with that 'Duper Mutant' thingy" she grew a little enthusiastic, feeling considerably lighter, they both made their way up to the Craterside Supply, entering through the door to discover Moira, Frank, the unknown laser weapon guy and Lucas Simms all huddled around the corpse.
"Dangerous? When you said dangerous I expected guns, bullets, explosions and confusion. Much like the time you employed me to take down that Robobrain that thought all Ghouls were zombies and the apocalypse had come. This is....... ok fine I'm in. I also want to know what the Enclave is up to."
William paused and chose his next words carefully, when he spoke he did so in a quieter voice, "How are we going to do this? We could track them back to their base, those Vertibirds they fly must land somewhere. Somebody must know where they're coming from and where they're going. The Brotherhood of Steel perhaps. They might have been tracking the Enclave back to their base. We could find it and try to sneak in.
Alternatively we get ourselves noticed by the Enclave so they want to recruit us. That would get us into their base easily enough, but getting access to the information and getting out would be difficult." William looked at Dudley and finished with: "What do you think about all this?"
Frank was very displeased, when suddenly he saw some friendly faces.
"Lucy, I'm going out for a bit. Buy some flamer fuel from Moira when she stops being busy with the mutant, and inform me if anything happens."
Frank took one of the bags of loot, barged out the door, and trudged into Moriarty's.
Frank wrote a note, and sealed it.
"Ah, Billy Creel, I need you to do me a favor! If I'm not around, I need you to pass this on to any trade caravans that come by."
Frank gave Billy 50 caps as added incentive.
Frank then headed out to the entrance and hoped a caravan would be there so he could just tell them in person.
It was a mere second before Frank noticed Lucy and Vikki slip through the door. Lucy had never seen his face, but she could tell by the way he held himself and how he walked that something was off. Something seemed to have him on edge.
"Lucy, I'm going out for a bit. Buy some flamer fuel from Moira when she stops being busy with the mutant, and inform me if anything happens." he acknowledged her as she handed him her bag with the guns inside. "I got it covered. I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything. Our ghoul is staying overnight by Doc Church." she replied.
As he barged through the door, Lucy leaned out quickly so that she could call after him "Hey, come find me if you need anything, ok? Plus I want to talk to you later if you have a chance." her voice was layered with concern. Hoping he noticed that it was genuine concern.
Lucy closed the door behind her and gave a small smile towards Vikki.
Moira, Lucas and laser-guy all seemed be focused on the corpse. Not really saying anything. Moira started to look like her mind was melting when she came to too many conclusions.
That's when Lucy decided to join them, giving the two men a polite nod and Moira a small smile before she was recognized and received a hug.
Lucy fished in the bag Vikki was carrying and pulled out two bottlecap mines, put them behind her back and flashed a grin at Moira "I have a surprise for you...Two unarmed reasonably sized hot potatoes! I hate to do this, but I hope these will persuade you to let me and my friend here, stay a night or two...Pleeeease!"
"We also have some trading to do and I'll even throw in the possibility of trying out one of your experiments...maybe." Lucy pleaded and tried to look downright cute, while she had a combat knife and a large Gauss Rifle strapped to her legs.
"Oh don't look at me like that! Of course you two can stay, I've started to collect mattresses...one of them is covered in Deathclaw manure, I want to test whether it has any rejuvenating effects on the skin. So uhh, choose the mattresses that aren't smelling like doo-dee."
Slightly grossed out by that caveat of information, she thanked her regardless. Apologizing to Simms for interrupting. They went back to examining the corpse.
She started speaking to Simms "I'm pretty sure you recognized the sound, but it was me that blew this things head to hell...before our Brotherhood friend could bash its head in, that is." "The thing was convulsing and sprouting a limb. While that is damn weird in its own right, what concerned me is how resilient it was."
Lucy smiled reassuringly at Vikki before turning back to the others
"As far as the uncontrollable and frenzied super mutants go, I don't like where this is going if there are more like this."
Lucy stopped and addressed the Sheriff exclusively "My friend over there, Vikki, is a semi-mutant, caught up in some experiment. She's not violent, she saved my life and I would gladly fight by her side if she ever needed me. I'm vouching on her behalf, Sheriff."
She smiled as Simms gave her an understanding nod, he was never much for words with her, but he was always kind since he knew about what happened to Springvale.
"I can vouch for my Brotherhood friend as well, he's not an ordinary meat-head put into power armour and made to believe some religious dogma. He saved my life, he's honorable, understanding and I can tell he wants what's best for those around him, even if he doesn't possess the charisma to say so." she hoped Simms would take this to heart. He nodded, his expression very much clouded but she noticed he had turned his attention back to the corpse. This really was concerning him, it's understandable though."
"Moira, when you get the chance, I'm gonna need some flamer fuel, any ammo for my Gauss Rifle and some stimpacks. My friend, Vikki, may also want something. I believe our discount extends to both of us since we retrieved the mines for you." She said, giving a small wink at Vikki to play along. "We have plenty to trade and enough caps if needed."
Lucy gave her goodbyes in the meantime and headed upstairs, clearly noticing the stacked mattresses and one covered in what was probably shit laying separate from the others. Setting up two mattresses for Vikki and herself, she told Vikki she was going outside for a bit.
Lucy stopped by the bathroom, splashed her face with water and cleaned the dirt off her leather armour. Redoing her absurd pigtails, she felt a little more clean and refreshed.
Headed outside and leaned over the railings, she made a deep sigh and closed her eyes, she was a little drained.
Frank hated it when he was right about these things.
Frank barged out of Megaton's main gate hoping to see a caravan.
And Frank was always right about these things.
Frank saw something that displeased him. Instead of a trade caravan, he saw the thing he third least wanted to see; the Brotherhood.
(First least wanted was an Enclave platoon here to take over, second least wanted were the Outcasts here to take the Van Graff's stock, and kill everyone who interfered.)
[Perception]There were five of them in plain sight, probably more in recon armor scouting the area. The ones in front of him were all wearing T-45Ds, One armed with a Gat. Laser, one with a super sledge, two with plasma rifles, and the one in the front had a very tricked-out looking laser rifle with a odd looking scope.
That scope was of Frank's design, specially made from a camera, a sensor module and scrap electronics, it allowed you to see down the scope through the eyepiece in the helmet so you didn't need to poke your head out of cover to aim. He had only made those for one person.
Suddenly Frank heard a familiar (If somewhat muffled) voice.
"Francine is that you?!"
It was Frank's older sister; Danielle.
"Danny Boy? What're you doing here?!"
"Here on orders from Elder Lyons, she says that we got'sa investigate rumors of a Van Graff setting up shop. If he is here, we oust him. 'Sides; we gotta protect this place if the Outcasts or Enclave start shooting it up to claim his stock. Until the sitch' is handled, no water caravans will be coming to Megaton."
"I have bad news for you there is a Van Graff here, and the sheriff wants to keep it that way."
Since Frank hated being right about these things, and was always right about these things, it left him a very unhappy person.
"You really should come back to the Brotherhood, I know you were upset when Lyons dumped you upon becoming elder, but you're taking it a bit far."
This wasn't good news. "Wonderful. Just goddamn peachy. The Enclave on the march again and now you're telling us that someone's out there playing science kook making the muties meaner?"
And Frank had left the building. Marlon was thinking of his car and its cargo and had a horrible suspicion about where the knight might have slunk off to.
"I'll be right back. Gonna go check the damage to the car." With that, he headed back outside....just in time to see Frank and co. hanging around.
"Brilliant. More of you." He crossed his arms and leaned against the car. "Seriously, what does a guy have to do to get a fair go around here before all the kings horses ride in screamin' blue murder cos of a name?"
A swift rifle butt to the stomach dropped Lucy to her knees, almost vomiting from the impact. Eyes watering with tears and the only expression she could make was that of breathless scream. She peered up through her teary vision to see her father held up into the air, choked with a single hand.
"YOU WON'T TELL US WHERE YOU GOT THESE WEAPONS OLD MAN?! HAVE IT YOUR WAY!"
The blood hit Lucy's face as the rumble of the Ripper carved into her father's stomach, his voice splitting with agonizing pain while his body shook violently. She tried to scream, but her recently winded stomach would not allow her permission as she silently stared in horror. After a few moments, her father's body was dropped in front of her.
She crawled and hugged her father's lifeless frame, tears streaming down her face.
"NO! DADDY! PLEASE WAKE UP!!!"
Her voice was broken, but she managed to scream at the black-armored murderers, specifically at the one with orange highlights to his armored frame, still wielding the bloodied Ripper in his hand.
"I'll KILL YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID TO MY DADDY!"
She clawed her way up and pounded on the armor with her fists, before being met with a swift kick to the stomach and a powered stomp to her leg, shattering bone. She nearly passed out had she not been painfully injected with two stimpacks and med-x. This process was repeated till she was limp and unable to keep consciousness.
Lucy realized she had her head in her hands while she was violently shaking. This is why she never liked to let her mind wander or, god forbid, fall asleep for too long. She hastily wiped the tears away, but instead of being sad, she was seething with anger.
"The Enclave" she thought
"I need some fucking answers and heaven help whoever gets in my way" she growled out loud
Taking a few moments to barely contain herself, she walked back into Craterside Supply, ready to trade with Moira for the items she requested.
Sure enough, 2 tanks of flamer fuel, enough ammo to fill up her backpack twice and 4 stimpacks were waiting on the counter. Lucy scrounged up the 360 caps, the remaining bottlecap mine, the ammo for the sawed-off, hunting rifle and the rounds for the 10mm.
This seemed like a fair exchange, when Lucy only wanted half the Gauss ammo and factoring in the discount.
"Thanks Moira...I don't suppose you could do something about my armor? I can't move onto metal, since I want to stay agile, but could you reinforce it, plate it or something?" she asked
"Sure, I love to tinker, I'm kinda lost with our jolly dead giant over there and tinkering usually helps me think when I'm stuck. I'm going to have to need your armor though, but you can borrow one of my dresses in my room" she cheerfully added
Even if she was in a sour mood, she couldn't help but grimace at the thought of Moira's absurd dress sense. She went upstairs, squirmed out of the tight leather and put on a black dress with blue polka-dots on them.
"Please make this quick" she grimaced as she looked at her slender and pale frame in the ridiculous clothing. Unsheathing her weapons and slinging her backpack across her back, she laid her armor on the table and Moira got to work.
Lucy went upstairs. Packing her ammo and stimpacks into her backpack and hauling the canisters for Frank upstairs, she plopped herself on a mattress.
She heard Doc Church's voice downstairs, apparently Moira asked the Doctor for a second opinion on the body while she worked on my armor.
The blue glowing mirelurk charged at Michael, running through a hail of bullets, only ceasing it's assault when it slumped over him dead. He heaved the glowing crab mutant off him and using his knife to cut at the softer parts of the exoskeleton, he gathered up some of it meat. During his stay at Whilems Wharf, he had been treated to some delicious mirelurk cake, he didn't know the recipe, nor did he think he could cook something as good as those cakes, but food was food. He quickly tried some of the meat, it tasted...fizzy?
"What is that?" He asked the Mute forgetting all he could answer were yes or no questions.
Unable to respond he simply shook his head in response.
He got off Brahmin and motioned to the Mute to stay close, he could hear more of those things further down the subway. They weren't smart, the last one had just ran into a storm of bullets without a backwards glance, but numbers made up for stupidity.
The Mute had drawn out his weapon, it was a hunting rifle. Simple and reliable, ammo was easy to come by in the wastes as well. It could pack a punch if you knew how to use it, Michael could tell the Mute was experienced with it, the way he dropped his stance so the recoil wouldn't affect his aim and his fingers were ready near the bolt to reload.
As they went further into the subway the sound of the Mirelurks clambering over the abandoned tracks got closer and closer until a door blocked them from their quarry. They braced themselves against it and slowly turned the handle until he heard the click of it unlocking. He opened it slowly, hoping they might have a surprise advantage for what awaited them inside.
"I left because that bitch wanted us to start murdering our family over a petty squabble, not because we broke up!"
Frank saw the Van Graff step out of the gate.
"Brilliant. More of you."
Frank winced in anticipation of the inevitable hail of energy that would soon obliterate this asshole.
He crossed his arms and leaned against the car.
Frank was surprised to not hear the crackle of energy weapons turning a man into a pile of ash or goo.
"Seriously, what does a guy have to do to get a fair go around here before all the kings horses ride in screamin' blue murder cos of a name?"
"Sir, we're here to ask you to leave. We believe the Outcasts will come to take your stock, and your continued presence is a danger to this town. If you leave now, we will not be forced to confiscate your stock, and attack you if you interfere."
This was going to end badly.
Well this was a bigger problem and no mistake. One brotherhood goon was nothing he hadn't killed before. 2 would be hard, but doable if there was enough cover and the terrain was in his favour. Anything above that was a crapshoot and though unpleasant he might be, he certainly wasn't stupid. This would require much more delicate handling.
"Weeeell. You're asking nicer than your pal here. All he's given me are threats an' insults."
He frowned, apparently thoughtful for a moment.
"Let's talk about this a moment yeah? I'm a reasonable guy. First up, correct me if I get anything wrong yeah, I'm working on what I've heard here and there and stuff yelled at me by Mr. Angryarmor over here."
Marlon paced back and forth a little and leaned against the car again. "Alright first off, who's in charge here? The sheriff wants me to stay, you lot want me to go. The sheriff seems to be in charge to me, but Grumpty over there was yelling something about you lot cutting off water to the town if Simms let me stay."
"So these Outcast types. Let me see if I follow this right. They're pretty much the same as the brotherhood out west? The ones that are basically just tech-thief raiders slowly digging themselves into the grave by being, y'know tech-thief raiders, while you lot have the name but are..what? The guys with the water? Self-proclaimed regional government or something? That it? Just a name linking you to the crazies out west?" He paused. "Kind of the same sort of thing with me and my siblings in Vegas. Gloria did shit shady and it bit her in the arse. I mean hey, I love my family just as much as anyone else, but I'm doin' my dealings legit. Less chance of that kind of shit happening. 'Sides, if I was gonna do things Gloria's way, I'd have been selling to raiders on the way here, but my stock's still intact. Kind of like you lot in that respect. Name's the same, but it's less legit out west. I mean, it seems like you're worried cos of my name, but it doesn't seem real bright to try and stop someone from dealing to the wrong people by driving them out of all the legit markets. I mean, hell a guys gotta eat. I'm just doing what I'm good at."
"The thing that I find odd about these Outcasts though, is that if they're anything like the brotherhood out west, like you say they are, they're probably sitting on a nest of tech that they're not real inclined to leave alone, so I'm a little skeptical that they'd have that many guys they'd let leave the nest, just in case people tried taking their stuff. Or do they have more numbers than that? Haven't been as wiped out as the nutters out west?"
He seemed about done at this point, but he had one last thing to add. "Here's my big concern though. Enclave's on the move again I hear. You guys should know better than anyone that regular guns don't do much to power armor. Enclave, Outcasts, whoever. Without energy weapons, these guys don't have much hope of defending 'emselves against any large group of power armor guys. Alright, maybe the Outcasts won't swing by if I leave. Fair 'nough. What about the Enclave though. I betcha they'll hit town eventually regardless...so the way I figure, you're making people choose between water and defence."
He shrugged. "But hey, if that's the way it's gonna be, I don't have a death wish. I don't LIKE it, but I'll play along. You better discuss that with the sheriff though. If he sees it your way, fair enough. I'm gone. But I'm thinking you really might wanna reconsider."
"Ho-ly shitnuggets" Lucy murmured when she caught sight of her new leather armor being held up by Moira with a big grin on her face.
The leather armor had steel plating for shoulder pads, steel knee, wrist and elbow guards. The leather itself had been reinforced with lighter but more layers of dark leather, specifically covering the torso, stomach, sides and back. Pockets were included on the sides and instead of having any straps, 5 pouches on the left were fitted for one stimpack per pouch, 2 pouches were included on the left side, 1 for a few extra rounds of ammo for a quick reload and one to holster her combat knife. Lastly, the armor ended with studded gloves, one nasty looking stud for each knuckle.
"Moira..." she was in love with the armor leftover by her father, but this gave it life, this made it hers
"Go go go! Try it on!" Moira squealed
Lucy only cared for the beautiful armor piece before her, she stripped out of her clothes right there and she squeezed into it, fastened the underlying straps and tested her range of motion. It hardly felt any heavier and her movement felt uninhibited. "H-How?" Lucy stammered.
"Oh that? That's nothing, I just removed a few broken bits and added a few stronger bits...try putting your rifle on your back."
"Huh?" That's right, no leg strap, where was she going to put her Gauss Rifle. She ran upstairs to fetch it, put it on her back sheepishly and it stuck there, ready for an easy draw.
"I weaved a few magnets connected to the smaller electronics of a sensor module throughout the leather on your back. Now your rifle will just stick to your back!" Moira beamed "Now close your eyes"
Lucy did just that and felt a light thud against her stomach, she opened her eyes to see Moira brandishing a Lead pipe "I barely felt that!" she exclaimed
"Yep, multiple lighter layers of leather all along your torso and back. Your limbs are mostly protected by the steel guards in the major area's" "And I only want one thing from you...a favor"
"Go ahead!" Lucy was too bewildered at the sheer devastating look and feel her armor had
"I want to study your yellow friend" she smiled earnestly
"No experiments, right? Just a look and maybe a poke or prod here or there?" Lucy raised her eyebrow
"Well, I would be lying if I said I wasn't curious, but I'm sure there's a link in their DNA, she has a few visual markers that are slightly similar to our dead giant over there. Although she's not dead, so she would seem like a survivor or the prototype model." Moira was mumbling to herself, but it kinda made sense, she just didn't think to connect the dots.
Lucy called out to Vikki, apology written in her eyes already "I think you may be able to help out down here with the duper mutant!"
Lucy turned to Moira and hugged her meaningfully "Thank you so much!"
Moira just whispered to her "I know how important this is to you and your father"
"Weeeell. You're asking nicer than your pal here. All he's given me are threats an' insults."
"Lots of insults, of all flavors! Some about his deformity, some references to lions in the media, some references to his inbred redneck family, and some about his mother's well-documented promiscuity! The ones about his mother are my personal favorite."
Frank chuckled to himself about all the jokes he could have made about momma Van Graff being a colossal whore.
"Franci- He's not with us, left when we started fighting the Outcasts seriously instead of just avoiding each other and taking occasional potshots."
"I was just playing on your fear of the Brotherhood, it was funny to watch you squirm, get all flustered, and get all defensive about your skank-ho mother. By the way, Danny boy, I got some schematics for ya!"
Frank pulled out a holotape from a slot on his armor and gave it to Danielle.
Danielle was amused by Frank's behavior. It seemed her little brother hadn't changed a bit since his self-imposed exile.
"Sir, if what you say is genuine, then you will surrender to us, a member will take your stock and sell it on your behalf, a token defense force will remain here, water caravans will resume coming here, and you will be bound and taken before our elder. Her decision will decide the fate of you and your business.