Fallout: Wild Horses (Started, Open)

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The Joe cave
"You do what now?"

"It's a hue-man phrase. It means I'm not stupid enough to believe your disingenuous nonsense."
Joe was getting sick of Martin having a gun pointed at him.
[Agility]Joe dove to the side so if Martin fired out of surprise at Joe's sudden movement he'd find himself hitting nothing but air.
[Guns 85/80, Cowboy, Gunslinger, Peace Through Violence]As Joe leaped through the air, he shot Martin's rifle out of his hands.
"And here I thought we were friends."
[NCR]"You're from the Boneyard, you should know better than to mess with a Veteran Ranger. We chew nails and spit napalm." (Or so the saying goes)

Wyoming Wasteland - Somewhere

"The Khans were quicker on the uptake, Ranger. For their troubles, I'm going to leave them alone. You should be shot, but I'm not the one who gets to decide."

It looked at Martin, it gave a look that he was guessing conveyed that Joe was at his mercy.
The deathclaw then looked at the scientist and his cyborg.

"You obviously have brain-power and skill. The Ranger thinks me a simpleton. Would you care to educate a budding scholar?"

Martin kept his rifle's aim on Joe.

I can't kill a man in good conscience for being stupid.
He could be killed for threatening innocents.
The deathclaw may not be innocent.
He'll come back with more to exterminate sentients.
A new sentient species.
Sentient Deathclaws.
They could be a threat.
They might be worth a gamble.

Then Joe started diving to the side, and shot at the rifle.
Martin dropped it as he realized what was happening.
[Khan Trick] As Joe was talking, Martin flung sand at his eyes.
Then he charged into the man, intending to knock the man on his back, then out.

Outskirts of New Wheatland

Jacob roused from his slumber to the sight of sunlight drifting through the gaps in the tree branches above. The caravan had reached the sparse forest on the outside of New Wheatland's perimeter the day before. With little chance to rest since Fair Wanderings, Jose let the schedule slip a bit for the sake of everyone recovering their strength.

Lucky for Jacob, as the carriages sent back to Cheyton with the survivors had returned, with bad news from the city. Specifically, the letter from June kept the man up for a few hours, telling of the sorry tale of the Khans and the mysterious goings-on within his clinic.

"You ready to move?" An approaching Jose snapped Jacob out of his brooding, gesturing over to show that the caravan was packing up. "Got about an hour ahead of us before we get to the New Wheatland perimeter, can't afford to waste much more time."

"All right, I'm up, I'm up. The doctor picked himself off the ground and brushed the dust off his clothes. "We waiting till we get to town for lunch?"

With a nod from Jose confirming his suspicions, Jacob reached for his canteen and took a big gulp.

Rabbit and Legion apparently Headquarters

"This where you thought you'd be a year ago? I always thought I'd be in a grave by now... Maybe my skull on a codpiece for some primitive tribal's belt." The Legionnaire with a Death wish said as he took off his glasses and rubbed them on his coat.

Looking over at Tessa and knowing her affiliation with the Followers and knowing the sort of reaction that her Rabid Rabbit might have when faced with a Legionnaire wearing the outfit of an organization that the Thief greatly admired, Victoria interceded, tossing the Legionnaire an over sized and relatively clean shirt from the pile of clothing that Tessa had acquired while she was on her disguise binge.

"Better put that on before my dear Tessa puts a blade through yous spectacles, Legionnaire." The Long Range Undertaker said as squeezed Tessa's hand reassuringly, continuing the previous line of conversation without waiting to see if the Plus Sized Member of Caesar's Army would comply or not.

"No, I didn't think that I would be in Cheyton one year ago, however, I'm not going to say that I am unhappy with my posting." Vicky said as she gave the woman sitting next to her a meaningful glance.

"Truth be told, I was expecting my Uncle's former posting in the D.C. area, however it seems that the area has become rather dissatisfied with those bearing my family name." She continued started swirling the violently green liquor in the clear glass, the absence of color in the Undertaker's wardrobe and skin giving the Absinthe the illusion of being even more violently green than it truly was.

"But not as much as the Khans seem to dislike 'members' of your 'oraganization.'" The Pale Woman said, pointing out that members of the Legion were as much a member of that group as much as slaves were members to The Pitt.

"But you will have my gratitude for discontinuing your propaganda. Tell me, Legionnaire, what is your goal in Cheyton. Surely you're not going to kill off all the Chem Dealers and continue your long march towards oblivion." The Undertaker probed before thinking that now might be an opportune time to make a sale while she was talking to someone who wasn't too popular around these parts.

"Speaking of graves, have you considered how you would like your remains to be handled after you soul has been sent to its eternal resting place? For the paltry sum of Two Hundred and Two caps, I can ensure that your face doesn't become some sort of sex mask for a band of Chem Junkies into BDSM."

Rabbit Den

"Better put that on before my dear Tessa puts a blade through yous spectacles, Legionnaire."

"Is this a blouse?" A size too small, too. He looked between his comfortable, fitting coat given to him by his father, or the thing that promised not-death. He sighed, "Meet ya half way." He took off his coat, and threw that and the shirt on the ground next to him. A brownish T shirt was underneath, so at least he wasn't shirtless. Hopefully inoffensive enough.

"But not as much as the Khans seem to dislike 'members' of your 'organization.'"

"We aren't known for charm. Apparently the Legion out-assholed the Khans at Laramie. Good to know Lanius is still a Monster, I suppose."

"But you will have my gratitude for discontinuing your propaganda. Tell me, Legionnaire, what is your goal in Cheyton. Surely you're not going to kill off all the Chem Dealers and continue your long march towards oblivion."

"That was the plan, yes. Hit them hard, hit them fast, and leave while the people are still in shock that the Legion'd help people. Mars knows that thought seems to be bothering you."

"Speaking of graves, have you considered how you would like your remains to be handled after you soul has been sent to its eternal resting place? For the paltry sum of Two Hundred and Two caps, I can ensure that your face doesn't become some sort of sex mask for a band of Chem Junkies into BDSM."

"Probably just going to leave my body where it lies, maybe burn it if it's inconvenient. Probably pass on my dads coat to some youngster I like enough, speaking of can I put that back on? I'm cold." Treb shrugged, and put his glasses back on.

Mcgrath didn't have it in him to kill a man like this. He would kill a man who had started a conflict but a flat out execution was a fair bit above his pay grade. He knew what he was going to do. Break this cretin's face in with the his gun. Screw him up, not end him. Then Joe proved to be even less intelligent than he had just been told he was. He knocked Martins gun out of his hand and dropped an aweful one liner. Booker then quickly scrambled for his plasma shotgun. He picked it back up and pumped it. Looking up he saw the ranger was now blinded if only for a moment. He aimed it saying, "Hey moron, this is a shotgun that releases hot plasma. If I fire it in your general direction at this range your going get hit by some of it. Sure, if you survive im SOL but there is a deathclaw who has a grudge, and that guy over there whose name I have missed." However it appeared Martin was about to knock this guy on his ass anyway.

New Wheatland, Southeast Approach

It was beautiful. A pool of green in a sea of grey and brown. An emerald in the rough. Just as Julius had described it.

Kaiden had never seen living trees before, not that he remembered anyway. He found himself stopping once New Wheatland came into view and just admiring the sight. It took him a while to snap out of his half hour gaze before continuing on. Now his mind was focused again he could think. A place as unusual as this was sure to attract unusual people, or things. The growth would make it hard to see, especially smaller critters, and Kaiden knew that even a Radroach could be dangerous if it caught you off guard. His dog Abel stayed close to his side, ears up and pointed forward, scanning the area for any immediate threat.

Walking was a little tougher too, shoving branches and wading through grass grew increasingly tiresome, Abel was able to follow Kaidens path however and found it much easier. Kaiden looked around for a pathway, when he saw a tree, a tree bearing fruit. It was a red, spherical piece of fruit, hanging from a branch by a tiny stalk. Kaiden felt his mouth water at the sight, and before he knew it he had plucked one of the fruits, and had it right in front of his open, watering mouth when Abel growled at him. He snapped out of his food trance and rational thought took over. Kaiden had no idea what he was holding, it could have been poisonous. Deciding it for the best he threw the fruit away. 'Thank you Abel' he praised his companion, patting him on the head. 'Let us continue, hopefully we will find a clearing to catch our bearings soon.

The Rabbit Household

To say that the Plasma Bunny was quite a bit pissed over the fact that that Butthead Ulysses was using her Older and Rounder Sister as a pair of remote speakers for his bad Riddler impression would have been an understatement as Mercy chucked herself onto Tessa's bad, sitting up straight as she considered how to combat the Human Hoover Vac's intrusions on what would have been nice days.

"God I hate him as much as a Death Claw hates scratching its own butt!" Mer-Mer exclaimed as she hopped off the bed to start pacing, deciding that she couldn't think properly while sitting still.

"I wish I knew more about how it was that jerky-jerk was hijacking your systems! But I'm sure that whatever allows him to do it is erasing the logs as soon as he completes his transmissions!" the Analytical Rabbit muttered as she continued pacing before sitting back down.

"Sissy V? Is there anything that you can tell me about how you feel just prior to the hijacking? Do you notice anything wrong? Do you feel light headed or woozy or anything?" The Youngest Rabbit sister asked, perhaps not remembering who it was she was talking to.

"Umm..." the iBunny began a bit apprehensive, as if she didn't quite know how to answer her little sister's question... or still wasn't used to people worrying about her more than they would say, a spanner, "I know exactly how he does it. There are a set of command phrases hardwired into... whatever that device is inside me. I... wouldn't recommend trying to remove it. The repair drones in The Divide attached it to my databanks and my core processor... my brain in other words."

Vera hovered closer to her little sister, then 'sat' down next to the Brilliant Bunny before going on.

"I umm..." she stammered, "I still know what's going on but... it's like I'm locked in a room several miles away, and I'm just running through a maze trying to get out again. Its... like whatever I want is irrelevant, and I just become a puppet for that man to twist around. The only lucky break I've had so far is that he only seems to know how to use me as his personal two-way radio, or well... how to make me set off nukes in The Divide. Well... that's what its like when he's taken me over."

The little eyebot shook in her spot on the bed, as though shivering; the old mattress squeaked and bounced loudly before settling down again.

"Sorry," Vera said, her voice sounding more like the Brilliant Beautiful Bunny sitting next to her, "I... didn't mean to rock the boat there. Umm... as for how it feels while the hacking is going on. I... don't know if there's a good human analogue for it. But I do feel it, with every single circuit, wire, and transistor; starting with the most... sensitive ones and working its way through the rest of me in the space of a second... for you. For me... it feels like its going on for hours. My... 'heartbeat' is a lot faster than yours so... everything feels like it goes on a lot longer for me if I think about it too much. Anyway, the closest human experience I can think of that sounds similar to what it feels like when that man hacks me... well... its like when someone forces you to do something with them that... well... you really, really don't want to do. Something that you might freely give away to someone else... someone you cared about... and then some asshole comes along and takes it from you without any thought to what you wanted. But, that's probably wrong too. The experiences are probably still too different to be called true analogues of each other. I just have no idea how to really describe it."

Vera slowly flew out of the bed, and turned around to project her chosen image sitting on the bed next to Mercy. The hologram's bottom and legs clipped through the mattress at first, at least until Vera adjusted the projection's height a little. She had the hologram look Mercy directly in the eye. Vera experimented with the settings a little, and seemed to find one that made the hologram solid without it scorching anything. At least... the mattress didn't appear to be heating up any. Vera decided to risk it and had her projected mirage cup Mercy's left cheek.

"I'm sorry," she said, keeping the hologram's lips in sync as she spoke, "I wish I knew how to explain it better. But... I just know that simply blocking the transmission won't be enough."

The Plasma Bunny nodded in agreement as she toying with a screw driver that she kept in her dirty overalls. Whatever was allowing that dreadlocked sucker fish to take control of her Beloved Ball Bunny Sister needed to be taken out of commission, which was well nigh impossible since he would never just hand it over.

Hopping off the bed once more, the Bomber Bunny walked over to the scrap pile that she had been building ever since she had arrived in Cheyton and started shifting through parts rather aggressively, Vera having to dodge the occasional piece of scrap or sensor module as the Harried Hare tossed each crappy piece of crap to the side muttering why each piece was useless to her.

"The only way I'll know how it works is to monitor your systems before it happens and we can't just ask the piece of Brahmin leavings to take you over." Mercy said as she picked up a red and yellow pre-war device with alpha numeric keys and a small screen that she had only seen a few times previously.

"Speak and Spell?" The Ingenious Little Rabbit said to herself as she suddenly got an idea.

"Sissy V? How would you feel if I could read your mind?" The Dirty Dirt and Greese Covered Little Bunny asked cryptically.

Vera had the hologram walk over to Mercy and hug her close. Then, projecting her voice a little so that it sounded as though the hologram itself were whispering into Mercy's ear, she said, "If its you, Mer-Mer... sure. I trust you. You're... just... amazing. I love that look you get when you get a brilliant idea. Its so cute. But umm... I'd rather no one else know about this. I mean... I trust Tessa and Vicky as well. But I can't stand the thought of Markus or his minions finding out about this. They're Legion, and the first thing any Legionary does when he finds something like this... is to exploit it. So... yeah... just between us, yeah?"

And though the hologram could harmlessly interact with objects and people... Vera found herself wishing that Mercy's mad little dream of her being able to feel through the hologram were possible.

"Of course it'll be our little secret V." Mer-Mer said with an anxious grin as she started looking around the room to his her suddenly reddening face as she realized that she would be able to know what Vera was thinking and decided that the arrangement needed to be a bit more fair.

Opening the Speak and Spell, the Rapid Little Builder Bunny pulled out the text to vocalization board, giving the circuit board a cursory glance to ensure that it wasn't flawed in any way, shape or form as the last thing she wanted to do was give her Beloved PewPew Bunny sister the equivalent of a lobotomy.

Satisfied that the board was good, Mercy discarded the remainder of the old Speak and Spell and started collecting some other parts: two 2 way micro-transmitters, a set of headphones, a micro FMRI head band and a few electrical leads and laid them on the bed, speaking while she worked.

"Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a plasma bolt in my eye, V. I'll never let anyone know. Besides, I think that, well, I think that they'll be hesitant to abuse it anyways if anyone found out. I'm making it so that you can also read my thoughts, kind of. You won't be able to exactly know what I'm thinking but you should be able to know what I'm feeling." The Blathering Bunny said as she attached the FRMI head band to the headphones and the electrical leads, making sure that they fit snugly over her head and made contact with the correct positions where the emotional centers of her brain would be.

"It's only fair right?" The Blushing Bunny muttered as she continued her work, suddenly feeling self conscious about the fact that V would be able to know exactly what she was feeling when she was feeling it.

The little eyebot was quiet for several moments, as if having trouble processing that level of... commitment and, more to the point, caring from someone else.

"I guess... heh," Vera tried to make the seriousness of what was about to happen dissipate somewhat with a little nervous laughter, "This makes us... thought-sisters? Er... probably a better term to use. But... I... I don't know what to say Mer-Mer. No one has ever offered to help me as much as you have. I mean, do you know what you are risking here? If this goes wrong, and he hacks me... there's a chance the feedback could loop back to you and... I don't know what would happen really. At best, you'd experience severe, but temporary pain. At worst... could be just about anything... he might be able to 'hack' you through me, if that's even physically possible... or... when I get shoved aside... I might end up in your head... I mean... my personality matrix is just software... and I think I just went through just about every campy pulp sci-fi cliche in the book there. I'm sorry, I don't know what I was thinking there. A lot of that was pretty ridiculous, wasn't it?"

Vera tried to laugh a little, but it seemed to come out wrong somehow.

"Sorry," she said, "I'm just... this is just so new to me. Having someone like you Mercy. Someone as smart and beautiful and all-around wonderful as you... caring like you do. Its... incredible. Thank you. I promise to find some way to return the favor... somehow. I love you, Mer-Mer. You're the best thing that has ever happened to me. Hell, you're the best thing that's happened to this frame since The Courier fixed it all those years ago."

The Beaming Bunny continued to work diligently but not before she paused to give her sister a room brightening smile before pausing even longer as something in her brain snapped her towards the trail end of what her Vera had said.

"I - I love you too, Vera." Mercy said with a now awkward smile as her fingers started fumbling a bit, not noticeable to the human eye but to Vera's ever sharp optical sensors, the fumbling was highly noticeable. Clearing her throat for a moment, Mercy could only work in silence as her brain tried to digest its own emotions.

"V, besides Tessa, you've been the only one out here that's truly shown me any kindness but really I think that you're the only one that understands me." Mercy said sheepishly as she tried to get the damned 2 way micro transmitter mounted to the headband.

"You don't have to worry about the Jackhole hacking into my brain. It's perfectly safe for us to use, all it will do it tell me what's going on in your mind. It'll be especially important when he tunes in since it'll give me the conditions that I need to work out a counter measure." Mer-Mer said as she finally got the transmitter mounted.

"Besides, it wouldn't be so bad being stuck in my brain would it?" the Humorous Hare said with a slight giggle.

Vera joined in with the giggle, shitting off the hologram projector as it was starting to bug out (it was starting to shimmer a bit more than it should, and occasionally jumped into odd positions). The little eyebot floated close and gave Mercy a long and slow nuzzle.

"No it wouldn't," she said softly, "Being in your head would be a wonderful place to be... even if I were locked in there. You Brilliant little Bunny you!"

Vera nuzzled her little sister for another couple of moments before gently breaking it off.

"So... ummm," she began, "How does this work exactly? Anything I can do to help?"

The Build-a-Bunny grinned for a moment as she warmed up the Nerd Centers of her brain, the portion of her brain that was pretty much the dominant force in Mercy's mind. Looking at the short-in-stature-sister, one could almost envision her rubbing her hands together like an old man getting ready to tell a story about the mirelurk that got away.

"Welllllllll, it's simple really. The module that I'm going to install in you is going to analyze all the subroutines that you're running at a given moment and run it through a series of filters. The filters are going to strip away the unnecessary data, like your navigation data, flight data, sensor data, vocalization commands, thrust and vectoring commands. What's left should be left is the logical data that helps you make yoir decisions - erm - I mean what's left are your thoughts, I think. I mean that's all that should be left in theory. *INHALE* Your thoughts are then translated from its raw form by the text to speech board and then transmitted to these headphones and VOILÁ! I know what you're thinking, I -um- think." The Hopeful Hare though aloud as much as she explained befire she shook her head, clearing the thoughts and theories from her mind.

"On my end, I have this FMRI headband that measures my brain activity through the use of mini electro magnets. What should happen is that the headband transmits pictures of my brain activity to you and you should be able, through the use of your sensory data, to correllate my brain activity with whatever emotion I'm feeling at the moment. I mean there'll be other brain activity that's sent, BUT, the longer I wear the band, the more and more you'll be able to filter out the unnecessary data and just focus on what my emotions look like in my brain!" The Brain-Busting-Bunny said as she exhaled the rest of her unused breath.

She was still fumbling around with the two way transmtter as she explained all of this.

"Hopefully I'll get it to work without frying my brain!" Mercy said with a grin and a wink and another grin.

"If this makes you uncomfortable, I'll make sure to make a shutoff command for you but it would be best not to use it until we understand how Assius Maximus is controlling you."

"Frying your brain?" Vera repeated, "That's not going to happen. Its more likely that my 'brain' would melt being in that close proximity with the sheer awesomeness that is your genius!"

Meanwhile... in another room in the Rabbit Hole

...Probably pass on my dads coat to some youngster I like enough, speaking of can I put that back on? I'm cold." The Legionnaire shrugged, and put his glasses back on.

Tessa bit her lip and squeezed the Black Swan's hand as she tried to find the right words.

Squeezing Tessa's hand reassuringly and smiling at the Rabbit Thief, the Black Swathed Bunny simply regarded the Legionnaire coldly and tossed him a blanket.

"How about you take a moment to explain the history of that Coat that you wear. It's not like we're running short on time since I have a plan to decapitate the remaining leadership of the Knuckleheads. Without someone to control the brutes, their organization will implode upon itself." Victoria said as she turned to Tessa to explain the plan that the Undertaker had decided upon.

"There are only a little more than a half dozen members of the Knucklehead leadership based on the numbers we've killed so far versus that number that you got from the Followers. Every night, without exception, these Knuckle draggers meet at one of their brothels for a little business discussion and nocturnal activities afterwards. My plan is to sneak into the brothel disguised as the girls there and take them out when they least expect it." Vicky said coolly, her 'off the books' training taking over as she discussed the plan.

Looking over at the Legionnaire, she eyed him critically for a moment.

"I believe we'll have some attire that will fit this one since he's to take Markus' place."

The Bladed Bunny grinned at the thought of seeing Vicky in something a bit more... revealing than her black dress. The dress was nice, but variety was always good... right?

"I like the sound of that," Tessa said, practically purring with excitement, "And it just so happens that I found three perfect disguises for us. You, me, and my little sister."

Tessa got up for a moment to rummage through the pile of clothes she'd been accumulating over the past couple of days to find a set of lingerie with a bunny tail still attached to it, and two dresses that were likely ball-gowns before the wear and tear of centuries got to them and turned them into a post-apocalyptic fetishist's wet dream. Lot of... 'convenient' cuts everywhere on those two. Tessa brought the clothes over to the Black Swan.

"So which one do you think is your size?" she asked before realizing something that might come up, "Well... normally I'd think of letting Mercy stay here while we go and take care of this but... I don't think she'd ever forgive me, so... yeah. She's coming along. And if she's coming, then Vera's probably coming too. I haven't a clue how we're going to get away with that bouncing ball of awesome with us."

Tessa really thought this plan sounded fun, and while it would be a lot easier (and a lot safer for Vera and Mercy) to just have it be a... 'Bladed Bunny/Black Swan affair', she knew her sisters would never want to be kept out of this so... yeah... this was going to be tricky.

"Any ideas?" Tessa said, her hand unconsciously sliding onto Vicky's leg.

Smiling a bit as she felt the soft skin of her Appropriating Bunny's hand on her thigh, the Friendly (more so with Tessa than others) Neighborhood Undertaker, intertwined her fingers with the dexterous Tessa Rabbit, her mind absently day dreaming about what a miracle the nimble fingers could be. The sensation so intense that the Tall and Pale woman had to shaker her head to clear away the fog.

"I'm sure that I can think up something." The Black Hair Beauty said softy as she got up, heading off behind a silk screen with a bag in hand.

----------A moment later----------

Walking out from behind the screen, the now Black Leather Clad Mistress of the Dead revealed herself and a rather serious looking riding crop.

"I think that Ball of Bunny is about to become my Ball of Bondage." Vicky said as she pulled out what appeared to be some sort of Vinyl Mask, one large enough to fit over the EyeBunny.

Tessa did a spit-take and proceeded to laugh her ass off, nearly falling out of her seat in the process. Eventually, she calmed down, almost breathless.

"Oh... god..." she said in between pants, "I'm sorry but... I couldn't help it. That is just too much there... love it."

Tessa got up, snorting one last time before walking over to her Tall, Pale, and Beautiful Black Swan and gave her a peck on the cheek.

"That's just... too perfect," she said, "Vera is going to flip when she sees that. Speaking of which... we should probably check on them."

Tessa grabbed Vicky's hand and led her towards her bedroom, where, apparently, everyone liked to have their private meetings. Before opening the door, Tessa slipped into an old habit and stopped to listen. She heard a mattress bouncing.

"Did you hear that?" she whispered, "What are they doing in there?"

She stopped to listen a bit more. She couldn't pick out the exact words, but Tessa could hear the excited tones in her sisters' voices. Umm... what... what the hell?

"That's not going to happen. Its more likely that my 'brain' would melt being in that close proximity with the sheer awesomeness that is your genius!"

"No no no! My brain would break from the raw awesomeness of YOUR personality and brightness and shininess and lovingness and stupendousness and exquisiteness and perkiness and shininess - wait I already said shininess-" Mercy was overheard saying as the curtain the separated the rooms was parted and the Black Swan of S&M and the Concerned Rabbit sister looked at the two "sisters," bringing the plethora of "nesses" to a stop.

Amused at what she saw, the Undertaker could on cover up the smile on her face and shake her head in amusement as she turned to Tessa, whispering, "Perhaps you and Mercy need to have a talk about the Birds and the Robo-Bees."

"If you want, I can take the Legionnaire and my new Ball of Butt Spanking to get fitted for their outfits for tonight."

Vera fell out of the air and rolled around on the floor for a moment from the shock. The Black Swan's plan made sense but...

"What?!??!" she yipped nervously, shooting straight back into the air, "What... what the hell?!!"

Then, Vera did a one-eighty, and started giggling evilly.

"Does this mean I get to inflict pain on Markus and he can't complain?"

Before Vicky could answer, however, another voice interrupted. One that the Undertaker in Black hadn't heard for many years.

"Quite the fun little family you have here," The Editor said, adjusting his tie before placing a hand on Vicky's shoulder to get her attention, "I would advise against alarming your... friends here. For the moment, you see... I am allowing you and you alone to be aware of my presence. There's no need to spoil the surprise so soon, is there?"

The Leather Clad Lady Undertaker stiffened, almost imperceptibly, as she mentally shook her head, her mind shocked by the voice that hadn't heard for quite some time.

"If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go patrol the rooftops for a moment since no one's doing that at the moment. Who knows if the Knuckleheads are going to attack before our plan bears fruit." Vicky said as she started towards the door without waiting for a response from anyone. As she walked towards the exit to the Rabbit Home, she started whispering.

"Why? Why are you here? We had an agreement you and I. If I got you away from Dad, if I became an Undertaker, you'd find someone else to bother." She whispered, the horrid realization that the voice had in fact found someone else to bother: Victoria McGee, Undertaker of Wyoming.

The skies outside the Rabbit Hovel were starting to dim as the sun started sinking below the faraway horizon, the sounds of the Cheyton's night life assailing the Black Veiled Beauty's ears as she started climbing to the top of the Rabbit Shack, her mind trying to figure out what she could do to get the horrid creature away from her.

"Alright. We're alone. What do you want?"

Her voice was confident, defiant and utterly filled with terror as Victoria addressed the thing that had traumatized her Father for much of his lifetime. The voice that had started talking to her when she was younger and her Father had thought that the thing was gone from him. The voice that seemed to whisper to her when she slept. The voice, a viper that had just chosen its time to strike.

"Well," The Editor began, futilely attempting to brush some dust off of his ruined suit, "Is it entirely out of the question for a simple man to check up on his friend's adopted daughter? I see you're doing quite well for yourself. You've gained a new family. Incidentally, Mr. Truant is doing quite well at the moment, though he does miss you dearly."

The Editor noticed the death-glare that Vicky was throwing his way.

"Ah-ah! Don't fret, my dear Undertaker-Assassin," he went on, "I have kept our bargain, but... I still keep tabs on Mr. Truant from time to time. I won't bore you with the details but, I can say with confidence that he does miss you terribly. You are his pride and joy. Hmmph. To hear him talk, you are a legend in the making. Given your current company, perhaps he's right. I simply cannot imagine a more... eclectic group here. A failed Legate with his army on the way? You're right to be suspicious."

The Editor started pacing around the Undertaker in a circle.

"Then there's the eyebot. Curious little thing, isn't she?" The Editor stopped pacing and folded his arms, then altered his voice to sound more like Ulysses, "You know that she made The Divide what it is today. You know that machine has caused untold suffering, yet you have not tried to end its pitiful existence. Why not? Its just a machine, and it is still capable of waking 'giants', as he would put it."

If there was one thing that the thing that stood in front of her could do, it was pull at her heart strings, especially when it mentioned her Father, even though she knew that Johnny Truant wasn't her real father, the real one never having been in her life at all.

"I'd appreciate it if you stopped referring him to my Adopted Father, he's done more for me than the bastard who left my mom and myself alone and still has yet to show up in my life." The Deathly Pale Undertaker said without an ounce of emotion in her voice. She wouldn't give that thing the satisfaction that she believe that it craved.

"If you do talk to My Father, and I'm sure that you'll go out of your way to see him, tell him that I miss him dearly as well. I think of him and Mom every day." Vicky said before moving on to the next subject.

It was bothering Undertaker McGee that the thing had taken the time to review the circumstances of her life, yet interesting at the same time.

"In regards to the Legion, the proper thing to do would be to observe how they react after the removal of the Knuckleheads from Cheyton. Markus has earned that little bit of consideration. However, we both know that I'm not one to make assumptions on the motives of others. Should he seek to take over Cheyton the same way that his Caesar would have, I suspect that he will not find the annexing of this town very easy." The Black Bunny said as looked into the distance, noticing a cloud of dust on the horizon.

"As for VERA, we both know that she's not just the key to bringing about our destruction. That Rat Bastard Ulysses said that she's also the key to unlocking the greatest treasure the world has ever known. Understanding what I know about him and his disinterest in material possessions, I can only suspect something far more valuable to humanity as a whole."

"As for you, why are you here? Shouldn't you be looking for a new host or something?"

The Editor's only response to Vicky's question was a smirk followed by a derisive chuckle. While staring directly at her. Pausing, as if trying to let it sink in for a moment, he went on as if she hadn't said anything.

"And what of the littlest tinkerer down there?" he said, kicking the roof, "Do you really think she'll accomplish anything aside from her own horrible death? She keeps going, she'll find a newer better way to end this world. Not her fault of course, she's only human, and that's all humans have proven to be good for over the centuries."

There was a long and extended sigh as The Tall and Pale Undertaker sat down on the deck chair that she had left on the roof from earlier. The young engineer reminded Vicky of her mother so very much that it was hard to think of anything other than protecting the girl.

"You know what my answer is to that. Everyone deserves a chance to prove themselves, I thought that you would have learned this by now." Victoria said as she continued to track the dust cloud in the distance.

"I would have thought that over the span of your existence, you've seen thing created by us, not just destroyed. But if she becomes too dangerous, I know what to do." Victoria said resolutely, hoping that there would never come a day where she had to kill Mercy Rabbit.

"Anything else? Perhaps you want to ask me about Tessa now?"

"In a moment perhaps. First though, I thought I'd ask you about your boyfriend."

The question caused Victoria to physically flinch as the thing got the better of her, something that she didn't like at all. Standing there, she thought about punching him but knew that her fist was just pass harmlessly through his cocky visage. What did he even mean by the question? Didn't he know what was going on between Victoria and Tessa or did he just simply not understand gender? Did he mean Treb, whom she had a large amount of disdain for or Markus, of whom she believed to be somewhat okay in her books for a Legionnaire. Regardless of what he mean it was -

"None of your business creep."

"Oh come now, my dear," The Editor said, placing a hand on her shoulder, "Don't pretend you don't know who I'm talking about. After all, its not every day a girl like you meets a former Frumentari like him. He... reminded you of me, didn't he? The way he knew so much about you, more than you'd like anyone to know... and the way he tossed you about. I had no idea you were that kinky. I suppose Tessa will like that later on. But at any rate... your Dreaded Boyfriend... well, I don't need to tell you that he's got a few screws loose. Then again, I suppose that's what draws you to him, given your obvious mental stability."

Deciding not to give her a chance to retaliate, The Editor went on. "And your dear Tessa. You've already seen the anger, the fear that truly drives her. When the pressure kicks in, she only really watches out for one person. The only trick with her is... figuring out who that's going to be next time. And... time will tell, I suppose. Oh, by the way... your mother also does not approve of your chosen profession. She's less... understanding of it than dear old dad is. Rather hypocritical of her, don't you think? Still, she might have a point, considering the company you keep. Legion against you; working with another sect of the Legion. Tsk Tsk. Naughty girl."

Forgetting for a moment just who it was she was talking to, the anger inside burning like an inferno, the Black Dressed Undertaker lashed out with her gleaming silver straight razor, unsurpised that it passed through the thing before her.

"(Fool!)" She cursed herself as she found herself off balance before ungracefully landing back on the deck chair. Sitting there, the Tall and Pale Young Woman remained where she had landed, dropping the straight razor onto the metal roof as the stress of the thing's appearance in her life took over.

"Why can't you just leave me alone? Why? Why can't you?"

"You already know why." And with that The Editor vanished for the time being.

Unnoticed by the Undertaker, a pair of ears was listening to her and the thing's conversation, though to be quite truthful, Tessa only heard one voice carrying on a conversation with itself.

Still laying there, on the deck chair as the sun finally finished its slow decent behind the horizon, Victoria McGee stared at the light that reflected off of the dropped straight razor before picking it up and heading into the house.

Rabbit Den

"How about you take a moment to explain the history of that Coat that you wear. It's not like we're running short on time since I have a plan to decapitate the remaining leadership of the Knuckleheads. Without someone to control the brutes, their organization will implode upon itself."

[Pack Rat] Treb was a bit busy inspecting his brand new blanket to pay full attention to what they were talking about. Still, sounded like she was about to fall into a tangent, go one about a plan that wouldn't involve the Legion, likely enough. It seemed no amount of reason would convince them that, yes, the Legion occasionally can do a good thing.

He'd have to remember to find Caesar's grave, unbury him, and punch him in the fucking jaw for making the Wasteland hate them so much. He sighed, and wrapped the blanket around his neck like a cape.

"There are only a little more than a half dozen members of the Knucklehead leadership based on the numbers we've killed so far versus that number that you got from the Followers. Every night, without exception, these Knuckle draggers meet at one of their brothels for a little business discussion and nocturnal activities afterwards. My plan is to sneak into the brothel disguised as the girls there and take them out when they least expect it."

"Why not just wait a day and let the Legion go about mopping them up? I suppose unnecessarily risking yourselves is endearing to some, but I don't think Virgil would appreciate me letting you all die. He seems pretty fond of you."

"I believe we'll have some attire that will fit this one since he's to take Markus' place."

"I'm not taking anyone's place. I'm leaving tomorrow to go get a slice of that 'killing Lanius' cake 'Markus' seemed so intent on getting. Unless this ole Centurion has found a way into all your hearts already."

"I like the sound of that. And it just so happens that I found three perfect disguises for us. You, me, and my little sister."

"It's like I stopped existing. I feel loved, truly." Treb sighed, and looked through his pack. He pulled out three books, and tried to decide which one he should go with. Another chunk out of Sun Tzu's Art of War, a bit of review from his medicine textbook, or some science magazine he picked up. After a moment, he opened up the magazine, and leaned back, flicking through the pages. Likely they'd want nothing to do with him for the rest of the night, so he'd make himself scarce.

"If anyone needs me, just say so..." He raised an eyebrow at the new uniforms, but just ended up paying attention to his book, blushing a bit and trying to not look at the girls. The compliment storm didn't help matters, so he just tuned out the world, focusing solely on his reading material. Just like so many lonely nights in the Divide...

He heard a cry and looked up, and bolted towards the noise. He saw the Undertaker come back inside, a razor in her hand.

"... Well, you look alright.... I'm sorry I didn't help, I should've and I didn't... I'm sorry."
________________________________________________________________________________________________
Outside Cheyton, Odyssey to the Northwest

Markus had moved quickly and packed lightly. He also may have accidentally stolen Treb's Carbine, something he'd have to apologize for later. He debated waiting a bit, to allow Cassius a better chance of catching up, but it didn't matter. He sighed, and trudged on, his journey would be long, arduous, and would probably end with him getting a very large bumper sword lodged in his forehead.

"Luck favors the brave, right Mars?" He asked no one, looking to the sky. Who knows who he'd meet, and how much he'd have to kill. He groaned, and lapsed into silence, ever moving forward. He only cast a single glance back, to make sure the city wasn't on fire already.
________________________________________________________________________________________________
Legion Camp

"And that's all, correct?" The nervous looking legionnaire asked, and Casca shook his head again, slowly, wringing his hands and thinking very mean thoughts. He kept his eyes on the floor, and his writing very clean, however. He really didn't want to piss her off.

The nervous one looked to he-er, his 'sister' again. She seemed to be... half asleep but still had both her hands on a frag grenade. "Ummm... W-we should wake her..." The Legionnaire scratched the back of her head, and Casca inched his way over. He was a a foot away when she bolted upright, raising the grenade above her head with her finger around the pin.

".... I'm prolly still gonna do it." Casca's eyes widened, and sprinted out the door, dropping his notebook.

"S-sister!" Cass rolled her eyes and got up, looking at the notebook.

"What? I wasn't REALLY. Besides, he's a little shit." She grinned and her blood-sibling just sighed and buried their head in their hands. Cass frowned and walked over, giving them a quick hug.

"It's fine, it's fine.... I'm sorry? EventhoughIdidnothingwrong. C'mon, cheer up Gael, we're Legion! Gotta be stoic, sweat swords, oppress wastelands, c'mon cheer up!" Julius gave a "Harumph" and looked away, keeping an eye on her sister.

"You know that you could into trouble saying that. And we have Legion names, we should use them! I'm Julius, and you're-"

"Cassius, yeah yeah. But I was Cass before, so I'm just gonna keep on being Cass. If they have a problem, I have a machete." She grinned again, and Julius smiled faintly, looking at the ground.

"Anyways, we're gonna be in Cheyton tomorrow. Wanna go pick a disguise before all the good ones get taken?" Julius nodded, and the two left to visit their armory.

The Rabbit Hole:
Previously on One Rabbit to Live

"No no no! My brain would break from the raw awesomeness of YOUR personality and brightness and shininess and lovingness and stupendousness and exquisiteness and perkiness and shininess - wait I already said shininess-" Mercy was overheard saying as the curtain the separated the rooms was parted and the Black Swan of S&M and the Concerned Rabbit sister looked at the two "sisters," bringing the plethora of "nesses" to a stop.

"Um hi?" The Blaster Bunny said as she saw her sister the Bladed Bunny and the curiously dressed Black Lace Bunny standing in the doorway, whispering something to Tessa before explaining that night's plan to the Bomber Ball Bunny and the Big Mouthed Jaw on the Floor Bunny

"We're going to dress up as WHAT?" Mercy exclaimed as she looked at the assembled group before looking at herself, the Built like a 2x4 Bunny. Even Treb would be able to better fill a dress than Mercy would. As she tried to think of how she could help out, in a way that didn't require that she dress up like a hooker, the Pale Rabbit exited the room rather quickly, saying something about keeping watch.

"Tess? V? Umm, I dunno if I can help too much. I mean, I don't know if I'll be able to play the role too well considering, well, these." She said as she pointed to her barely there bunny bewbs.

"I mean, I've never even put on makeup." Mercy admitted looking at the floor.


Entrance to the Hole of Rabbits:

"... Well, you look alright.... I'm sorry I didn't help, I should've and I didn't... I'm sorry." The Legionnaire said as the Undertaker passed by him, her silver straight razor still naked and exposed before the Black Bunny thought to even fold it up and tuck it back in its hiding spot.

"Whatever." The woman said, in a voice that was barely a breath above a whisper, the face cold and devoid of emotion. She wasn't in the mood to be pities or fawned over or anything of the sort. The Legionnaire probably knew this universal expression: The Game Face.

"Look Legionnaire, I know you think that we should leave this matter of the Knuckleheads in your Legion's hands but if we don't do this tonight, the Knuckleheads will have people that can keep them organized when your army comes to remove them. The last thing that anyone wants is prolonged warfare. I've got enough to worry about without having to worry about burying dead Legionnaires and dead Knuckleheads." The woman said as she removed a couple items from her bag, Rip, her Ripper and Milly, her silenced 10mm pistol.

"You don't have to come with us if you think the risk isn't worth it but the sooner we get the Knuckleheads out of Cheyton, the sooner your Legion can leave Cheyton and the soon I can go put a bullet in Ulysses' skull."

Rabbit Den

Treb watched her enter, mumble, and dramatically pull out... two weapons. Treb chewed on his lip and listened to the lady. A ripper, a silenced pistol, and a grudge. He groaned and rubbed his temple, before returning to eye contact. This was the look of a young hot head, about to throw their life away on a futile quest. Treb knew as much. He'd seen it in his friends, and in himself.

"Look Legionnaire, I know you think that we should leave this matter of the Knuckleheads in your Legion's hands but if we don't do this tonight, the Knuckleheads will have people that can keep them organized when your army comes to remove them. The last thing that anyone wants is prolonged warfare. I've got enough to worry about without having to worry about burying dead Legionnaires and dead Knuckleheads."

'If they knew this was a thing, why wouldn't they act before now?' Treb eyed the woman, was she lying? Or did she really think a bunch of thick headed brutes would put up much of a defense against a Legion with surprise and a greater grasp of tactics on their side? Although, Treb had to admit it'd take more than a day if they had these miracle leaders. He held in another sigh, he got the feeling the longer he stayed around here the more he'd do that.

"You don't have to come with us if you think the risk isn't worth it but the sooner we get the Knuckleheads out of Cheyton, the sooner your Legion can leave Cheyton and the soon I can go put a bullet in Ulysses' skull."

"... Fuck. I'm not going to be able to stop you without using my sword... Fine, me not going wasn't on the table anyways, lady, I just didn't want to see you people there... Oh well, I got a sword and the will to use it. Let's go start the clean up." Treb gave a wide grin, though his eyes still held apprehension in them. He looked at her gear again, it didn't look like much, but training made all the difference. That reminded him:

"You're all trained to fight, right? I'm a decent physician, so I suppose I can fill that role, as well as tactician if need be, but I don't know what you and your family is capable of. A basic run through would be nice. You should also probably get me up to speed on whatever other info you're holding on to about the cities gangs."

The Happy House of the Reclusive Rabbits:

"You're all trained to fight, right? I'm a decent physician, so I suppose I can fill that role, as well as tactician if need be, but I don't know what you and your family is capable of. A basic run through would be nice. You should also probably get me up to speed on whatever other info you're holding on to about the cities gangs."

The Undertaker wheeled on the Legionnaire as he asked the questions, the answers to these questions that had already been answered and intelligence that she was holding was all over the whiteboard for anyone to see. Was the Legionnaire being deliberately slow, especially since he wore a coat that bore the emblem of the Followers of the Apocalypse, he should have been a bit quicker on the draw.

"(Always take a moment to breathe before you take the shot)" A voice inside her head echoed, a voice that sounded very much like her mother's.

Her mother was the one who had taught Vicky how to shoot and shoot accurately. One of the things that Mom had faced during her past travels was being quite a bit emotional, a characteristic that carried over to her daughter. It was something that she had eventually managed to overcome with a bit of assistance from her friends but it was still something that Vicky hadn't quite gotten under control.

Inhaling as much air as her lungs could take in, the Pale and Tall woman exhaled it slowly, releasing the pent up emotions that were plaguing her.

"I'm pretty decent at range, better with a rifle but we're not going to be able to take one in there. But Milly here is going to be keeping me company." She said as the 10mm Silenced Pistol materialized in her hand from its hiding spot.

"Tessa's good with her blades, which is close to moderate range. Mercy? Well, I haven't seen her do anything but build so I'm not so sure she'll be good in combat besides rigging up something that'll allow us to get the drop on the Knuckleheads. Vera, is decent with her Plasma Pistol attachment and calling in canine reinforcements, I dunno how she does it but she can do that pretty well. What's more, we might be able to get her to hold onto some of our weapons until we get through the bouncers."

"The plan is simple. Tessa, Vera and I will get into the Brothel where the Knucklehead Lieutenants meet nightly. We'll play the part of the new girls there and we'll keep them distracted. We should be able to take a couple of them out quietly before you and Mercy breach the door, that'll cause them to panic and Tessa, Vera and myself will be able to take them from behind. Simple plan." Victoria said as she pointed at various bits of information on the board.

"Without a proper leader, the Knuckleheads will be fodder for your Legion. From what Tessa gathered about them, they have a habit of fighting one another to find out who the next head Knucklehead is going to be."

"My only hope is that the Khans don't decide to team up with the Knuckleheads just to spite you Legionnaire." Vicky said as she poured herself another glass of the green stuff.

The Rabbit Hole

Tessa was immediately torn between her desire to seek her sister's comfort and to grab a moment alone with Victoria.

Unknown to everyone around her, Tessa was putting on an exceptionally brave face...and the cracks were beginning to show. As a personal rule, she never dealt well with hiding her feelings and preferred to always speak her mind. A trait that had won admiration in the past, but also it's fair share of ire.

The Khan "guest" was a major deal breaker for her. Tessa admired the Khans immensely, and as a little girl, she aspired to join what she perceived as a group of badasses where your skills mattered above your gender. The fact that they were known as helpers to the Followers scored major points with her.

She didn't agree with the use of chems...with the exception of the very one that defined the Freeside Feral Rabbits...

In her haste to protect her family, she had chosen not to act.

Instinctually, she jumped to the protection of Mercy and Vera. Personally, she remained neutral out of fear of the repercussions when messing with the Khans.

All this...in her home!

Markus had seriously overstepped his boundaries. He may have an army approaching, but this small home still belonged to the Rabbit family!

She should have made a rule to leave your ideals at the door...or at the very least...keep them to yourself.

She did not, for one moment, believe that this "exiled legion" had any good intentions. Sure, it was always easy to mask your true intentions with a good deed...but that was the point, what was this new legion's true purpose?

People become reckless when they have power, she would know...

No matter, if Markus stayed in line, he would have Tessa's blade aiding him...they all had a common threat in mind: Ulysses.


What of her sister's, Vera and Mercy?

Well, it looked like they were having a private moment, as unorthodox as the relationship was, she held no judgements.

However, she held a heavy heart.

It was strange, but Tessa was feeling...outed by everyone around her.

Perhaps she needed to get some rest and clear her head, but the feeling was subtle...was it the paranoia again? She was never good at this "sister" business to begin with, having had no experience.

As dejected as she felt from the joy they were experiencing...Tessa wordlessly left her sisters, silently closing the door behind her for their privacy...but not quick enough for her crestfallen expression to be caught by those who were watching.

She had never felt like a mere street-rat in such a long time...


Intent to overlook her costume she would be donning for the evening, Tessa motioned to the kitchen counter to grab her jewelled throwing knives and secured them under the guise of an elaborate hair-pin.

She felt naked without her other blades, unfortunately the laced outfit did not allow for any more weapons to be concealed on her body.

Much to her disdain, the laced outfit seemed to contain an elaborate set of ribbons along her body, which would...literally...unravel her clothing when all the ends were pulled.

As much as she loved playing dress-up...this was not her cup of tea.

Why couldn't Vikka snipe any stragglers, Tessa and Mercy would hunt those on foot and Vera would burn the brothel to the ground?

Seemed like a much more elegant solution to her...


"The plan is simple. Tessa, Vera and I will get into the Brothel where the Knucklehead Lieutenants meet nightly. We'll play the part of the new girls there and we'll keep them distracted. We should be able to take a couple of them out quietly before you and Mercy breach the door, that'll cause them to panic and Tessa, Vera and myself will be able to take them from behind. Simple plan." Victoria said as she pointed at various bits of information on the board.

"How many are we dealing with, Vicky? I'd like to keep this contained to just the two of us, we're the most skilled in combat...counting only females here obviously."

She nodded towards the man named Treb respectfully, he hadn't said a word to her and she had neither for him. "Either way, a well-trained sword is always welcome. I'd like to spar with you one day."

Tessa looked at the man with a fiery gaze, she saw something in him...skill...something she could respect. He was helping the Rabbit's...it was enough for her.

Tessa had a hairpin of three throwing knives secured, yet she wondered where she would conceal anymore weapons.

"Vicky, these Knuckleheads don't deserve a scrap of mercy...no holding back, no restraints...if things go sideways, you're going to see the reason why I was ever called a Feral Rabbit."

Tessa lifted her skirt, for only Vicky to see, to motion towards her inner thigh, which contained a double dose of psycho and a switchblade.

"Do you want to work in a team, or should we go solo and take down as much as possible?"

Something was severely off about Tessa...

"Please, stay safe. Please...please...please...I can't lose anyone again

Tessa's last pleas were drowned softly by leaning her cheek against Vicky's and whispering in her ear. Her final words had revealed Tessa's personal stake in all this.

"My only hope is that the Khans don't decide to team up with the Knuckleheads just to spite you Legionnaire." Vicky said as she poured herself another glass of the green stuff.

Turning her attention to Treb once more, she addressed him firmly. "This is my house. You are a guest here. I would like you to keep your business with the Khans separate from the Rabbit name. We are aiding each other because we share a common goal...I won't tarnish your Legion's name, I expect you to not throw around the Rabbit name or associate your ideals with us."

She paused to cement her point further.

"The Khans are respected by me."

Instead of internalizing her frustrations, loneliness, worries and unanswered question with her family and Victoria...she was inhumanely detached from herself...ready to channel all that into sheer rage, force and aggression towards the Knuckleheads.

Or more likely, she was trying to remove herself before she stepped back into her role as the frightening Feral Rabbit...

TheDoctor455:
snip

Cheyton Streets: Khan Pride Parade
Ollie had managed to catch up with the search party a short while after jumping ship from the band of weirdos calling themselves an assortment of rabbit-themed puns. The Khans had decided to drop further efforts pushing into their territory for the time being. With local gangs either flocking to the Rabbits or fleeing like rats from a sinking ship, it would take some further scouting of the alleyway before they would decide what to do. In the meantime, an assortment of bars remained open in the bigger main streets of town. So the Khans entered, and patrons were pushed out of the way. Or they got a face full of broken glass for their troubles.

Ollie, Harland and Anna were sitting in some who-the-hell-cares tavern with several of the senior Khans. Papa and Mama, Jack and Melissa, were with them, all sharing a drink and going over the day's events.

"Well, I guess the shopping mall might not be the best spot to set up camp, after all," mused Ollie. He'd told Melissa and Jack everything he could about the alley, referencing his sketches frequently, until they had built a pretty convincing picture of the site. The alley stretched along the west side of the markets, before opening up into the scrapyard and into the wasteland. It was left unguarded by the Federation police, content to use the gang violence and the impenetrable walls of trash and metal to keep intruders out. But, as the Khans had discovered that day, it seemed to be failing in this regard. The Legion was in town, either buddies of that fucker Lanius, or others, but still Legion.

"We'll deal with that later," said Melissa. "There's bigger problems than just Cheyton. The outriders have been sent looking for the rest of the clan parties on the plains. The wastes are crawling with raider groups, some numbering in the hundreds. It looks like a whole goddamn nation's been uprooted. These aren't just gangers or fighters, they've got kids and pets with them. It's like a brahmin migration, only with people."

"I managed to get a radio out to my wife, Diane, just before we got into town" said Jack, puffing smoke rings. "She said that the dudes up at Yellowstone are good to ride when we need'em. They're heading south by Oil City. Hope the Brotherhood doesn't give them any shit on the way down."

The Khans all grunted in agreement. Diane currently led the second largest war party in the Great Khan Empire, but even they would be wary of the Brotherhood of Steel. Holed up in Oil City, they extorted anyone who passed by their lands, heavily guarded by the Paladins and Knights. The whole place was a deathtrap, booby traps, tar pits and numerous bombs littered the landscape to keep would be looters away from the tremendous oil stockpile that gave the settlement it's name. The Khans occasionally passed by, zipping through on their horses before the brotherhood could nab them.

"Well, once she gets here, we can start taking it back to the Legion," declared Melissa, eliciting a round of "fuck yeahs!" from the Khans. "Until then, we find out where they are, and track them. It's what we do best. This is our land, and it's time we made them aware of that."

A strange buzzing noise suddenly tugged at Ollie's hearing. The young rider looked around, searching for the source. Anna realized that it was coming from her PipBoy 2500, beeping in her rucksack. "I don't know what it's doing," she said, fiddling with the nobs and dials. "But it sounds like... like a message. It's on a very low frequency, I'll see what I can do."

The Khans looked on intently while the girl tweaked the device. Finally, a very weak message began to play, barely audible.

"Failed...Virgil," "the Legion... only death in Cheyton. I have left two 'ghosts' from... World behind. They cannot be destroyed, Lanius... encounter. That may not matter though. I am now extending the same... Twisted Hares that I did to The Monster of The East... a vault to the northwest of this state.... the bonfire that will lead all who will come to it.... the Monster will find some of the last wonders you'll find... the Old World Gods.... could resurrect a dead Kai-Tzar's dreams of destruction... and some of it... brighter future. I lay no claim to these terrors or wonders. I am only going to lay the offer bare to the both of you. You who would claim the title of Kai-Tzar for yourselves. Both carrying the same diseased illusion that you do what you do for the better of all. The same delusion that brought death to Kai-Tzar."

"Virgil?" said Ollie, "that's what the Hares were calling the Legion fucker earlier! What's the frequency, Anna?"

She shook her head, frustrated. "I don't know, it keeps changing, almost like a ghost. He said northwest though. What's there?"

"Montana," said Jack. "Not much up there but trees and rocks. And a Vault, apparently."

"And," continued Melissa, "possibly our acquaintance, Lanius. Assemble every rider we can get, we've got a date with the Monster."

Hmmm. Well, this was shaping up alot better now. The humans had turned on one another, with Martin in a tumble with Joe and McGrath threatening the Ranger with a plasma weapon. And who says he wasn't intelligent? Words carried almost as much power as his claws. Almost. Malkos simply stepped out of the plasma-wielding man's field of vision so that he'd have an absolute clear shot. The Ranger no longer had anyone's back. It was strange how that worked, but it appeared to be the case. He stood ready, just in case, but chances are the Ranger would decide this wasn't worth his time eventually.

"Be gone, Ranger. I don't need or want your approval, and you've lost control of the situation. Go away now, lest you find your death come too soon."

North America
Martin apparently didn't take kindly to having his attempts to murder Joe in cold blood non-lethally thwarted, and had thrown dirt at Joe's eyes. A dirty fighting trick popular with the Khans.
[Lucky Shades]While Joe's left eye was temporarily blinded, the sunglasses had blocked the dirt from hitting his right eye.
[Guns 85, Shoot To Wound]Joe lined up a shot on Martin's kneecap. He was about to give a lesson on Karma. However..
"Hey moron, this is a shotgun that releases hot plasma. If I fire it in your general direction at this range your going get hit by some of it. Sure, if you survive I'm SOL but there is a Deathclaw who has a grudge, and that guy over there whose name I have missed."
What was it about trying to not get killed that made people want to kill you? It was just like how if you tell someone to 'Calm down' it almost always has the opposite effect.
Kneecapping Martin was not an option now.
"Fucking people."
[Karma]Forgive, never forget. The newcomer in the labcoat (Joe decided he would mentally refer to him as "Doc" for now.) could be forgiven for his naivety. Martin however, was simply an asshole. Plain and simple. Martin could not be forgiven. If Joe had his way, Martin would be crawling home on mutilated knees.
"Be gone, Ranger. I don't need or want your approval, and you've lost control of the situation. Go away now, lest you find your death come too soon."
Joe found the Deathclaw a lot more irritating than some of the people he'd really hated throughout the years. It thought it was far smarter than it actually was, acted like anything bad that happened was everyone else's fault, and relied on racial guilt.
[Agility]Joe fell back to avoid Martin's blow.
[Ranger Takedown]As Joe fell, he hooked his feet into Martin's crotch, and launched Martin over him in the direction of "Doc".
"What is it about trying to not get shot that makes you feel the need to shoot me?"

The term 'Trojan Whores' came to mind when he heard the plan. He wanted to say it out loud, he really did, but he was polite. And a gentleman. And tonight he'd help a house full of women go take a gang in gimpsuits... He couldn't tell if he preferred the Divide or not, shit was less complicated there.

"Without a proper leader, the Knuckleheads will be fodder for your Legion. From what Tessa gathered about them, they have a habit of fighting one another to find out who the next head Knucklehead is going to be."

"It sounds almost too good to be true..." Treb muttered under his breath, thinking. Then the woman, Tessa came up and hugged her. He wished he hadn't heard her, but he did... She was experienced in this sort of thing. He felt his heart drop a little, but held in his sigh. He wouldn't pity her, that would be disrespectful.

"My only hope is that the Khans don't decide to team up with the Knuckleheads just to spite you Legionnaire."

"Shouldn't be-"

"This is my house. You are a guest here. I would like you to keep your business with the Khans separate from the Rabbit name. We are aiding each other because we share a common goal...I won't tarnish your Legion's name, I expect you to not throw around the Rabbit name or associate your ideals with us."

Treb, instead of responding, simply allowed her her speech. He sat back quietly with a smile on his face, her points were fair. She paused for dramatic effect even.

"The Khans are respected by me."

"And if they stopped handing out chems, and hadn't told me to sodomize my Legate, I'd like them a bit more too. Anyways, the only part of the plan I'm a bit worried about is your sister. I'd like for you to assure me she's trained in combat, I don't want any of you in unnecessary danger here. Is that alright?"

Anyways, the only part of the plan I'm a bit worried about is your sister. I'd like for you to assure me she's trained in combat, I don't want any of you in unnecessary danger here. Is that alright?" Treb said, putting the little eyebot into the uncomfortable position of agreeing with a Legionary.

"I for one think Mer-Mer can handle this," Vera chimed in, trying to get back to her usual cheerful self, "And if it makes any difference to you. I was in The Divide with the Courier going up against Ulysses, the Marked Men, Deathclaws, and Tunnelers long before your little mock Legion set up a training camp in that hellhole. And before you write that off to my equipment or my programming... keep in mind all I had at the time was a low-caliber laser, and the Courier didn't always have a chance to keep an eye on me... and there were plenty of other eyebots in there, but I succeeded where they failed."

Vera realized that she had gotten into Treb's face during that speech. She backed off after a moment.

"And if you need further proof. I can always play back the death-rattle of every single monster I've ever killed. Either way, I know what I'm talking about when I say that Mercy is more than capable of handling this. Besides, we're only dealing with Knuckleheads. I don't know if you've noticed, but around here, they have a thoroughly earned reputation for being complete idiots."

Wyoming Wasteland - Somewhere

Joe was blinded in one eye and he fell on his back right before Martin slammed into him.
Joe had some variation of the Ranger Takedown on Martin, he felt the man hook into his groin and the man attempted to launch him forward using his momentum, he expected the man to pull something perhaps not so quickly.

[Ranger Takedown, Luck] Martin was launched maybe a foot away from the man as he was able to catch himself quickly.

Martin put his hand on the hilt of his bowie knife and began moving into a crouched position as he got ready to attack Joe again if he had to.

The Rabbit Hole: Mercy/Victoria

"The plan is simple. Tessa, Vera and I will get into the Brothel where the Knucklehead Lieutenants meet nightly. We'll play the part of the new girls there and we'll keep them distracted. We should be able to take a couple of them out quietly before you and Mercy breach the door, that'll cause them to panic and Tessa, Vera and myself will be able to take them from behind. Simple plan. The Plasma Bunny overheard the Undertaker say as she and Vera stepped/floated out into the main room of the Rabbits' Home after their rather interesting and revealing talk. Her four eyes sweeping the room, she notice Victoria dressed like some sort of Dominatrix, Tessa looking at some sort of ribbon thing that was supposed to be an outfit and Treb looking stern. Focusing specifically on her oldest sister, Mercy noticed that Tessa looked rather uncomfortable about the outfit that she was going to have to wear into the brothel and there was something else as well, some sort of sadness that Tessa was trying to hide.

The plan itself seemed outlandish and dangerous, not to mention foolish since it would put the two most important people in the Until Recently Lonely Rabbit's life in extreme danger without the comfort of having the weapons that they might need.

"Um - Vicky? Why can't we just set fire to the place and pick off all the stragglers as they try to get out of the Brothel?" The Concerned Bunny asked as she unknowingly mirrored her sister's concern about the plan.

"Well, Little Rabbit, the answer is quite simple. We need to make sure that we get them all. The only way to do that is confirm that everyone is there before we strike and to make sure that no one escapes during the the ensuing chaos. Also, we need to send a message to every remaining Knucklehead in Cheyton. No place is safe for them and there's not inch of quarter will be given to them. There's one final and very important reason why we can't just raze the building to its foundation, Tessa and I won't be the only working girls in the Brothel. The majority of those women did not choose this line of employment for themselves but rather, they had it chosen for them." The Pale and Tall Undertaker said reflecting on the fact that the majority of the prostitutes within the confines of the Brothel walls had been kidnapped, hooked on Med-X and made to work for the Knuckleheads. If there was one thing that Victoria couldn't tolerate, it was Slavery and Slavers, a topic that hit the Undertaker close to home as her cousin's madness had been caused by Slavers. As the Leather Clad Undertaker made her statement, Mercy noted that the woman voice was cold, far colder than Mercy was used to. It seemed that Tessa was not the only one that was harboring a hidden anger that needed to be vented.

Turning towards her Ball of Fun Bunny sister, the Builder Bunny looked rather concerned about the attitudes of the Black Bunny and the Bladed Bunny but tried to put it off as the two getting ready to put themselves in harm's way to make the Rabbit Family's life safer in Cheyton as well as ridding Cheyton of a rather destructive organization.

"V. Think your thrusters can handle a few more kilos of weight?" Mercy asked as she picked up motioned towards Tessa's bowie knives that were sitting on the table.

"I think we'd both feel more comfortable if Tessa had her knives with her don't you think?" Mer-Mer asked as she grabbed the gimp mask and started muddling with it in an attempt to get the Bowie Knives to look like part of the EyeBunny's outfit.

"Anyways, the only part of the plan I'm a bit worried about is your sister. I'd like for you to assure me she's trained in combat, I don't want any of you in unnecessary danger here. Is that alright?" She heard Treb ask as she fiddled with the outfit.

Before she could respond, her Wonderflonium Chassis'd sister interjected.

"I for one think Mer-Mer can handle this." Vera chimed in, "And if it makes any difference to you. I was in The Divide with the Courier going up against Ulysses, the Marked Men, Deathclaws, and Tunnelers long before your little mock Legion set up a training camp in that hellhole. And before you write that off to my equipment or my programming... keep in mind all I had at the time was a low-caliber laser, and the Courier didn't always have a chance to keep an eye on me... and there were plenty of other eyebots in there, but I succeeded where they failed."

It was at that very moment that Mercy felt a tremendous amount of pride in her "sister" for sticking up for her.

Nodding towards her Deadly Bunny Ball sister, Mercy mouthed the words "Thank You" and smiled widely as she continued her work, her mind determined not to let anyone down.

----------Victoria----------

"Vicky, these Knuckleheads don't deserve a scrap of mercy...no holding back, no restraints...if things go sideways, you're going to see the reason why I was ever called a Feral Rabbit." Tessa said after taking her to the side for a moment, the two having not had a moment to themselves in what seemed like an eternity. As she said this, Tessa lifted her skirt, displaying the Switchblade and Double Doses of Psycho, the later causing the normally placid and pale Black Swan to pale even further.

"Tess, it won't come to that." Victoria promised as she slipped Tessa's skirt back in place, hiding the objects from prying eyes.

"Do you want to work in a team, or should we go solo and take down as much as possible?"

Standing there, looking at Tessa, Victoria didn't answer. She couldn't. There was nothing that she could do except notice the way that Tessa was holding herself. The way she spoke. The look in her eyes. There was definitely something that was tormenting Vicky's Dear Rabbit.

"Please, stay safe. Please...please...please...I can't lose anyone again." Tessa's last pleas were drowned softly by leaning her cheek against Vicky's and whispering in her ear. Her final words had revealed Tessa's personal stake in all this.

"I'll stay safe and I'll keep you safe, Tessa Rabbit. Remember, I promised you that." The Undertaker said before the two parted from each other for a moment.

----------Moments Later:----------

Victoria reviewed her disguise in the mirror. Her hair had been pulled back to keep it out of her eyes while a black vinyl mask his her eyes. The remainder of her black leather outfit would keep her relatively protected, more so than her usual attire. There were no noticeable bulges from where Milly or Rip were hidden and the only items that were exposed were the tools of the Undertaker's supposed trade, a whip as well as a riding crop.

"I'm ready." She said, mostly to herself as she looked towards the others to make sure they were ready as well.

She was born into violence, it was only natural that she end in such.

*What happened later at the Brothel, a timeskip brought upon by the use of Psycho*

The Brothel: The End of Tessa

Tessa hadn't anticipated the amount of bloodshed she had brought upon those in the Brothel.

Now she was in the center room of the establishment, screams could be heard from the working girls...what did they see from their perspective? An unknown brunette female luring two men into a private room before shouts could be heard by the many Knuckleheads that frequented the establishment.

Out of the room, the growling female drenched in blood charged headlong into a group of soldiers. For a moment, she got onto all fours, pressed her hands to the pool of their blood and ran her bloodied hands through her hair, before licking the blood off sadistically.

The crazed female had frightened approaching soldiers at this display, smiling sadistically, she shed much more blood...slashing at the throats of any incoming men until their bodies littered the hallway. She was overwhelmed by the main force in the main entertainment room...their weapons were crippling their savage savior, until she was finally cut down.


Tessa had used both vials of Psycho to enhance her prowess into that of a berserker state. While wildly sending her emotional state over the edge, Tessa flew into an unbridled rage and grew truly feral and monstrous.

With her jewelled throwing knives in hand, she had carved, sliced and stabbed her way through anyone perceived to be a Knucklehead. The Feral Rabbit did not wait for subtlety, her intent was to destroy and to die.

While she rationalized the Keeper's children as enemies and "acceptable targets", the guilt had driven her over the edge. She was not a killer, she was not a murderer, she was meant to be a thief...escaping from her past...starting a new life...a peaceful one...it seemed that Karma had other ideas for her.

She did not deserve to live...but she could die bringing the filth down around her...

Tessa had been ignoring her injuries, she couldn't feel them because of the psycho and bloodlust...the blades had cut her...the bullet had burnt into her leg...the lead pipe had broken her arm...yet she continued to cut at her enemies...that is, until a sword had cut off her very hand...

Laying in a crumpled and bleeding heap, the bodies and blood of many lieutenants and Knuckleheads alike had surrounded her. It was easy for one to find the bodies extending all the way down the hallway, where Tessa used the area as a chokepoint before being overwhelmed.

The smiling lieutenant, that had wielded an officer's sword with one hand, had his revolver pressed to her forehead...


Tessa was grateful that she was ever given a chance at happiness.

Tessa was given a family, Mercy and Vera.

Her genius little sister, Mercy, was not meant to be associated with someone like Tessa, Mercy had something that was such a complete rarity: innocence and wonder. Tessa had loved this girl unconditionally from the day they had met, while she wished she was a better sister, in Tessa's own way...all the gifts was her own way of showing pure affection...and she loved her sister dearly, she only wished for more time. Mercy was Tessa's world and she had finally found some meaning in her life because of her.

Vera was another special case, primarily thought of as a cute robot, Tessa grew to know the hidden depths that her robotic body contained. Vera had enough flair, enthusiasm and love to keep Mercy cared for. In all honesty, Vera was everything Tessa wanted to be on an emotional level. She wished she could show her love and affection so purely. Tessa had grown to look past the exterior, only to love what was contained inside: a heart more real than the one she posessed.

Victoria was her unexpected love, it never occurred to her that she would ever find someone ever again. Nobody had wanted the street-rat that Tessa merely felt like, yet the pale beauty had given her a chance. Tessa wished she had more time to show how much Victoria meant to her. She wished that things were calm, so Tessa could show her true appreciation without the weight of a threat on her family on her shoulders.

She wanted more time with everyone...

...so much was left unsaid and undone.

All she could say to her sister's was..."I love you, truly"

If she could say one more thing to Victoria, it would be..."I am truly yours."

And finally, if she could give Markus something, it would have to be..."Thank you for protecting those I love."


The lieutenant had roughly counted the casualties this feral woman had caused...just over 16 of his top men were dead by her blades...and those were the ones he knew about.

"Mercy...V-Vera...Vicky..." cried out the dying Rabbit desperately.

The world suddenly turned black for Tessa Rabbit...while tears were streaming down her face, her thoughts were cut short by her inevitable execution.

The trigger was eventually pulled, killing Tessa.

Vera struggled to keep up with the Bladed Bunny as she headed for...

The Bunny Brothel's Competition. Er... I mean... The Knuckleheads' Brothel.

Unfortunately, the little eyebot was unable to keep up with Tessa, since her little hover-engines were still recovering from her attempt at being a robotic fireworks display. By the time she arrived, Tessa had already torn a gaping hole in the Brothel's defenses on her own. Vera would be impressed if she weren't so worried about her sort of older sister. Finally, the iBunny found the Ferocious Feral Bunny of Blades. With a Knucklehead LT. hunched over Tessa, holding a gun to her head.

Vera flew right at him, trying to knock him over...

BANG!

Too late.

Vera flew at the man, unconsciously firing her plasma pistol. He was reduced to a steaming pile of green goo by the time she reached him.

"No! Tessa, no!" Vera cried, trying to use her multitool to brush gooey bits of Knuckledragging bandit off of the Bladed Bunny's body, "Stay with me! Don't go! Why? Why did you have to... what!??!"

Meanwhile, on a rooftop just at very edge of town...

Ulysses put his binoculars away and continued on his way.

So... eyebots can cry electric tears after all.

Emperor Zuma:
Snip

Follower's Clinic
Harland was wandering alone that night, half stumbling through the streets. One hand with a bottle, the other clutching his stomach. Clutching his gut, blood poured between his fingers, staining his shirt red. He still wasn't entirely sure what had happened. The Khans were readying themselves to move on from Cheyton, gather the clan and take the fight to the Alliance. They'd all been given the night off to do whatever they wanted. So he had gone to the brothel, take in some of the local attractions. Then, everything had gone to hell.

He half knocked, half slumped onto the Clinic's door, moaning lightly. He gingerly poured some of the whiskey onto the gash across his stomach. The searing alcohol made him scream with pain, and he whimpered feebly as his legs became too wobbly to stand. Harland slid down to the mat, banging on the door.

"June, June, please.... please, open up."

The Rabbit Home:

The Twisted Hares were on the move, Victoria, Tessa and Vera traveled out in the open, quite aware of the eyes that were upon them, the wolf whistles that followed them and the bolder hands that reached out to grope them, only to be knocked away by a Terrifying Glare from the Tall and Pale Mistress of Pain. The Legionnaire and Mercy traveled with in the crowd, keeping a low profile, as per The Black Swan's plan.

The Black Leather Clad Assassin's mind was filled with a dangerous combination of doubt and worry as she hashed and rehashed her plan over and over again. Was their intelligence on the Knuckleheads correct? Were the Knuckleheads as disorganized as the Twisted Hares believed? Was everything going to go accord to plan?

Victoria's thoughts were soon interrupted as they reached their destination, the sight of the building causing the darkly dress woman to doubt her plans once again as the surveyed the building and realized that something was definitely wrong with what she was seeing. The building that they were headed towards looked nothing like the building that had been described to the Bladed Bunny by her source.

This should have been the first warning sign that something was wrong and the plan was going to go horribly wrong, glancing over at her companions, the pale Undertaker smiled for a moment and lead the way in.

The Knuckle-Brothel:
The Plan Goes to Hell

The first part of the plan had gone smooth as silk. The Black Bunny, The Bladed Bunny and The Ball Bunny had been able to infiltrate the Knuckleheads' Brothel without anyone batting an eye at them. It was this little bit that was Vicky's second warning that they should have pulled out of the situation entirely.

Entering the Brothel, Victoria did not yet realize that in her haste to be done with the Knuckleheads and move on towards removing the damnable Ulysses from the face of the Wastes, she had become blinded by what was obviously a trap, one that she would pay for.

----------Customer Complaints?----------

*Thwip*
*Thwip**Thwip*
*Thwip**Thwip**Thwip*

Milly spoke softly as she spat the 10mm Hollow Point slugs at subsonic speeds, splattering what passed for Knucklehead Brains all over the walls of the room that she had been assigned by the Brothel's Madame. Each of the Knuckleheads dying without knowing what was happening to his fellows as each one had been bound and gagged, the benefits of being the Bondage Bunny.

Moving on to the next one, Victoria slowly drew her silver straight razor and ran it over her victim's throat, causing him to thrash about for a few moments, his Knuckledragger not knowing that his struggles were futile.

Smiling to herself, the Undertaker wondered how Tessa was doing and thinking to herself that after this, she and Tessa deserved a break, perhaps check into the fanciest hotel in Cheyton and just - do - nothing. The thought was shattered when she openned the door to her sound proof room and saw that all hell had broken loose. The bodies of many of the Knuckleheads had been strewn throughout the corridor, The Eldest of the Rabbit Sisters' handiwork apparent through the multitude of stab wounds present on all the corpses.

Knowing that the time for subtle theatrics was over, signaled the Plasma Rabbit and the Legionnaire as she passed an open window.

*BOOOOOM!!!*

The Bomber Bunny's Bunny Bombs went off and ripped open the front of the building, adding more confusion to what was already a chaotic situation.

What happened next would be forever burned into the Black Swan's memory as she started down the stairs. Looking in the middle of the room, Victoria bore witness to the horror that her blindness had given brith to. Tessa was on the ground, looking up towards her murderer, a Knucklehead Lieutenant.

*BANG!*

The gunshot rang out, an exclamation mark to the tragic lives of the Rabbit Sisters.

"TESSA!!!" Victoria screamed out, knowing that it was far too late.


"TESSA!!!" The Undertaker screamed out as Mercy entered the building through the ruins of what used to be the building's facade, only to see Tessa laying down on the ground, a Knucklehead standing over her with a smoking gun, the sight causing the Lone Rabbit to stop in her tracks as she watched her sister's murderer was melted into green slag.

"Stay with me! Don't go! Why? Why did you have to... what!??!" Mercy heard Vera say, though unaware of what was going on as she lost control of her body, witnessing from what seemed like a great distance as she neared her sister's body and though Mercy's face was pale, she couldn't see any tears streaming down her own face.

"The Followers." The Builder Rabbit heard herself say as she watched her body pick up that of her sister and run out of the building towards the Follower's compound.

Outskirts of Cheyton and moving fast Northwest
Ollie circled around to the back of the group one last time before giving up. He sauntered up alongside Melissa. "No sign of Harland anywhere," he said. "Do you want me to go back into town to look for him?" Ollie looked at the Khan expectantly. She shook her head.

"No, we can't afford to waste time looking for one Khan, even if he is your friend," Melissa said. "If he was smart, he'll make his way back to the Follower's clinic to stay with the rest of the wounded. But I need you here, Ollie. I've got a job for you."

Melissa dug into her pack and provided a map, one of Ollie's own handiwork. "I need someone to head west along the southern edge of the territory. Frank's clan was wandering down near the basin." Melissa looked at Ollie knowingly. He sighed to himself, and let her finish. "I know seeing your father is probably the last thing you want to do, but I don't see any other way to get his help. Rock Springs' older residents don't like us, but that doesn't stop them from watching us. Your dad can point the way to Frank."

Ollie thumbed his nose, a sour look over his face. "I'm as good a tracker as any of the Outriders, why would I even need to see my dad for this? I don't need him. I never did."

Melissa gave a small smile. "You sound like I did, twenty years ago. Listen, Oliver-"

"Don't call me that," snapped Ollie.

"Sorry, Ollie it is. Ollie, he is still your father. The Khans are your family now, but nothing says that he can't still be part of your life." Melissa tried to offer a comforting hand to Ollie, but he pulled away.

"Even if I wanted him in my life, he doesn't want anything to do with mine," Ollie said, bitterly. "I'll talk to him, find Frank, and then I'm gone. The less I see of him, the better."

Melissa sat back in her saddle, giving up. "If that's what you want, I won't stop you. Don't do anything stupid, and good luck." She pulled her nightmare around, heading north once again.

In the dim light of twilight, Ollie watched the Khans ride off into the darkness, leaving him alone. He turned Allegre westward, and vanished into the night.

Follower's Compound: Some time later

The Worried Widdle Wabbit found herself waiting outside of a Follower's medical tent, waiting and absolutely drained of her emotions as she traced a wide circle around the front of the tent where she had brought the lifeless body of the Bladed Bunny. Around her were the rest of the Twisted Hares: Vera, Victoria and Treb, waiting as well for word from the Follower Medic.

The Brotherl Raid, the Twisted Hares' first major foray against the Knuckleheads, would have been deemed a success by most people, but the Rabbit Sisters weren't most people. Wheeling around, Mercy turned her sadness and anger against who she felt deserved it the most.

*THWACK!!!!*

The punch to the Bumbling Black Bunny's jaw would have been followed up with a second if it weren't for the fact that a nearby Follower Guard pulled the Not-so-Burly Basher Bunny off of the Bruised Bunny.

"THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT YOU STUPID BITCH!!" Mercy screamed as she struggled against the Follower Guard, her feet flailing uselessly in the air as she was lifted off the ground and pulled away from her adversary. Despite her size, the Follower Guard seemed to be having quite a bit of difficulty maintaining his grip on the stuggling girl.

For her part, the Black Swan was silent and non-reactive to the sudden attack. The Depressed Neighborhood Undertaker didn't need any one telling her something so obvious, the fact that Tessa was in the condition that she was is was all Vicky's fault. The fact that Tessa was more than likely dead was all Vicky's fault. No one knew that better than Vicky herself. She continued sitting on the wooden box that the Followers had offered the Twisted Hares as seats, not uttering a single word while they all waited.

The Slippery as Butter Bunny probably would have kept going and going and going if it wasn't for the fact that the tent flap opened and revealed the Follower Medic that had been working on reviving Tess inside for the better part of eternity. The woman's sudden appearance brought on a renewed flurry of activity as the Restless Rabbit started struggling against the Idiot Guard once again as she yelled out question after question after concerned question.

"Howisshe? Isshegoingtomakeit? Whencanweseeher? Howisshe?" Mercy's Machine Gun Mouth rattled off a salvo of querries at the Doctor.

The Doctor didn't say anything but her body language spoke volumes to Victoria, who had seen that expression on many a Doctor previously, causing her to turn her head briefly as her hands covered her face to hide the fact that she was crying.

"We've done everything that we can for her but I'm afraid that it's too early to tell. We've managed to repair most of the damage that the bullet did to her but for now, we've had to put her in a medically induced coma at least until the swelling in her brain has gone down." The Doctor said, giving the "good news" first.

"But?" The Undertaker prodded, knowing that if this was the good news, the bad news would be bad. The Follower Doctor looked at the Darkly Dressed Undertaker, her lips frowning before she nodded and continued.

"But there's been extensive damage to Tessa's brain. If she does pull through, I'm afraid that she'll never be the same again. I can't tell you any specifics but the damage can affect her mental faculties, her personality, her motor skills. I'm sorry, but we've done everything that we can." The Doctor said and started to turn away before adding, "We're moving her over to recovery. You can visit her afterwards."

Watching the Doctor leave, Mercy looked at the rest of the Twisted Hares, wondering who she would lose next.

"Let's go get cleaned up. It's going to be a while before we can see her." Vicky said as she started to head back towards the Rabbit Hole.

A figure in a strange patchwork power-armor made from pieces of Enclave armor as well as the T series with an odd rifle on his back came to Redstone Camping Ground.
"Looks like the scout reports were on the money."
Mutants could be seen tending to their business.
"Hello, I am Jesse a representative of the Wight Knights!"
Jesse chuckled to himself as he realized he was about the reference many classic pre-war science fiction movies with his next line.
"Take me to your leader."

New Wheatland Forest

Jacob and the rest of the caravan had entered the thick of the woods that surrounded New Wheatland. It made the doctor quite happy to see how well the trees had adapted to the wasteland soil. Old Issac's talents had certainly not gone to waste.

He didn't have much time to admire the scenery though, as one of the man that tended to the brahmin had called him over to see what was wrong with one of the beasts carrying a wagon. "He seems to be pretty spooked..." The man spoke as he looked at the other mutant cows. "Actually, they all do. Why would they be scared of a place like this?"

Jacob shrugged, as his veterinary skills were rather rusty. "Can't see for miles in a place like this, if I had to guess. They might think a predator is right around the corn-"

A sudden bang from near the back of the caravan shocked Jacob out of his train of thought. Several more followed, and it was clear that the Rangers protecting the rear had come under attack. In a sudden panic, everyone in the caravan sped forward, even the usual slow-paced brahmin were in a full gallop. Able to avoid being trampled, Jacob hung back to see who was attacking. To his surprise, it was something he'd never seen before.

It was a group of what resembled humans, but they were covered in a sickly-green moss, and a spikey fungus appeared to be growing out of their backs and stretching for a good foot into the air. The creatures numbered in the dozen, and appeared to be trying to get into a melee with the Rangers. Several had apparently failed and were fatally wounded, by the looks of the few of them lying on the ground. However, the rest had closed the distance. Some started to violently bash their fists into their targeted ranger, while others appeared to be eating them alive.

"Get back!" Jacob heard Jose shout at him just before knocking the doctor aside. The caravan leader had rallied his forces and brought another squad of Rangers with him to help fend off the strange abominations. Jacob noted the fact that the creatures only dropped after being practically riddled with bullets, but the Rangers soon brought them all down. "Quickly, get all of them, I don't care if they're living or dead."

The Rangers nodded and began their work, with Jacob coming to help as well. Soon, the bodies, of the injured and the dead, were either put on a wagon or carried on the backs of their comrades as the caravan rushed to where they hoped to find shelter, New Wheatland itself.



New Wheatland Outskirts, Southeast Approach

As Kaiden and Abel made their way into the forest that surrounded the town of New Wheatland, they found themselves in the midst of a similar foe. As suddenly, from out of the bush, attacked what probably were coyotes at some point in time. However, they too covered in the green moss, with the same fungus jutting from the back of the dogs' neck all the way to their tails. They quickly surrounded Kaiden and Abel and started to emit a deep gurgle that was probable meant to emulate a growl.

EmperorZuma:
snip

Cheyton Follower's Clinic
Harland had used the last of his med-x supply, and the pain was creeping back into him, a low ache that would soon become a scream once again. He bashed the doorway once again, still unsure why nobody was coming. When he tried to speak, his voice was hoarse, and there was blood on his lips. "June, June, open the fucking door! Please... please..."


Westbound and Down, load it up and hoof it
Dawn was beginning to break over the eastern sky, casting golden light over Ollie's shoulders. He had ridden hard all night, leaving the Khans and Cheyton behind. There were occasional towns along the road, but nothing significant between Cheyton and Dry Springs. Ollie had passed Sand Point, and he was just riding into Bronstown, the next stop along the remains of I-80.

The small town was insignificant apart from the occasional Gun Runner who made stops along the northern trade routes. Luckily for Ollie, he was in town while he passed through. As the sun rose, the town came to life, and the Gun Runner was offloading his wares as he dismounted. The man had a pinched face and a constant squint. "So what do you want then, Khan? Got some of the best stuff money can by, direct from the Boneyard."

Ollie looked through his wares, a fine assortment of revolvers mainly. That's when Ollie noticed something, well, different, to say the least. It was the strangest, yet sleekest looking Revolver he had ever seen.
image
The sign said "Mateba Model 6 Unica" .44 mag.

"How much for that thing?" asked Ollie, already plucking caps from his jacket pockets. The gun was a beauty, an auto-revolver.

"6000 caps," said the salesman bluntly.

"Nobody has that kind of cash you idiot," retorted Ollie. "Besides, why the hell would you drag around something that expensive if you weren't looking to sell it?"

The salesman flapped his hands dismissively. "I don't choose what I bring with the caravan, Khan, I just do what I'm told. Now it's 6000 caps, or get lost."

Ollie leaned over the table, trying to look menacing. "How about 2000 caps, and my revolver? And if you take that, I won't have to shove my foot up your ass?" Ollie placed the Governator on the table. He would miss the old gun, but the encounter with the Legionnaire proved that he needed to be packing some heavier firepower. "So what will it be?"

The Gun Runner still wasn't impressed, but he relinquished. "Fine, I've been lugging that little thing around for months. There just isn't a high enough demand for the things. Honestly don't even know why we make them anymore. Take the damn thing and beat it."

Ollie tossed the man his bag of caps and snatched the Unica off the table. He had to admire the design. It auto loaded, and the barrel aligned with the bottom of the cylinder. Testing the gun on a set of nuka cola bottles, he was amazed at how little recoil the gun gave off. More of a kick to the hand rather than the gun flying backwards with each shot. Ollie was satisfied with his purchase, even if it did mean he'd need to find a new stash of caps after blowing his entire savings.

"Having fun shooting bottles, or are you ready to ride again?"

Ollie spun around at the voice. Anna was standing underneath the awning in front of Bronstown's saloon, smiling at him. "What are you doing here? I thought you rode north with the others?"

"I left them the pip boy so they could keep tracking the signal, but I wanted to come with you. I don't know what happened to Harland, and you're the only other person I can stand to be around for any amount of time."

Ollie folded his arms. "Well, glad to know that I'm wanted and not at all being mocked. Can't you just say 'I wanted to be with you because I like your company'?"

Anna smiled, flashing her pearly white teeth. "But it's much more fun to tease you. Now, are you ready to ride or not?"

Redstone Camping Ground

"Caleb, there is a visitor requesting to speak to our leader" Came the voice of a patrol guard as he entered Caleb's shack.

"Thank you, I will deal with this, brother"

Caleb stood up from his chair, grabbing a plain staff he made for the entrance to the camp.

He saw the visitor, dressed in patchwork armour, the majority of which appeared to be Enclave in origin. It was hard to tell this persons gender through the armour, so Caleb left his greeting open, hoping to learn of it when they spoke.

"Greetings friend. Welcome to Redstone Camping Ground" He began, holding his arms in an open, inviting gesture. "I'm afraid our people here have no leaders, but my brothers have long since elected me to represent them, if that would suffice?"

He turned towards his shack, gesturing for the visitor to follow him.

"My name is Caleb, friend. How may I help you?"

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

New Wheatland, Southeast Approach

Kaiden had been struggling with the brush, the heat and humidity for what seemed like hours as he looked for a road, but he found himself brought out of his hot and bothered state when...

*Bang!* A gunshot? *Bang bang bang* Lots of gunshots, followed by shouts and blood curling screams. Kaiden lowered himself to avoid any potential stray bullets and to sneak up on the action. At least that was the plan until Abel pushed into his legs, growling harshly. Kaiden looked down to see his companion facing the other way, turning his head from side to side. Danger was coming.

What Kaiden saw next was truly horrifying. Coyotes, or at least they were once coyotes, had them flanked. A strange growth on their backs concerned Kaiden a lot. Was it infectious? How was it transmitted? Focus He thought.

The creatures let out a strange gargling growl before the first pounced, its malformed mouth ready to bite. Kaiden was fast to respond as he caught the creature behind the ears, twisting violently to break its neck as he spun around to fling it as far away as he could. He finished his spin to find another in the air, ready to connect, right when Abel pounced into its side, biting hard into its torso. Not a kill, but damaging enough to debilitate it.

Another two charged, this time not pouncing but heading for his legs. Organised. Kaiden swept his right leg into a kick, aimed at the creature targeting his left leg. A high pitched yelp told him had hit. He reached his hand now to grab the tail of the other that had targeted his right leg. He pulled it into the air with one hand and grabbed the growth on its back with the other. Pulling with all his might he tore the growth from its back, deep rooted into the coyotes spine it was obvious the host would not survive. Thick black blood sprayed to the floor.

The creatures went silent, and began to regroup. Abel made his way to his masters side again, poised for another attack.

"Ready friend?"

Recap: Treb

The attack on the Brothel was a bit confusing.

It began easy enough, Mercy and the Legionnaire staying within the crowds, they made Treb take off his cape to fit in better. He was also forced to remove his coat, but at least hew was able to keep his armor and weapons. They moved quickly to set up the bombs, the mission already underway.

*BOOOOOM!!!*

Treb took out his sword, and charged in first, only to find the explosives did his job already. "For fucks sake, it's like working with Cass-"

*BANG!*

Treb heard the noise, Mercy had already on the move towards it. Treb grunted and followed, tripping over a severed arm. He caught up to her as she turned a man into goo, right next to the body of the near dead Tessa. Treb swore, she was supposed to be the one he wouldn't have to worry about. The robot seemed panicked, a worrying thought. Mercy scooped her sister up in her arms, a feat that somewhat surprised Treb, before she ran out, whispering something or other.

The Centurion followed her, his mission was to protect the two. Failure likely meant termination, and he was suddenly thankful they didn't have access to the Grand Canyon. Though they had plenty of fire and crucifixes. He shook the thought, keeping an eye out for enemies.

He stayed with her when they made it to the camp, Vicky caught up to them after a bit. They seemed to wait for at least two eternities before the medic came out, but not before Mercy yelled and attacked the One in Black. She didn't fight back, perhaps she blamed herself as well. Treb simply blamed all of them, they could have just stayed home for the evening, and let the trained professional's take over.

This is what always happened to heroes.

He shook his head as the medic came out, Mercy immediately bombarding her with rapid fire questions. Apparently she was only comatose, and probably unsteady. Treb held in his sigh of relief, and wandered off, hopefully unnoticed. He didn't want to leave Mercy alone with the woman she just punched in the face, but he had to find the junkyard. Dawn had arrived, it was officially the day of the Legion.

But first... Treb heard a man, sounded familiar. Really familiar.

"June, June, open the fucking door! Please... please..."

"Fun night, it seems." Treb said, leaning on his unsheathed bumper sword, and smirking at the injured Khan. He took a stimpack out of his pocket, and tossed it on the ground next to him. His eyes seemed to hold no malice, but one could never be too sure.

Junkyard: 13th Legion

40 strong, the army assembled around a heap of trash. Julian stood on it, wearing her disguise; A black hooded cloak over a merc grunt uniform. She raised her hands in the air, and the junkyard remained silent as she stared over her companions. All wore hooded cloaks like her, as well as merc clothing. She smiled a bit nervously, she wasn't the best at speeches, but she just needed to relay orders for now. Fucking Treb should've been there by now, perhaps something went wrong. She'd have to ignore it for now, Treb could survive a missile to the teeth, he was probably just sleeping late again. She got a legionnaire she didn't know the name of, a surprisingly pretty redhead, to read her speech for her. She knew she wasn't very charismatic, but her replacement hopefully was.

"Brothers, sisters, attention!" She began, all eyes on her now. She cleared her throat, and began her practiced speech.

"We have all seen the horrors of the world; Bandits, beasts, and death around all corners. Some, more than others..." She paused for a moment, looking at the assembled Legion. Julian was... actually mildly impressed, she was selling it quite well.

"That is why we are here today. The city of Cheyton is like any other city in this wasteland; A nightmare. It houses several gangs, our target today the brutal Knuckleheads, ally of Lanius and his Pack of Monsters! Drug running casual murderers, one and all, and it is our solemn duty to remove this cancerous plague, for the good of all!

"Our alae will take to the streets, our Decanus will lead our best units to march in their headquarters, rorarii will set up a position here while our Speculatores scout the rest of the city. Questions?" The silence remained, making Julian smile further.

"Good. May Mars have mercy on our enemies, FOR WE WILL NOT!" She drew her machete, the rest of the Legion doing so as well as they repeated the cheer.

Redstone
The area was full of dogs. Jesse liked dogs. Trouble was; dogs didn't like Jesse.
A large Nightkin came out of a shack.
"Greetings friend. Welcome to Redstone Camping Ground"
He began, holding his arms in an open, inviting gesture.
"I'm afraid our people here have no leaders, but my brothers have long since elected me to represent them, if that would suffice?"
"So long as I can speak to someone."
He turned towards his shack, gesturing for the visitor to follow him.
Jesse followed into the shack. Jesse had always been been a short man, but among all these large mutants he felt even shorter.
"My name is Caleb, friend. How may I help you?"
Jesse removed his helmet to reveal that he was in fact a ghoul.
A ghoul who somehow had a great bushy beard.
Weren't ghouls supposed to lose their hair?
"My name is Jesse Jager-Krieger. I am here on behalf of a group known as the Wight Knights. Perhaps you've heard of us?"
Jesse pulled a cigar out of a compartment in his armor.
"Mind if I smoke?"

Redstone Camping Ground, Calebs Shack

The visitor was a ghoul. Good news. Though Super Mutants and ghouls didn't always see eye to eye, they could at least agree that humans were the untrustworthy ones most of the time. A ghoul with a beard though? This was new.

"Go ahead" Caleb replied to the ghouls request to smoke. Then he addressed the previous question, "I'm afraid my people are new to this place and have yet to learn of the various factions" Caleb sat in his large chair, placing his staff against his side, it was always wise to keep a weapon at hand in case any stranger had a hidden motive. Still, this Jesse seemed to be genuine enough.

"Tell me friend, what has brought our humble settlement to the attention of your 'White Knights'?"

Follower's Clinic

The door before Harland open to reveal a distress orderly, suddenly frightened by the sight of the bloody Khan. "Oh my god!" The orderly put Harland over her shoulder and helped carry him into the clinic. At the same time, a nurse had come from the back of the clinic to see what was causing all the ruckus, gasping when see saw Harland. "Get one of the doctors up and into room 8!" The orderly shouted at the nurse, who regained her composure and ran back down the hallway.

Soon, the orderly was able to get Harland into a clinic room and pump some more Med-X into him, alleviating some of the pain. Not long after, a doctor finally arrived and began working on his wound.

Meanwhile, Nurse June had finally entered the scene, with the orderly apparently going to get her after seeing Harland was in good hands. "What the hell happened to you?" A groan in June's voice told that she had to be dragged out of bed to get here.



New Wheatland Woods

The fungus coyotes looked like they were about to foolishly charge Kaiden and Able once again, but another loud bang in the distance came just an instant before one of the coyotes' heads literally exploded. "Get down, Mutant!" Several more bangs, several more squishy explosions, and soon the coast was clear.

From out of the bush came several soldiers, wearing yellow-green armor and carrying what appeared to be highly-modified rifles. "Aren't you lucky we were on patrol..." A soldier wearing a grass-stained beret came forward, apparently the patrol's leader. "I'm surprised you did so well, considering the ambush, but these things don't go down that easily." The soldier pointed to the coyotes that Kaiden thought he had put out of commission, save for the one he ripped the exposed fungus out of. Their positions in the grass showed that they were moving again to attack before their heads were blown off. "Well, you can consider your good fortune on your way out, 'cause this place has really gone to shit."

Redstone
"Go ahead"
Caleb replied to the Jesse's request to smoke. Then he addressed the previous question, "I'm afraid my people are new to this place and have yet to learn of the various factions"
Caleb sat in his large chair, placing his staff against his side.
Jesse took out a lighter with the words 'Een draught mackt maght' engraved on the side, and lit up his cigar. (Cigars remaining 20)
"Tell me friend, what has brought our humble settlement to the attention of your 'White Knights'?"
Jesse could tell that Caleb didn't get the pun.
"Not 'White', 'Wight' W-I-G-H-T. It's a pun of sorts. We're not really from Wyoming either. We're a migratory army of ghouls. There's about a hundred and fifty of us not counting the ferals we keep for guard dogs and research. The bulk of us are up in Montanna. I'm here specifically because of you."
Jesse took a puff of his cigar.
"Good stuff, Koak leaf. Only grows in what was Prospect Park back in Brooklyn. Would you like one? You probably won't get another chance to try one."
Jesse grabbed another cigar.

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