Vera had been about to completely pass out when Mercy cannibalized her treasured plasma pistol. Had Vera been able to power her voice module, she would have begged with the Brilliant Bunny not to save her.
No... Mer-Mer! I'm not worth it! Don't! No... its your pistol... you... love that thing. I can't...
Too late though, her auxiliary power was on and keeping her awake now. And then some asshole Keeper grabbed Mercy and dragged her off. Only then did Vera find her voice.
"You son of a bitch! Let her go!" the little eyebot yelled, her fury giving extra volume to her voice, "STOP! Leave her alone! Take me! You can sell me for scrap damn it!"
The Keeper didn't even acknowledge Vera as he dragged Mercy off. Vera tried to turn on her hover jets again, but... nothing happened. Either there wasn't enough power yet... or they were too heavily damaged to be any use right now.
Then Tessa showed up. To the little eyebot's surprise, the Thievius Rabbitus was... apologizing? Vera had thought the girl was too proud for that.
VERA?! the Wascully Wabbit said, tears streaking down her face, I'm here! You're sister is here!"
Without hesitation, Vera shouted the following warning:
"Go save Mercy! One of those assholes with the kids took her! Save HER! GO! DAMNIT GO!"
Vera would be glaring at Tessa and crying right now if she could. She didn't even bother acknowledging the Undertaker's offer. At this point, Vera was too pissed off at Tessa and too worried about Mercy to care.
Halfway between the Slums and the Markets of Cheyton
Ulysses threw his binoculars down in disgust when he saw the Keeper kidnap the youngest of the Rabbit sisters. His fists were clenched so tightly that some of his less well-maintained fingernails were threatening to break the skin on his palms and draw blood. He ran along the rooftops, easily jumping every gap as he followed the Keeper that had grabbed Mercy to its lair.
There, the Courier of the East, took up a great position on a small guard tower (knocking the on-duty rent-a-cop out with a swift punch to the jaw), and readied his sniper rifle.
He aimed at the Keeper's head, and fired. He heard the howls of their pets as they tried to charge his position. Ulysses reached into a pocket, and shot off a flare-gun to signal both the Knuckleheads and the fledgling Twisted Hares.
This town seems determined to make a Jezebel of my history. Even Kai-Tzar never quite managed to be this... insufferable.
Instead of sniping at the kids, he set the rifle down next to the guard, and hurriedly clambered down to the ground and drew Old Glory. In a sequence of smooth, deft motions, he met the howling children's charge and knocked them out one by one with the blackjack-esque end of his staff.
Thus clearing the path for Markus. When Markus appeared, Ulysses slid back into the shadows. Markus ran right past the broken bodies of the children and Ulysses' hiding spot. Once he was sure that Mercy would be safe, Ulysses stepped out of the shadows and drew a flare gun. He pointed it straight up in the air before discarding it.
"You seem... familiar," the Bearer of the Old World Flag said, taking a few careful steps towards Markus and Mercy, "Did we share the same path once? I wonder..."
"June, Nurse June, Head of Staff here." She was tempted to smile, a bit happier to see a more accepting tone in Harland's voice, but she suppressed it. Getting friendly now would probably just make the rest of the Khan's stay harder. Even at a casual glance, not many of them were going to survive.
Speaking of, another nurse came scurrying down the hallway, her shoes clacking hard against the tiled floor. However, even though her subdued panic was obvious, the lady was smart enough to keep her grim news quiet. Leaning in to whisper, June held her breath, who was their first casualty? "Ma'am, Op-4 has just finished up, but the Auto-Doc couldn't save the patient. Papa Regis, the Khan's leader, is dead."
June sighed at the news, it certainly wasn't going to go over well if delivered poorly, and she'd rather not have her clinic sacked. Taking a brief moment to think, June decided it was best to just bring the two together. "Could you please come with me?" June turned away from the nurse and spoke to Harland. "There's something you should see."
"Did we share the same path once? I wonder..."
Markus growled at the newcomer, and noticed the dead behind him. Not by his hand, therefore the stranger. Markus tensed up, and drew his pistol, circling slowly around the man.
"Recognize me? Tell me, are you- Wait..." Markus stopped, and looked at him closely. The hair, it was familiar. The respirator hid the mans face, but he could tell...
"Ulysses." Markus didn't lower his pistol, but he showed less hostility in his stance and speech, "What brings an ex-Frumentarius around here? Have you heard anything from the rest of the Last Legion?" Legate Virgil was worried for his people, but more worried what Ulysses was doing here. Had he rejoined, or would he try to kill him like so many others? Virgil had the ear of the Monster, had he wanted it, perhaps he was more valid for assassination than previously thought...
In the end, he sighed, and lowered his pistol, offering a hand for Mercy. He stared, blank, at the Frumentarii in the meantime...
Cheyton: Keeper Compound.
Ulysses folded his arms to keep himself from clenching his fists any further. When he spoke, it was again in that same gruff monotone, though there was a slight edge to it this time, as if... "I may be a slave to the Legion's methods, but I am no longer a slave to its purpose. I haven't followed the will of history's hypocrite for twenty summers now."
Ulysses drew Old Glory again, but this time, to use it as a walking stick. He leaned on it heavily, more for show than anything else.
"As for the Last Legion," Ulysses said, "I intend to bring their dreams of conquest and rape to an end. Death is all they have sown ever since Kai-Tzar met his death at the Dam; and death is all the Last Legion and its Monster has earned in kind. They believe in nothing but the 'glory' of battle now. And they achieve nothing more than carnage and self-slaughter. Won't be long before the 'Profligates' unite against the Monster's horde, and put a halt to the Legion's last breath."
Ulysses stopped advancing once he was within a distance of ten feet to Markus and Mercy.
"It is inevitable. I mean to hasten their demise," he said, "And... find a better future."
That last part was barely said above a whisper. As if what little hope remained within the beat-up old Courier was struggling to breathe life into the man.
"Know this, Legate Virgil," Ulysses said, recognizing the young man now, "The day I set my flag down will be over my body or a nation I believe in."
And with that, Ulysses turned to leave. Giving Markus and Mercy a view of the Old World Flag on his back.
"The day I set my flag down will be over my body or a nation I believe in."
Markus' heart sank. He had left, and now the Legion were returning to their old ways in force. His shoulders slumped as he lowered the pistol and sighed. All his damned hard work, all for naught?
"Tell me, have they destroyed my Legion yet? I don't want them dead by association, I had men and women in there, friends! Did they not try to fight?!" Markus took a step towards the retreating Ulysses, then stopped.
"No... I suppose you wouldn't know." He had tried to keep them a secret, his own Frumentarii, only the Monster of the East had truly known of them... and he would've wiped them out by now. His heart felt heavier, poor old Doc. Poor old everyone there, they had probably been crucified as Profligates.
"Tch. Old war flag? There is nothing in the past but the dead, fools, and memories..." Markus shook his head as he started home, beckoning Mercy to follow. He'd keep them safe. It was the least he could do...
"Vera Rabbit... I've come to bring an end to your pain if you wish and allow you the opportunity to die with dignity."
Tessa was touched by how Victoria was performing the rites of an Undertaker, however, she did not like what this meant. Was this it? Is Vera going to die because of her previously heated accusations? She was about to lose the family she had just met.
"However... if that is not what you wish, I can help you prolong your life."
Victoria concluded and started pointing to the single electrical lead that needed to be connected that would give Vera her main power back. Mercy's handiwork, Tessa would recognise the remnants of that particular plasma pistol anywhere. There was still a chance...
"Go save Mercy! One of those assholes with the kids took her! Save HER! GO! DAMNIT GO!"
"Not without saving you first! You're just as important as anyone else!" Tessa did not hesitate to secure the now connected electrical lead, which would presumably power Vera, if Victoria's indications were correct. "I'll make things right for once..."
Now Mercy had also suffered because of her actions?
She was in no condition to fight, but she would march to her death for Mercy right now.
Cradling Vera in her arms, making sure not to disturb the improvised power connection. Tessa winced as the extra weight hurt her body, however, she nodded towards Victoria. "Let's make sure Vera is safe at home, then I'll go find Mercy."
Utterly destroyed emotionally, Tessa desperately made her way home. What were those Children doing to Mercy?
En Route to The Rabbit Hole
Vera would be protesting a bit more, but... Tessa hadn't exactly thought through where she had the little eyebot's faceplate pointed. As it was, Vera had an excellent... 'view' of Tessa's umm... oh you can figure it out. Plus, Tessa's um... 'assets' were blocking Vera's speaker, so even if she did say anything, it would just come out very muffled.
Vera couldn't decide if this was simple clumsiness on Tessa's part... or if it were deliberate. Either way, she was just as surprised about her... 'positioning' as she was by the fact that Tessa was slowly carrying her
to the Rabbit Hole home... yes... home.
The little eyebot however, couldn't fully enjoy her current situation because her power was still fluctuating wildly, if less dangerously than before, so she kept having a series of quiet mood swings as one moment she felt very chipper and ready to tear Ulysses and the Keepers a new one, and the next, she felt as though she could pass out at any moment. And every emotion she could process kept flicking in and out, only to be immediately replaced with a different one.
Oh I hope Mercy's okay... because if SHE ISN'T I'M GOING TO FUCKING DESTROY THOSE ASSHOLES! ... Tessa has some.... nice cushions... Gah! Why do I even have a sex drive?! How does that even work!?! Oh... please let Mercy be okay...
The Hare Hideout aka The Rabbit Cave aka The Fortress of Rabbitude
The youngest of the Twisted Hares hadn't been paying particular attention to the interaction between Ulysses and Markus, rather she had been focused on the bodies of the dead that were strewn everywhere. The Children (both boys and girls): It wasn't the faces contorted in various expressions of animistic anger that disturbed her, it was the ones that looked thankful for release, the ones that had were aware of what they had become and had finally found some measure of peace that made the Shamed Rabbit bury her face into the former legionaire's side, covering her face from the world and its horrors.
They were walking now, and still, the Youngest of the Rabbit sisters couldn't bear to witness the monstrous acts that men had wrought upon each other Perhaps she would have noticed that a few of the dead Knuckleheads that littered the streets appeared to have died from wounds suffered at the hands of packs of wild creatures as Cheyton was becoming a war zone with the Rabbit Sisters and the Twisted Hares in the middle of it all.
The creaking of the front door to the Rabbit's house was a welcome sound and she swore to what ever deity was listening to her that she would never ever ever oil that door or think about fixing it and it was at that point that she looked up from Markus' side and saw the danger she had put every one in with her stunt.
Tessa was sitting on the couch with Vera on her lap, a sight that would have been normally welcoming to the Plasma Rabbit until she saw the wounds that her sisters had suffered. The Undertaker, Victoria McGee, was sitting nearby with a glass of green liquid in her hands and a rather large Anti Materiel rifle next to her. She too appeared to have been drained of her emotions as her normally perfect makeup job had been ruined by tears that streaked her makeup. Even Markus appeared to have been impacted by the night's events.
Running from Markus' side, the youngest rabbit practically dove into the arms of her Rabbit sisters, her crying muffled as she buried her face into Tessa's sides.
"I - sorry - so - I - s-s-s-s-sorry" The Balling Bunny tried to say between gulps of air and sobbing spasms before she looked at her sisters, eyes soaked with salty, stinging tears and let the world know:
"I'm s-s-sorry. I-I-I didn't mean for this to ha-ha-happen. I'm sorry, T-T-Tess. I'm so-sor-sorry Vera. I-I-I'm sorry Vicky. I'm - I'm - I'm sorry Markus." The Rabbit said before she sat up, awaiting whatever verdict the group would pass upon her in regards to her stunt.
The Rabbit Hole
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your view of it), when Tessa sat down with Vera in her lap, the second eldest Bunny sister had turned the little eyebot around so that she could see who was coming in through the door. Vera missed her previous view... somewhat... but...
"Oh Mer-Mer," she said her voice rising with excitement and relief, "If I could power my hover engines now... I'd be flying right out of Tessa's lap to give you a giant nuzzle!"
I'm s-s-sorry. I-I-I didn't mean for this to ha-ha-happen. I'm sorry, T-T-Tess. I'm so-sor-sorry Vera. I-I-I'm sorry Vicky. I'm-I'm-I'm sorry Markus." The adorable [b]Bawling Bunny cried.
"Hey, don't worry about it Mercy," Vera said, "I.. I thought my little show would've been enough to make every thug and killer-for-hire in Cheyton crap their pants and run... but I was wrong. I made a mistake, and you were almost taken away from..." Vera struggled to find a way to finish that sentence. Given all that had happened and all that had been said, Vera didn't quite know where she fit into things.
"Hey, come here Mer-Mer, it's okay. Everyone's... more or less okay now. We're all here together, still? Right?"
Markus noticed the bodies he had left behind, the twisted and mutilated. All dead, though some weren't by his hand. Ulysses had struck too. Mercy had hidden behind him, hoping he could shield her from the atrocities. He tried his best, pulling her closer. Markus was disheartened to learn the streets had become as bad as the Keeper's camp. But of course they were. War seemed to follow the Legion.
Why did that sound infuriate Markus so? He grimaced as it swung open, slowly, and saw the weird look of happiness on Mercy's face. He offered a weak smile in return.
Looking inside, it seemed he was the least active tonight, as he had assumed he would be. Mercy flew from his side to her sisters, and Markus simply stood in place. He couldn't make himself look her in the eyes when she apologized, he had risked her life and then mentally scarred her. He should be apologizing, but he said nothing. He sighed, and moved towards the group as the robot spoke.
"Hey, come here Mer-Mer, it's okay. Everyone's... more or less okay now. We're all here together, still? Right?"
"... I suppose I will stay for awhile. There's a war on, and I have nothing to return to..." MArkus smiled bitterly, and placed his hand on Mercy's shoulder. He looked to Vicky, the one he owed his life to, who had ruined her make-up.
"Would you mind telling me your side of things tonight? I want to know how bad things have gotten."
Victoria McGee swished the violently green absinthe in the clean(ish) glass as she watched the Youngest of the Rabbit Family reunited with her siblings, both of them, the sight causing her to smile somewhat at the unrestrained display of emotions that the sisters brought to the forefront of what seemed to be every interaction. She briefly tried to imagine her and her own siblings putting on such a display where she came from, her smile intensifying to a small degree as she could imagine the discomfort it would cause her own parents.
"Would you mind telling me your side of things tonight? I want to know how bad things have gotten." Markus, Mercy's savior, asked as he stood there looking rather uncomfortable.
"A Legionnaire with a heart of gold? The world does still offer a surprise every so often." The Lady Undertaker commented, though more to take the Legionnaire out of his funk than to insult his damned honor.
"Chaos." The Undertaker simply stated before she looked at Markus and noticed that he was staring at her streaked makeup, causing her to wipe away her tears with a monogrammed handkerchief.
"Between the Keepers, their pets, the Knuckleheads and Ulysses, we are a few steps short from having a war in Cheyton, one that don't have the assets or the man... Rabbitpower to handle, at least not in the open, not directly." It was clear that the Tall, Pale Woman in Black was thinking as she leaned her head back with her eyes closed, her already normally pale face made paler by her grief over her beloved Brahmin and the morning sun that because to sneak into the home through the breaks in the metal walls. Perhaps it was time to reveal another bit of information that she had been holding back.
"What do you know of Ulysses, Markus. He told me to rescue you from the Knuckleheads as an in with the sisters. But if you have any information about him, what I'm about to propose might become easier." She said as he head turned to one side as the exhaustion, the absinthe and most of all the Med-X she had administered to herself earlier began to take hold of her body.
"'The Enemy of my enemy is my friend.' We... just... need... to make... sure...the Keepers... and... Knucleheads... be...come... enem..." The last word trailed off as the Undertaker passed out into a fitful slumber.
"A Legionnaire with a heart of gold? The world does still offer a surprise every so often."
"True." Markus smiled, and cast a look towards the sisters. Mercy must've known by now, but he was unsure of Tessa. The robot wouldn't matter... Probably. Their personalities were easily changed. His smile shrunk a bit when she wiped off her make-up.
He listened to the news. Sounded like the group would need guerilla tactics. Back to Frumentarii ways. Though he did stiffen at the mention of Ulysses, how was he involved in all of this? Should he have taken the shot?
"What do you know of Ulysses, Markus. He told me to rescue you from the Knuckleheads as an in with the sisters. But if you have any information about him, what I'm about to propose might become easier."
"Ex-Legion, frumentarii, master of deceit and subterfuge. I met him earlier tonight- whoop." Markus lunged forward, and caught the falling pale beauty by the waist. He repositioned her into a fireman's carry.
"She needs some rest, I'll take her to the bedroom." Markus trudged off. He was tired too, but he could stay up as long as the sisters needed him. His life debt dictated as much. He went back to the living room, after placing the Undertaker in a more comfortable position on Tessa's bed, and striped off his new armor.
"Well, you guys should rest up soon." Markus smiled innocently. Time to see if they noticed his Legionnaire comments...
Self-hatred and extreme internal criticism just scratched the surface of what she was feeling.
When had the door starting making that noise?
More importantly, Mercy and Markus were alive and physically well. That's all she could ask for, as for herself, she felt that she did not deserve to tears from her sister, let alone the slightest bit of affection.
With her hair covering her face, Tessa turned Vera on her lap to face both of them. Vera would be able to see the utter heartbreak and tears, Mercy would clearly hear them as she broke down with her hands clutching her head.
Finally, Tessa managed to speak to both of her sisters in an utterly depressed monotone. "You have every right to be angry at me. You have every right to hate me. I can even leave if that will help...I don't deserve to be cared for. Not after what I said, not after the way I treated either of you and -...and I am s-so sorry because all of this, this is my fault."
Between the tears and weakness in her body, Tessa choked out the apology her robotic sister deserved. "This is a new home, new city, new dangers...but this is my first family whatsoever. You are apart of that, Vera. Flesh and blood doesn't dictate how real of a person you can be. What I said before-...I was scared and selfish and paranoid and a bitch. I said things in anger that I didn't mean...You're my sister and it doesn't matter what you're made of. I wasn't going to leave you before and I won't now."
Despondently, she turned to Mercy, her nails clenching into her legs painfully. "I didn't mean-...I just...what I said, what I did...I was a terrible sister and you deserve so much better. You deserve someone less horrible-...I had no right saying what I said...You know that I love you, you know that you mean the world to me...but I love you, Mercy. But I'll understand if you hate me."
Gently moving Vera onto Mercy's lap. Tessa frustratedly pulled out all the bloodied blades and threw them on the nearby table. That was enough to bring her into uncontrollable sobbing of her own. "N-none of...this would have h-happened if had just kept-...my mouth shut!"
Standing up with significant effort and stiffness, she became aware of how bloodied her armor had become when she was in full light. Her self-hatred had reached a new low by this point when she finally whispered to her sisters. "I love you both and I'm sorry...for being me."
Between her talking, bits and pieces of the conversation between Markus and Victoria could be heard. Most notably, Markus' link to the Legion.
Limping towards the bedroom, she had caught him just as he was coming back from the bedroom. "Markus..." She laid a hand on his shoulder, which quickly devolved into a hug. Upon moving apart, she spoke with him directly. It was clear that she was hurt, but not by Markus. "Thank you. Thank you for saving my sister. This is now your home too and I'm in your debt...I'm in no position to judge anyone by their origins. But I don't think of you as Legion." She slowly smiled to indicate her sincerity. "I think of Markus as just...Markus. No labels or prejudice."
Limping off towards the bedroom to check on Victoria, only to find herself fast asleep. Covering her in a blanket and smirking, Tessa whispered to the ethereal beauty. "Med-X and alcohol is always a bad idea."
Tessa reflected on Victoria's words on the rooftop for a moment.
"There's nothing to be sorry for, Tess. You've been acting to protect your family and I would expect nothing less of someone who truly cares for those that they love."
Whispering to her sleeping form. "I'll act to protect you too, since I care about you as well."
"I'm sorry that you've been drug into this mess. To tell you the truth, my family bears much of the responsibility for putting you in this position of having to kill those creatures."
Whispering once more. "And I'll keep fighting for you. No matter what we have to face."
Tessa dreaded leaving the bedroom. Instead she quietly pulled off the bloodied armor and threw on some nearby ill-fitting casual shorts and sleeveless shirt. The downside is that it exposed her scarring and recent wounds even more.
With a sigh, she made her way back into the living room. Ready to face the inevitable beratement from her sisters.
She looked like a mess. She felt even worse.
Mercy's warm lap. The Rabbit Hole.
Vera was really starting to enjoy being both of her sisters' laps... she could get used to this. Especially now that... apparently, she could actually start to think of them as sisters.
"This is a new home, new city, new dangers...but this is my first family whatsoever. You are apart of that, Vera. Flesh and blood doesn't dictate how real of a person you can be. What I said before-...I was scared and selfish and paranoid and a bitch. I said things in anger that I didn't mean...You're my sister and it doesn't matter what you're made of. I wasn't going to leave you before and I won't now." Tessa said, choking on her tears.
Despite all of her former anger and frustration with the second eldest rabbit sister... something about Tessa's apology broke through all of that, and actually got Vera to feel sorry for Tessa.
"Tessa..." Vera said unsure of how to phrase this, "It's... it's okay. Really. Its... what I'm used to. I mean, everyone seems to see me as... never mind." she cut herself off, realizing she was only making Tessa feel worse, "But you and Mercy did what no one else has done before... you... called me a sister. You... called me by my name... no one's done that before. Its always been 'eyebot this' and 'flying doggie that'..." She cut herself off again, once again realizing that she was only making her sister feel even worse, "Seriously though, don't worry about it Tessa. I'm okay, Mercy's here and she's safe too. You're safe. We're all good here."
It looked as though Tessa might just about be feeling okay now. And then Vera tried to diffuse the situation with humor.
"Good news everyone!" Vera said by playing a record of an old comedy TV show about the future... which turned out to be horribly wrong, "I ran a quick diagnostic and it looks like I only lost some old holotapes from the 1980's! And... seriously, who needed that? The 80's sucked! That's like losing a spleen or a small rubber band or something!"
And Vera shut up again because she was starting to worry that she'd made Tessa feel irrevocably worse about herself.
"Sorry Tessa," she said as her sister started retreating into another room in the house, "I was just kidding!"
After a few moments.
"Idiot," Vera said cursing herself.
"I think of Markus as just...Markus. No labels or prejudice."
Markus shut out his negative thoughts and hugged her back with a genuine smile on his face. A thought did push it's way to his mind, though.
'Didn't she say she was on the other team.' Markus held in a laugh as she went to her bedroom, where Vicky was. He decided to not take off for an errand again, instead opting to just sit around and think.
He wasn't sure why the Rabbits trusted him so quickly, or so soon. Especially since they knew his true alignment. He was the fox, dressed in red and ordered to destroy any profligates. And here were a group of them... But he couldn't bring himself to think about murdering them quite yet. Perhaps he would rebuild his Legion with them. He'd need to train Mercy, Tessa had a killer's instinct. Vicky was already one of the better agents he'd met. He frowned, the group were probably not interested though.
Markus smiled again. A robot who had emotions, what would technology come up with next? He decided he had seen enough for the day, and fell asleep leaning on the couch.
The Rabbit Hole: Vera Suffers from Mercy's Tender Mercies:
"I didn't mean-...I just...what I said, what I did...I was a terrible sister and you deserve so much better. You deserve someone less horrible-...I had no right saying what I said...You know that I love you, you know that you mean the world to me...but I love you, Mercy. But I'll understand if you hate me." Tessa had said with Mercy's head still buried deep, deep, deeeeep inside the comforting embrace of three sisters before Vera had been placed in Mercy's lap.
"N-none of...this would have h-happened if had just kept-...my mouth shut!" Came the climax of Elder Rabbit Sister's sadness before she retreated from the room.
"Good news everyone!" Vera said by playing a record of an old comedy TV show about the future... which turned out to be horribly wrong, "I ran a quick diagnostic and it looks like I only lost some old holotapes from the 1980's! And... seriously, who needed that? The 80's sucked! That's like losing a spleen or a small rubber band or something!"
Despite the horrid timing of the comment, the Plasmaless Plasma Bunny couldn't help but smile at her sister's attempt to diffuse the tension.
"Vera. Does that mean you've been around since the 1980s? Wouldn't that make you my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grand sister?" The Happier Hare said as she stood up, Vera still being cradled in Mercy's arms, and headed over towards her workbench. With all that had been going on, Mercy still felt a bit upset by the night's events but there was still one thing that could banish all the bad feelings away and as she placed Vera on the workbench, she hit play on her holoplayer, playing the last track that she had been listening to.
"Well sissy V. Let's see what we can do to get the 1980's back in you." The Builder Bunny said as she looked at the damage that Vera had suffered from her fall. The damage wasn't too severe, truth be told, the broken bits just needed to be removed and a new armor place needed to be attached to the portion that had been breached. But, she couldn't quite bring herself to tell Vera the truth.
"Sis, I'm sorry, you'll - you'll never walk again." The Drama Bunny said in the most overly serious tone she could muster up as she removed the bits of the broken flamethrower and breached chassis panel, her body bouncing in time with the music as she worked.
"Vera 5 is ALIVE!" Mercy squealed as she made the final connection between Vera's power core and the Mercy's plasma pistol, putting all of Vera's power stats in the green. You might have thought that Mercy would have been sad to have had to sacrifice her home made plasma pistol for her sister's life, but you'd be thinking wrong if that was that case.
As the song died down for a moment and Mercy found herself attaching an armored panel to Vera's undercarriage, Mercy found herself smiling as it was time to get serious in a way only close sisters could.
"Sissy V. I love you." Mercy said as she nuzzled the BUNNY BALL OF BEAUTY! and flipped the switch that brought all of Vera's systems back online and as Vera found herself able to float around under her own power again, Mercy smiled and did what Bouncing Baby Bunnies did best, she started dancing with her sister Vera until the song ended.
Now, Markus, I - or rather Mercy didn't forget about you. She didn't miss the part where Victoria called you a Legionnaire and she didn't miss the part where you didn't deny it. However, that wasn't the reason why she was "ignoring" you. No, as Mercy found herself working and dancing, she would catch herself stealing discreet glances at the former member of Caesar's Legion, you know those shy glances and those tiny smiles aimed at Markus had he been paying attention.
Falling onto the floor and laughing, Mercy looked up at her Bouncing Ball of a Bunny Sister and nodded in agreement.
"Yeah, the 1980's totally sucked."
The Glorious Rabbit Hole. Wait... that came out wrong, didn't it? Oh well.
Vera felt safer than she ever had before in Mercy's arms, it also reminded her that no one had ever held the little eyebot like this until she met the Rabbit sisters and joined the Bunny fold. Not even her 'father.'
Vera cooed happily and quietly as Mercy carried her to the workbench.
"Vera. Does that mean you've been around since the 1980s? Wouldn't that make you my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grand sister?" Despite not needing to breathe, Vera could not figure out how Mercy had said all of that in one breath.
"Umm... sort of yes and no," Vera said, "This frame I'm in was one of the first eyebots ever made in 1979 by Robco... but... it didn't have a personality matrix... those didn't come along until about 2014, so even ED-E was younger than you think." Vera paused as she tried to block out the memories of the nuclear holocaust that had consumed the entire world in 2077, "But... more recently... the Enclave captured this frame when it was wandering around the Capital Wasteland and started trying to turn it into a weapon. First step was giving it more armor. They never got to the next step."
Vera paused. And realized her sister was still talking to her. Oops.
"Sis, I'm sorry, you'll - you'll never walk again." The Evil little Plasma Bunny said as she bounced in time with the music.
"Har-har." Vera said, if she could, she'd be rolling her eyes and trying to suppress a smirk.
"Vera 5 is ALIVE!" Mercy said, letting Vera fly again. Vera quickly zoomed around the room to test her hover engines out again.
"Yaaaaaeeeeh!" She cried out in excitement before heading back to Mercy.
"Sissy V. I love you." the Adorable Tinkering Bunny said as she brought Vera closer in for a nuzzle.
"I love you too, Mer-Mer," Vera said, nuzzling her sister back.
Then Mercy fell to the floor and nodded to Vera in agreement as Vera dropped down to the floor with her.
"Yeah, the 1980's totally sucked." Mercy said.
"You know it," and then Vera finally realized something that had been bugging her this whole time, like an itch she could never reach, "Wait... was Markus in Ceee-ser's Legion?" Vera finished, making a point to deliberately mispronounce that accursed name.
Doctor McGrath watched as his hot plasma sailed off missing entirely. He sighed and began the painful reload process. He took out energy cell after energy cell from his bag pressing them into the Plasma shotgun. Until he counted twelve. Then he had to wait for the gun to cool down as it had just created a massive amount of energy. He pumped the shotgun and looked up to aim. It was at this moment he saw a white fox like creature rocketing toward him and heard its high pitch scream. "MotherFu" He crashed onto his back his face was wildly clawed at by the creature. He slammed the back end of his gun into the creatures face knocking it onto the ground next him. Blood poured down his face from the wide variety of scratch. He slammed the gun into the head of the stunned creature again and again. His skull fractured and its blood splattered all over Booker's shirt. He pulled himself up and watched as the dumb Deathclaw stuggled to get up. Booker walked toward it and shoved the end of his gun down the creatures throat and pulled the trigger instantly turning its insides into fluid.
"June, Nurse June, Head of Staff here."
"Ma'am, Op-4 has just finished up, but the Auto-Doc couldn't save the patient. Papa Regis, the Khan's leader, is dead."
"Could you please come with me? There's something you should see."
A long day's bloody work was surely wrapping up. Sixty Khans were beyond saving, and were laid out in the morgue under wraps. The others would walk, some of them barely. But none of them were content. There was no relief for those who lived, just bitterness and anger for those that hadn't. This wasn't a time for mourning. Not until the ones responsible for fucking with the Great Khans had been brought down. This was war, unrelenting, never changing.
The doctors stood apart from the Khans, either out of respect, or fear. It was clear that the warriors were wound tight, and the slightest misstep could set them off. Jack and Melissa, the newly appointed clan leaders, approached Nurse June. Melissa spoke. "June, do you still have Jon Ackerman's body here somewhere?" It was an odd request. Ackerman had been killed in the past week, a drunken Khan who had ended up on the wrong side of a bounty poster. He had nothing to do with the massacre.
Jack, possibly sensing the confusion, spoke up to clarify. "Most of these guys are going to lose it if we can't avenge what happened. They need a way to let loose. Perhaps avenging one of the Khans will settle things for a bit. Ackerman might have been scum, but he was one of us. We're going after Vincent Hastings."
[OOC: Okay, what I'm getting from this is that Mcgrath was actually closer to the tumbled Deathclaw than I expected, because I THINK he was finishing it AFTER going crazy on the fox.]
Still in Wyoming
Situations are what they are because of the circumstances contained within them. It was inevitable that there would be trouble whenever a Deathclaw was involved. There was no way to avoid this, as even intellectual Deathclaws were rarely considered trustworthy by humans or any humanoid being. They were universally feared, except by other Deathclaws. A face only a mother coulld love, right? Well, witness now what unfolds here on this hill. Malkos was already on the move, of course. He had a habit of doing that, because humans kept shooting at him. However, in a sudden freak-out, Mcgrath put the lights out forever on his fellow Death-colleague after Joe had pulled a fast one.
In that split second when Malkos saw that, Martin shot him in the face, which stung quite a bit. Joe didn't quite make that BECAUSE of Martin, and then Malkos was seeing red. Not from blood, but from rage. Oh, he hadn't been angry before, but now you killed one of his kind. That's where the trouble starts. The body of the Dead-claw was hoisted up and swung into Mcgrath rather swiftly. He then ran up to Joe and Martin with the body as a shield, letting off a battle-howl to slam at them hard with it in turn.
The dead Deathclaw was heavy mass plus flailing arms with claws at the end. This makes it major suckages for anyone at the wrong end of the thing. Guatanteed, anyone significantly hit here was going flying.
June pursed her lips as she considered what the Khan's wanted with a corpse, especially if it meant loosing a vengeful mob on the Wasteland. "Well, if we're keeping him, then he'll be in the morgue. Though chances are good he's already been stripped and burned."
As she led the new Khan leaders to the basement, June couldn't help but feel a bit frustrated with the day's events. Sixty of them...fatalities, Jacob could have saved most of them, maybe even their Papa... June continued to ponder about how things could be different if the good doctor wasn't on his safari as she led them down the stairs, stopping short of two doors on the opposite walls of the basement hallway.
Unlocking the door to her left, June pushed open the doors to the morgue, a musky smell of death and chemicals drifting into the hall as June turned on the lights. "Let's see.....1, 3, 5, 6 and 9 are occupied. If the man you're looking for is still here, he's in one of them." June spoke as she unlocked the cabinets used to store the cadavers, opening each one of them so the Khans could look inside.
I-25, The Fork In The Road
"Yeah, okay, if you want to repay me, then meet me in New Wheatland. If we miss each other, then I'll just write off the debt."
"Farewell for now, friend" Said Kaiden as he turned and headed back for his home, making sure he was in fact headed the right way this time. New Wheatland? He thought to himself, Perhaps one of our scouts knows where it is He told himself, determined to fulfill his promise to the doctor.
South of Redstone Camping Ground
Kaiden found himself on the familiar winding road, headed uphill towards his new home. Since the drugs had worked their way out of his body he had begun to ache a little from his travels. A well earned rest was in order, but there was business to attend to first. He pushed on and as he neared the last bend he heard a loud barking. It was getting louder too, headed towards him. As he came around the bend a dog leaped through the air, narrowly missing him, followed by a rush of 4 Super Mutants, wielding ranged and melee weapons. The dog turned and barked even louder, poised to pounce again.
"Kyyyiiip!!" Yelled a powerful, booming voice. The dog stopped barking and sat perfectly still like a statue. "Kaiden! You have returned!" Came the voice again, softer this time. Kaiden turned his attention from the guard dog, who had done his job of drawing attention towards an intruder, and faced a huge Nightkin, bigger than any Mutant he had ever seen. "Welcome home!" He said again, smiling that odd looking smile that Super Mutants and Nightkin alike do.
The sound of whispering and the rustling of armor and clothing being moved around was loud enough to wake the slumbering Victoria McGee up as she found herself covered by a soft blanket in a warm bed in a darkened bedroom. Panic would have set in, in part from her alien surroundings and a sensation that she had been mauled by a trampling herd of Brahmin, had it not been for the familiar voice that whispered in the darkness, Tessa's face just barely visible in the glow of the light the snuck in from under the closed door that lead to the Rabbit Living Room.
""And I'll keep fighting for you. No matter what we have to face." The Eldest of the Rabbit sisters whispered in the darkness before retreating into the Living Room once more, leaving the Darkly Dressed Woman alone in the dark. Med-X and Absinthe was definitely going to be sworn off for a while, perhaps a day or a week, at least until the Med-X was needed to assist her in her off the books duties once again.
As she laid there, she heard voices filter in from the other room, voices that sounded much happier despite the events of the night. They brought a smile to the Undertaker as she decided that it was time to rise and, because of the physicalities of the actions that had transpired that very night, it might be time for a warm shower, at least she hoped that it would be warm.
The initial blast of water that hit Victoria McGee's body was frigid to say the least but soon warmed as the hot water started trickling in from the heater. As she stood there, her mind clearing itself from the haze that had rolled in like a poisonous fog, she pondered exactly how it was that her fate had become so entwined with the sisters.
"Oh yes..." She muttered to herself as she remembered that it started with two murders, a funeral and a promise.
Undertaker Shifty McGee was definitely the type of person that ended up becoming involved in the affairs of others. He had, after all, been involved in more than his fair share of battles against the Enclave back in the D.C. ruins before he had been "recalled" back West to assume control of the Undertaker's Union. Given that they were still a relatively small outfit back then, it wasn't surprising that the Undertaker Patriarch found himself overseeing a burial, even at his age.
Officially, the Regulators and the Lawmen in the area had listed the killings of the Prospector and his Wife as being Raider related, something still common enough in this day and age that most people readily accepted the two deaths with little question.
However, the fact that the Prospector's daughter had survived the raid, struck the Giant of a Man as very, very strange indeed.
"Miss Rabbit. I promise you that I will do whatever it takes to see that the people responsible for your parents' deaths are brough to justice." The Top-Hatted Undertaker had promised as he scattered the last shovel full of dirt on the graves. The flicker of panic that appeared on Young Mercy Rabbit's face did not go unnoticed, as the Shifty nodded to the girl, paying her his respects.
It didn't take long but the Undertakers' Patriarch did discover the identity of the one responsible for the death of Mercy's Mother and Father, it was just unfortunate that the murderer had fled to Cheyton where she would be the responsibility of a different Undertaker.
Shutting off the water, Victoria McGee examined her body in the mirror, checking on the bullet wounds that she had sustained in protecting the Rabbit Sisters and finding them mostly healed except for a couple of angry bruises where the bullet holes had been. Putting on a clean set of clothing and her trademark set of wings that she had crafted out of the feathers of her crow competition and ensuring that Milly was safely strapped to her thigh, The Elegantly Dressed Undertaker, started entered the living room and saw that all were present. Looking at Mercy, specifically, Victoria knew that in time, she would get to the bottom of why Mercy had killed her parents.
The Rabbit Den of Dreams and Defenestration:
"Wait... was Markus in Ceee-ser's Legion?" The newly christened Plasma Bunny asked as she floated near where the soon to be Stun Bunny was sitting, parts strewn in front of her as she tried to figure out some sort of weapon that she could use to replace her Plasma Pistol until a new one could be built. Looking at the Great Ball of Gooifying Goodness, Mercy's said creased into a frown as she nodded.
"I think so. I - I was with him when he ran into Ulysses. It seems that they had some stuff in common, the stuff mostly revolving around the Legion." Mercy admitted, though she hadn't gotten the totality of what had been said due to her mental state at the time. Picking up a metal gauntlet of some sort, she used it at the base chassis for her weapon and attached a spool of light weight metal cable to the end.
"I don't get it though. If he's a member of the Legion, why'd he save me? From what I've heard, they have a severe dislike for women." She said as she looked over at Markus for a moment before quickly turning back to her work, adding parts from the electro magnet that she had built earlier as a sort of firing mechanism for the metallic cable.
"Do you think he could be ex-Legion? I mean if he left that Legion, does that mean that he doesn't follow their rules anymore?" The Blushing Bunny asked as she sneaked another gaze at the slumbering Markus. Adding a microfusion battery would allow her to create and electrical charge on the cable as well.
Picking up the gauntlet, she pointed the fist towards a mannequin and squeezed her thumb with the rest of her fingers, causing a device to launch a length of cable that wrapped around the mannequin. Moment's later, the cloth of the mannequin started smoking as the electrical charge on the line headed the cloth to point of combustion. If it were a real person however, they'd have fund themselves twitching uncontrollably on the ground. It wasn't the greatest weapon but it would do in the meantime.
As Mercy began looking to see what she could do to improve the range on the stunner line, something blocked the light that she was using to build, causing the Happy Hare to smile as she saw her sister. Even though Mercy had noticed the scars and wounds on her sister's body, she just couldn't help herself from glomping onto Tessa, a smile plastered all over the Youngest Sister's face as she held her Older sister in a giant hug.
"Tess. I'm sorry I said what I said. I was just angry at what you said to Vera and I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Can you pleeeease forgive me?" The Youngest Rabbit asked, determined not to let go until her sister forgave her.
Wascully Wabbit Hole
Vera glanced over at Markus anxiously for a moment while Mercy answered her question.
"I think so. I - I was with him when he ran into Ulysses. It seems that they had some stuff in common, the stuff mostly revolving around the Legion." The Genius Bruiser Bunny said, seeming a bit nervous for some reason.
Vera didn't respond, all she could process at the moment were the memories of her first home, The Ranch, in flames, with Blake nailed to the chimney as an impromptu crucifixion. The blood trailing out of his hands, feet, and forehead. The Legionaries laughing at their victory quickly turning to screams of terror as an enraged Vera vaporized them with her laser. Vera finally managed to snap herself out of the memory as she was about to hover up to her 'father', hear his last words and...
Back to reality.
Vera decided to take a look at herself in the mirror. Once there, she finally saw it. Mercy's plasma pistol. Correction. Mercy's homemade plasma pistol. Vera sniffed quietly. She felt both incredibly loved at that moment, as it was... Mercy's pistol, it was like a part of her sister had become a part of her now; and incredibly guilty... it was Mercy's treasure plasma pistol.
Vera floated off to join in on the Mercy/Tessa hugging going on, well... as much as one can without arms.
And she whispered in Mercy's ear in a tone that spoke of gratitude, guilt, and the deepest sort of admiration, "Thank you Mer-Mer. I promise, I'll help you build a new one. I even have some schematics in my databanks for prototypes that I... picked up a long time ago."
Somewhere in Wyoming...
Martin seeing what was happening leaped out of the way of the raging deathclaw before it rammed him. He took a moment to recover and opened fire with his revolver on its back as its charge continued towards Joe.
"Tess. I'm sorry I said what I said. I was just angry at what you said to Vera and I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Can you pleeeease forgive me?"
Tessa didn't deserve this, she didn't deserve any sort of apology or goodwill. She was heavily self-critical and anyone paying attention, would probably notice.
Indulging her sister, she mustered an emotionally drained smile and wrapped her arms around her tightly. "You have nothing to be sorry about. Can you forgive me though? I was only able to relax was when you walked through that door with Markus. You have no idea how sorry I am." wearily, Tessa could barely keep herself up.
Tessa struggled with the idea of letting Mercy know about her murder of fourteen children. It would change the way Mercy and Vera would look at her. Markus may not find much wrong with defending yourself under those circumstances. Finally, Victoria would probably be somewhat pleased that she had aided in thinning their numbers.
There was a grudge there, she wished to know more, yet she would wait for Vicky to come to her.
Markus was ex-legion by the sound of everything, but she didn't care if Markus was half-deathclaw/half-NCR. As long as Markus wasn't hurting or killing them, he was an ally in her eyes.
"Is Vera oka-...oh thank god...You have no idea how relieved I am that you're okay, flying toaster sister." Tessa let out a sigh of relief and was extremely pleased that she even received a nuzzle from Vera.
Truthfully, she was a little jealous of Mercy getting all the attention from Vera...but hey, Tessa didn't have much to contribute in the way of technical skills.
Another reminder of how replaceable she was in this family. And by a greater extension, this group. Tessa was struggling to belong or not feel hopelessly underclassed by everyone around her.
Then again, she was just the street rat. What more do you expect?
Tessa still had her own stockpile of caps, hastily counting somewhere in the 400 range.
"I think I'll get working on a small project..."
Changing into a black dress, while hastily tying her hair into a bun. Tessa secured her knife dispenser out of necessity and brought along her schoolbag of caps.
"...just gonna be in the markets, I won't be long."
While Tessa's "project" was something to be excited about, all of her spoken words were layered with a heavy sense of depression. Perhaps going off alone would be what she needed to clear her head.
Tessa soon broke off with a meaningful stroke to Vera's chassis and finally a hand on Mercy's cheek before leaving the house.
On a mountainside in Wyoming
Joe's new associate had blasted the (Relatively) dumb deathclaw with his...
[Energy Weapons 15]...Weird looking plasma weapon...
...When he was swatted aside by the Albino using its companion's corpse as a weapon.
That was kind of stupid.
Even if its insides were intact, it couldn't tense its arms during a swing, so its claws would be ineffective.
The Albino was inventive in stupid ways. Normal Deathclaws were (ironically enough) not smart enough to be that stupid.
"You okay sir?"
Martin had dodged out of the way, and was shooting the Albino from behind, as it ran for Joe.
"You may be tougher than any normal human, but you'll never be a match for a ranger!"
[Agility]Joe ducked below the swing, and let himself roll down the hill. He then leaped up, and readied his revolver.
[Guns 85][Gunslinger][Shoot To Wound][Peace Through Violence]Joe leveled his revolver on the beast's right elbow.
[Cowboy][Fan The Hammer]...Success! *Bangbangbangbangclickclickclickclick* Joe emptied his revolver and reloaded.
Booker was smacked by the corpse of the dead Deathclaw. This was nowhere near as painful as he thought it would be, but way more then he had hoped. He fell on the ground face first cracking his glasses. He shoved both fists into the dirt and spat the sand out of his mouth. Blood pours out of his lips onto the ground. He pressed his legs into the ground and straightened up. His wounded leg buckled repeatedly under his own body mass. A man can only be pressed so far before snapping. Booker snapped constantly, but this was much worse. He had gone through a proverbial hell to get here and he wasn't going to let some deathclaw stop him now after all he had been through. "Im going to eat your fucking heart you stupid fucking beast." He pulled out a ranged signalling device. He pressed the button. Within moments Dave rocket over the hill using his flame thrower to propel towards the smart deathclaw firing a barrage of lasers at it as it neared. Booker smiled pressing his slugs into his gun once again. This process merely added to his anger once again. "I'm going to cut off that fuckers hands and use them as an ashtray."
Markus awoke, slowly. His dreams were already half forgotten, but yet he remembered an elfish face going on about his creations...
Science was, indeed, weird.
He stretched his already stiff back, and picked himself off the ground. It had appeared as though his benefactor of the day, the Rabbit Tessa, was already off on some new adventure. Markus dimly thought of doing the same, and quietly left the house. He didn't feel much like talking about his Legionnaire history anyways.
The door didn't creak on his way out, and he was thankful for that. He gave a small smile towards the house before heading out. It felt nice to have a home again. He shut the door behind him, and started towards the market.
He needed a change of clothes, armor, and perhaps weapons. His Ice Ax was already starting to dull, he felt, and he noticed he lost his rifle sometime during the night. That left him only with a pistol for a reliable weapon. And that made him worried, considering the amount of trouble these people got him into.
He didn't run into too many people, though did he really expect to? The night was probably hard on everyone... That reminded him, the merchant he sold his armor to. Did he still have it? Would he mind giving it back? Only one way to find out, Markus thought with his smile increasing in size. Though it resembled a shark more now.
He found the merchant's place rather quickly, fortunately it did not look like the night's events effected the place much. Perhaps everyone had too much blood lust to try and pillage. Markus frowned, and quietly entered. His doubts the place had been touched were instantly taken back, the blood and body in the middle of the floor told him that. Closer inspection showed claw marks. A Keeper's kill.
Markus inspected the place further. Most of the supplies went untouched. Looks like they couldn't get into the backroom, so they simply took the drugs and ran to return to their precious killing. Markus moved towards the shop keeper, and closed his shocked dead eyes. Then he looked for a key on his person. He found one, and brought it to the door.
"Of course. Would be too convenient if that worked." Markus sighed, and rubbed the bridge of his nose. Lock picking was out of the question for one of his abilities. And explosives would be a bad idea, he was untrained and people tended to object to that sort of thing. He tapped his foot, trying to think up an idea...
Markus moved to the bobby pins. Looked like it was time to get some training in this field! Markus bent down, and began working. The first he tried to force it open, but that made the fragile piece of crap snap in half. He dug out the pieces with his ax, and set about try two. Slightly better, and by that I mean still pretty terrible. Markus slammed his forehead against the door, and sighed heavily.
He got up, and brushed himself off, going for the next trick in his bag. He took several steps back, and dashed at the door, slamming into it with all his force. He could feel it bulge, and he smiled widely, backing up for round two. It didn't require a third try.
Markus burst through the door, landing hard on his shoulder on top of the door. He took the hinges with him. Markus nodded, sore but impressed at himself. The Legionnaire got up, and brushed himself off once more, looking around for his armor. It was on a worktable, getting refitted, so he just went about doing that. It took an hour, but he got his own measurements, and refit what he could. As it turned out, and arm was about all he could do. He shrugged, it was an armored arm, what more could he ask for?
He tried the thing on, and looked about the clothes in stock. He found a dark grey great coat, that went down to his knee's. Perfect for sneaking and protection, and even hid his weapons quite nicely. Overall, he loved the damned thing immediately, even the black patch on the elbow. It added character, though he ripped the thing out, and replaced it with another symbol. The Bull of the Legion. He smiled at the patch, dark red and barely noticeable unless you looked for it. The gold was a tad noticeable, but he wasn't going to be elbow dropping everyone he met anyways.
The last object was found with slightly more difficulty, Paul's sword. Still, he found it, near the back in a barrel, still sharp and gleaming. The stars were dulled, but the blade could cut through flesh so easily. A regular longsword, fit for an officer of Communist China. Markus inspected the thing heavily, and it could indeed work for the Legionnaire. In fact, it was better than most other weapons he had ever held. He grinned stupidly at the thing, it'd work well for his purposes. Namely mass murder. Still, he felt clumsy with the thing, untrained. He'd need to practice...
'Wasn't Tessa a blade user?' Markus sighed. He'd have to ask her for a crash review in bladed combat. In the meantime, he exited the shop, and simply decided to wander.
To anyone passing by the Rabbit Household that night, they would have been greeted with a rather strange sight that would have made them pause momentarily before moving on. The Hare's Quarter, as some had started to call it, was becoming quite the dangerous place and it seemed that those who dwelled in this 5 block by 5 block patch of slumland didn't seem to live very long. Those who did survive the attacks told stories of feral children tearing through the streets and attacking all they came across or their masters that were even more brutal that the children that they were raising. There were stories of the Knucklehead gang making moves in the area as well, robbing those who they encountered and claiming themselves to be members of the new startup gang, the Twisted Hares.
However, there were some stories about a family. The sort of stories that mothers and fathers told their boys and girls before bed. The sort of stories that revolved around a small group of people who protected each other from the dangers of the Hare's Quarter and protected innocent civilians from the gangland crossfire. The sort of stories that involved heroics and sacrifice and above all, caring for the welfare of each other.
Twisted Hares gains Cheyton Fame
Let's rewind a little bit.
Victoria McGee opened the door that lead towards into the Rabbit Family's living room and noticed that both Markus Brutus and Tessa Rabbit had left for parts unknown while the younger sisters, Mercy Rabbit and Vera Rabbit were busy working on something that the Tall and Pale Undertaker could only marginally begin to understand if she had bothered to ask. From all appearances, it appeared to be some sort of Hula Girl with an Assault Rifle tucked under her grass skirt, which was a rather odd sight in the Undertaker's mind before she simply smiled and shook her head as she started to exit the Rabbit Household before noticing that the hotel and the stables had delivered her luggage and supplies as she had requested.
Grabbing a couple of items, she made a quick exit, but not before telling the Troublesome Hare Twins that she would be on the roof, sunbathing, a statement that brought a puzzled look on the Youngest of the Rabbit sisters as Victoria's skin was white and smooth as milk.
The truth of the matter was that someone needed to be on guard duty and she didn't want the Toublesome Hare Twins to do anything other than stay safe inside while the Tall, Pale woman in black stood watch.
Climbing up to the roof of the house, Victoria hauled up the supplies that she would be needing for guard duty.
- Brush Gun + Ammo
- Milly + Ammo
- Portable Deck Chair (Black)
- Extra Large Umbrella (Black)
- Cushions - Extra Soft
- Sunblock (Extra, Extra, Extra Strength)
- Brahmin Jerky
- Purified Water
- Nuka Cola
And so it was that Victoria McGee set up her funny looking guard post that looked more like a poolside lounge than anything else. Smiling to herself, she slipped on a pair of dark sunglasses and looked out towards the long alleys that lead towards her location, alleys that acted like choke points to large groups and would allow the Undertaker to make use of her elevated position should anyone be dumb enough to attack the Twisted Hares.
The only downside was the occassional gawker that would stop in front of the Rabbit Hole to stare that the pale woman relaxing on the roof with a brushgun in her lap and a bottle of Ice Cold Nuka in her hand.
"Guard duty is such hard work." The Friendly Neighborhood Undertaker muttered to herself as she smiled and kept a lookout for Markus Brutus or Tessa Rabbit.
The Holy Rabbit Hole: Over 1 Trillion Served
"You have nothing to be sorry about. Can you forgive me though? I was only able to relax was when you walked through that door with Markus. You have no idea how sorry I am." The Bigger (NOT FATTER BUT TALLER) Bunny apologized. It was something that she didn't need to do, after all it had been Mercy that had been the idiot that had decided to cry wolf in order to try to mend things with the family, even though in the end she did end up getting captured. Still it was nice to be held by her oldest sister.
"Sis. You don't need to be sorry at all. If I hadn't gotten myself captured. If I hadn't ran out the door, you wouldn't need to be sorry. So I should be the one who's sorry and I am, Tess." The Stun Bunny whispered to her sister before letting her go and watching as she and Vera made their peace, something that caused the happiness to return to the home, though a quite muted from the night's events.
"I think I'll get working on a small project..." Tessa said as she reappeared from getting changed, this time in a black dress and school bag that made her look awful pretty, especially compared to the grubby overalls that the Mini-Bunny was still sporting despite the plethora of clothing that Tessa had acquired in the market. Still, the fact that the Bladed Bunny was leaving them so soon after their "victory" against the Knuckleheads and Keepers was more than a little disconcerting.
"Tess. Please, please, please be careful." The Worried Widdle Wabbit begged as she watched her sister move silently through the door and into the streets beyond.
Looking about the Twisted Hares' HQ, the Build-a-Bunny noticed some of the projects that remained to be completed. Walking over to the Nine/Tenths scale Hula Girl that she and Vera had acquired, Mercy donned a pair of welder's goggles and started working on attaching the metal skeleton of the Hawaiian dancer to rotating platform.
Looking up from her work, she noticed that Victoria was going outside as well but, strangely enough, with what looked like lounging supplies. The woman was already a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma and so more strangeness from her might have been par for the course, perhaps. Whatever the Bunny Noir was, she seemed to have caught the attention of Markus (le sigh) and Tessa, causing the Wary Wabbit to look at her with a hint of envy. Her milky white skin, her black bob, her height, the way her brea-
Looking down at her work, the Bruised Bunny realized that she had just hit her thumb with a hammer.
"OWWW!!!" She screamed aloud, jamming the freshly bruised appendage in her mouth, knowing that it wouldn't do much for the pain but it still made her feel better. Pausing to look up at her Happy Hare of an eyeBot of a sister, she admonished herself for not paying more attention to her work.
"I guess I deserved that, huh, V?" The Little Bunny that Could said with a smile and returned to her work, installing the sensor modules in the eyes of the hula girl, which when powered, would give the Hula Girl a rather sadistic look as the sensors glowed red.
Standing up and stretching for a moment, Mercy realized that only thing that needed to be done was to mount the BAR to the Hula Girl's hip and test the hidden turret.
Cheyton Markets: With a Sniper on standby
Tessa had to admit, the sight of Vicky relaxing with on a rooftop overlooking the market served as quite the comfort. Perhaps she could put on a little show.
There were quite a few things on the agenda, she figured she would work her way to the Follower's and circle back. Passed all the major vendors of concern.
First stop: Gun stall. "So...how much for - thiiiis?" Tessa started lifting up a rather heavy machine gun, before tipping forward and dropping the the gun back on the stall, sending many of the smaller weapons crashing to the ground.
[Finesse][Fortune Finder] "Oh! I'm so sorry, let me - ouch!" Tessa purposefully bumped her head into the trader's as they both scrambled for the fallen items. Tessa, in the commotion she had caused, slipped two pristine laser pistols into her schoolbag.
Second stop: Melee weapons. [Finesse][Fortune Finder] "Ooh, this is beautiful. A trench knife? 70 caps?" Tessa started to pull out a loose amount of caps and dumped it on the table, giving the merchant something to occupy himself with while Tessa slid a similar trench knife and machete gladius to the edge of the table and into her schoolbag.
Still holding up the trench knife she had been inquiring about, she intercepted the counting of the caps by declaring that she might come back later for the deal.
With her reclaimed caps and stolen goods.
Third stop: Weapon modifications. [Finesse][Fortune Finder] "Excuse me, have you ever heard of a Freeside City Shuffle? No? Well, it's when you look right..." The merchant followed her finger pointing away from the table as she slid a very familiar mechanism into her schoolbag. "...and they go left. Nevermind, it's not something you really hear about."
Fourth stop: Bookshop. [Fortune Finder] "Hi! I'm looking for the latest version's that's arrived. Oh, over there? Thanks!" Tessa walked between the bookshelves, scanning for anything that sounded a little too smart for her. Flipping open the covers, she checked the versions and quality available. She knew that someone would appreciate this being purchased.
Laying down 100 caps for two very large books in pristine condition, she had plenty of caps to spare.
Fifth Stop: Scrap store and miscellaneous items. [Fortune Finder] "Hey, how much for this and those? 35 caps? Works for me." Upon paying, Tessa pocketed the two items and made her way up to a nearby building.
Using the fire escape to reach a rooftop and settling down for a moment, Tessa decided that the noise from the market wouldn't interrupt her, plus she would avoid embarrassment if anyone bumped into her. Whipping out the new holotape she bought, she fiddled with the controls to record audio and started to sing gently. Her singing voice and her indulgence in singing to herself was one of her many sources of embarrassment.
To be entirely transparent, Tessa had no idea what the song meant or even what the language was. All she knew is that it was a song that she would sing to herself if ever she was under significant discomfort. Something about it seemed sad, meaningful and specific to her...she just wish she knew what it meant.
Holotape recordings were a pastime on the street. She lost her original holotape when she fled Freeside.
After singing her song, Tessa passed the Followers and decided to head home with her gifts for everyone. She was feeling significantly better knowing that she could get something for everyone, she owed them that much and she hoped that everyone would appreciate the meaning.
Tessa tried to tailor her gifts for everyone. Giving was how she showed appreciation. She didn't expect compensation or thanks. Acceptance was all she wanted.
Lost in her thoughts, she bumped into a nurse, who frankly seemed to be looking for her. "Sorry, can I help you?
"Miss Rabbit, correct? Recent donator to the hospital? I have something for you!"
Tessa was presented with a donation box filled with various stims and chems. "What is all this? Don't you need it?"
The nurse simply smiled and pushed the little box into her hands. "Excess supplies! If we don't use them in the next two weeks, they'll be thrown out of rotation for the next batch of supplies. Quite frankly, we need the space and YOU have been very generous to us."
"Oh! Well, thank you!...Hold on, here." Tessa deposited an elastic band stack of 100 caps into the woman's hands. "Consider that my continued donation to the Followers."
After saying her goodbyes, Tessa peeked inside the box and spotted three full hits of psycho, among other chems.
Sonea carefully set aside the item and held a hand reassuringly to her girlfriend's face. "It was controlled. We'll only have to use it in dire situations...otherwise, we steer clear of it, I promise."
"Only as a last resort...I guess that's the reason why we're called the Feral Rabbits."
Pocketing the psycho for herself, Tessa made her way home.
[Finesse][Silent Running] Ducking into an alley and scaling the building, Tessa eventually snuck slowly behind the relaxed Vicky before whispering into her ear. "Boo!"
Laughing a little, she took a seat beside Vicky, her black dress fitting in with Vicky's decorum. Scrounging through her bag of new items of the day, she pulled out Vicky's present. A high quality custom bolt for her single-shot anti-materiel rifle. Tessa recognized those rifles on the Freeside NCR.
Smiling at the oddball Undertaker, "Here you go, hope you like it!"
Stretching out and laying in the sun, Tessa spoke away. "After lastnight, I needed to clear my head. Shopping helps...or my version of shopping at least...besides, I wanted to get something for everyone. I've been insufferable lately."
Enjoying the sun, Tessa had pale skin of her own, nothing that could match Victoria's, but very pale by the standards of your average wastelander. "Growing up, kids would ask me to find stuff. Usually lost valuables. When I got older, finding lost valuables turned into finding people and supplies. At one point I made an unofficial business of taking requests to find and take valuable items for paying clients...it was exhilarating when it worked. Downright scary when I failed. Everyday tested my skills, but my life was always largely in check. I played it as safe as you could in a thieving business...What I'm curious about, is it -...am I, useful, to this group? I'm just a thief."
Markus contented himself with kicking up dust as he walked the streets. It seemed peaceful, though others were around. Mostly dead eyed civilians, mourning loved ones.
This made Markus stand out further, with his wry smile and whistling. He sent another dirt cloud up into the air, as he reached the chorus again.
Then he heard it, the song he was whistling being played from a distance. Markus cocked his head, and headed towards the sound, keeping his hand on the hilt of his sword. He continued whistling as he got closer, he could hear him humming the lyrics, though not singing.
Markus clapped slowly for the man's performance, now that he got a good look at him. Dressed like a Praetorian, with his red cloak hanging around his shoulders. He was quite good with the guitar, Markus had to admit, considering how he was staring at Markus.
'Creepy.' Markus spoke, and greeted the man. "Ave, Quid tamen auditis?" The boy blinked, and Markus rolled his eyes, widening his smirk. "What news from the Legion?"
The boy smiled and nodded, looked like a bit of a twerp. Markus figured him a messenger, which made the next action seem... odd.
The boy got up from the barrel he sat on, and swung the guitar at Markus. The old Legionnaire pulled his pistol, but found that was too slow. So he raised his armored hand, the guitar bouncing off it with a *TWANG*. He pressed the advantage, and charged forward, jumping and rearing his palm back.
[Legion Assault] The strike hit the kid in the Solar Plexus, nearly perfectly, making him fly back breathless. Markus capitalized, and put his pistol against the boy's forehead.
"An imposter, or have you turned your back to your Legate?" The boy gasped, and Markus noticed something about him. He had no tongue. Markus sighed, killing the kid would be bad for his Legion reputation. So instead, he offered the boy a hand up. The boy looked confused, but accepted anyways.
The boy hesitated, but slowly walked towards his bag. He pulled out a notepad, and handed it to Markus. It had the name "Casca" written on it, and Markus took that to man it was his name. Markus wrote out a small message for the Caesar, and handed it back to the boy before walking back home.
Vitare Cheyton The boy looked at it, and sighed. Casca began walking, pulling his duffel bag up, and slinging his guitar on his back.
Markus hadn't bothered to think there would be a sniper. So he ignored the possibility and slowly trudged home, his smile gone and replaced with his usual neutral line. He came upon their home, and sighed. His arm was goddamned heavy, he'd need to do something about that. He took off his greatcoat, and folded it, placing it in the crook his non-armored arm.
Markus allowed the door to *CREEEEK* as he entered, and put on a false and small smile, yelling out without bothering to look for her,
"Mercy, mind if I give you a project?" Markus placed his coat on the hook, and took his sword and sheathe off his back, leaning it against the wall. He began taking his armor off his arm, waiting for the girl to reply.
The Rabbit's Home for Relaxation, Repairs and Emotional Repression:
"Mercy, mind if I give you a project?" Attila the Hareasked as he placed his coat on the hook, and took his sword and sheathe off his back, leaning it against the wall. He began taking his armor off his arm.
"Eep!" Came a squeal from the Ballistic Bunny as the Sword Bearing Bunny had walked in at a rather inopportune time, much to the Blushing Bunny's embarrassment. The scene was rather - interesting to say the least - as the Heavy Metal Hare took it all in.
There was Mercy, dressed in her grubby overalls, shoving what could only be described as a massive f**king machine gun, compared to the small framed girl, into the nether regions of a hula girl with glowing red eyes, like some sort of phallus.
The Humble Bunny must have sensed how ridiculous looking the situation looked as she dropped the the barrel of the massive f**king machine gun directly onto Brutus Bunny's foot.
"Oh crap! Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!" The Red Faced Rabbit apologized as she lifted the barrel of the massive f**king machine gun and tried to move it, causing the hula girl to swivel as her massive f**king machine gun phallus was securely in place.
Cringing, the Builder Bunny gave Bruiser Bunny a cheerful, or what passed for cheerful, smile as she rubbed the grime off of her overalls, conscious of how she appeared.
"Project? Oh! Your armor." She said as she held out her arms to accept the armored arm from the Armored Jackrabbit.
"Oooomph." The girl grunted as the armor was deposited into her arms and dropped -
- onto the Bruised Bunny's foot once again.
"crap." The Embarrassed Bunny cursed as she picked up the armor and took it to her workbench.
"I guess you want me to reduce the weight of the armor but maintain its protective qualities?" She said, avoiding looking at Markus as she spoke, a task made easier as she started marking the areas of the armored arm that she could strip off.
The task itself wasn't that difficult as she could reduce the weight by roughly 40% if she cut the solid metal armor into strips and removed a portion of the metal. Markus could still ward off a blade with the armor without getting his arm lopped off in the process.
Examining the metal, she noticed how thick the metal in the armor was and theorized that it was used to absorb the shock from impact. She could further lighten the armor if she used a rubberized gel based compound to absorb the stress of impact rather than relying on a thick slab of metal to do the trick.
Using the Sword Bearing Bunny's armored arm as a template, the Builder Bunny started her fabrication work, using the small forge module on the workbench to created the metal strips that would serve reinforce the armored arm. The chemical module on her workbench was used to manufacture a polymer gel that was then poured into a small leather pouches that were then sewn onto a glove.
The work didn't take long as the Brainy Bunny showed off the finished product to Markus.
It started with a glove that had some of the polymer sewn into the knuckles of the glove. This would provide additional weight behind Markus' punches and save his knuckles a bruising if he hit someone too hard.
The remainder of the armor was one long piece of what appeared to be a formed fabric that was strapped onto Markus' arm. However when he examined it, he noted that there were metal strips of moderate thickness that ran parallel and positioned so that no one strip would ever take the brunt of an attack. Underneath the strips were more of the gel substance sewn into the Kevlar like material that would diffuse the impact of an attack and keep Markus from breaking his arm when blocking an attack.
Attaching the the new composite type armor to a wooden log, Mercy gestured for Markus to test the armor.
"Hope it works." She said with a smile, her eyes never meeting his as if she was embarrassed of looking him directly in the face.
Hoping to distract herself from the smiling Legionnaire, the Plasmaless Plasma Buny skipped over to her Bouncing Bunny Ball of a Sister.
"Vera. Did you say you have some schematics that I could use to make a new plasma pistol?" Mercy asked before adding, "If it's not too much trouble, do you think you could show them to me?"