Fallout: Wild Horses (Started, Open)

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Vera Rabbit isn't in right now, please leave your name, number, mailing address, and a brief message, and she'll get right back to you as soon as she's functional again. Maybe. Unless its Ulysses again. In which case, FUCK YOU!

An ex-military complex just outside of the Boneyard.

I ran through the steel hallways, making random turns every now and then to try and make my getaway. Once I thought I heard her lithe footsteps fall some distance behind me, I ducked behind a stack of munitions crates in a small warehouse and... waited.

Almost fell asleep waiting, but eventually... I could see her sexy little ass making its way past my hiding spot. I knew we were supposed to be running a 'pursuit tactical simulation'... but... how could I resist? I lunged at dat ass from behind, and tackled its beautiful dark-haired owner to her stomach, then turned her over. Then, I started tickling her.

"NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!" I shout playfully at her, confident that no one was watching us.

After several moments of constant 'torture', my 'victim' gives in and cries, "Uncle! Uncle! You win!"

"I always do, Chrissy," then I plant a kiss on her big lips.

------

The Divide

I fly close behind The Courier, ready to blast away at any deathclaws, tunnelers, or Marked Men that got in their way, when out of nowhere, I felt my radio signal being hacked again. Holy raggle-fraggles, Courier! I want to scream... in a manly sort of way... the way Ralphie would. I think. But I can't. Can't even beep as that man talks through me, and then... says that accursed phrase... the bane of my existence and will...

"Ulysses... Navarro..."

What little control I had left at that point evaporated as I found myself dragged along in the air, as if being pulled on a great chain, towards the signal's source. Again, I want to curse and scream my frustration, but I can't. I'm completely silenced.

------
Rabbit Repairs

Diagnostics complete. 37 modules accounted for, 5 new, four recently installed.

Rabbit & Co.: Repair Shop for the Stars

*beep!*

That was a good beep and one that allowed the Relieved Rabbit to exhale all the air that she had been holding in her lungs for what felt like the better part of an hour or fifty or so. That beep was V's Rabbit O/S tm booting up and running a self diagnostics, all of which was being mirrored on an old green monitor that the Genius Jack Rabbit had managed to coax to life in order to complete the operation.

"(5 new modules? 4 recently installed. There's the echolocation device, the flame thrower, the arc projector and the new vocalizer. But what's this one?)" Mer-Mer asked herself as she vocalized a command to Vera's Level 0 command routines, otherwise known as Vera's subconscious conscious.

"V/L0, Query, Module 31, name and purpose." The Psycho-Rabbit said in an even and measured tone for the Vera's Subconscious Consciousness to understand. Being that it was one of the more basic pieces of software installed on Vera, it wasn't very advanced and didn't take well to anything other than an even and overly enunciated tone.

"Module 31: Model X-667 Advanced Stealth Field Generator. Primary Purpose: Stealth Field Generation via the release of light bending nano-particles. Secondary Purpose: Protective Stealth Field via the overload function of Model X-667. Tertiary Purpose: Classified" V/L0 droned before pausing, waiting for another command.

"V/L0, Query, Module 31, statue"

"Module 31: Status: Standby Mode."

"V/L0, Command, Module 31, Enable"

"Module 31: Command Confirmed. Status: Enabled"

"V/L0, Command, Complete Boot Cycle"

The Meddling Bunny sighed for a moment as she wondered if she had done the right thing in enabling the new Module. It sounded like it would be immensely helpful but the third purpose of the module bothered her.

A humming broke Mer-Mer's train of thought as Vera's repulsor drive came online, allowing the Baller Bunny to start floating again.

"V.? Are you okay?" Mercy asked hoping that her shorter but still heads above the rest of the world Rabbit sister was okay.

The Rabbit Hole

Vera slowly floated back into the air as she regained consciousness. She... blinked, for lack of a better word, at the plasma bunny. Vera ran a quick diagnostic and found out that the inactive module had been enabled, and it... was a stealh field! Vera danced and spun in a wobbly sort of circle around Mercy for several moments before rushing in to give her a great big and long bit of nuzzling.

"Thank you so much Mer-Mer!" she cried out excitedly, "You're the most amazing, ingenious sister an eyebot could ask for! Thank you! You saved my life AND enabled that dormant module that had been itching in the back of my processes for decades! Thank you thank you thank you thank you!"

Then Vera decided to test the newly activated module. In a few seconds, she was almost completely invisible... only a faint outline could be seen.

A few seconds later, it automatically shut off to conserve power. Vera knew she could stretch it out for longer use... maybe a few minutes tops... if she really needed to... but... generally, a few seconds should be enough to get close and FWOOSH! BURN! FIRE FROM THE THIN AIR BITCH! HAHAHAHA!

"Thank you Mercy," Vera said, her nearly hysterical glee finally starting to settle down a little, "Umm... how is everyone else? Tessa, and that Markus guy... and that strange lady in the black dress? Are they okay?"

Stop! Rabbit Time!

"Thank you so much Mer-Mer!" the Inviso-Blazing-Robo-Charger Bunny cried out excitedly, "You're the most amazing, ingenious sister an eyebot could ask for! Thank you! You saved my life AND enabled that dormant module that had been itching in the back of my processes for decades! Thank you thank you thank you thank you!"

"Aww, shucks." The Blushing Baby Bunny shucked as she looked rather embarrassed, but feeling rather proud of herself as she watched the Bushido-Blazer Bunny try out the Stealth Field Module. It was rather creepy watching the nano-particles ooze out to consume Vera but the effect was worth the creepy factor. If power management for the eyebot wasn't such an issue at the moment, she would have been able to expand the particulate field to encompass at least one and a half more people, or rather one person and one short person (Mercy).

"Thank you Mercy," Vera said, her nearly hysterical glee finally starting to settle down a little, "Umm... how is everyone else? Tessa, and that Markus guy... and that strange lady in the black dress? Are they okay?"

"Well I think Markus is okay." The Accident Prone Bunny responded as she pointed to Markus' prone body and gasped as she saw the additional cuts and bruises that the falling parts had cause. Oh well, nothing that a few more Stimpacks wouldn't fix.

"Sorry Mister." Mercy said as she picked up a Stimpack and inserted it into Markus' arm, allowing the healing flow of medications and coagulants to flow into his body.

"As for Sissy Tessy and the Lady, I really don't know where they are. TESS?!" The seen to be Super Disturbed Bunny called out as she wandered towards the back room that served as the Bunny Bedroom and opened the door before immediately closing it.

"I think they're fine." Mercy said as she turned around red faced as she saw the two ladies curled up on the bed in a rather familiar fashion for a couple of people that had just met.

Rebuild of Rabbitelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Be Left Alone

Moments before people started arriving.

Tessa couldn't help but note that despite Victoria's healing wounds, there was still the matter of her body being rather bloodied from all the physical trauma. "We have a shower that you can use, if...help...is umm, needed...then just call me, okay?"

"My Uncle always told me that you never keep a loaded weapon when you're the guest of a fine hostess."

Fortunately her senses weren't dulled, so she picked up on the innuendo. Unfortunately, this overwhelmed her somewhat. "Well..." With a short sigh in order to calm her rampaging heart. "...where I'm from, you always keep a weapon on you. Loaded or not."

Oh, now you're talking about weapons. Say something nice you idiot!"

"Victoria McGee, Undertaker of Wyoming and now at your family's beck and call since you so heroically saved my life."

Finally learning her lovely name, Tessa couldn't help but smile at how it suited her delicate form as a whole. The Undertaker part, that was the part that she was unfamiliar with. As far as the rest goes, "Thank my sister, Mercy! I was just your glorified bedside nurse. She's the one that did all the saving."

With her smile fading, a detail had been bugging her. "Undertaker? Either you're really good at what you do or we don't have a resident Undertaker. Because where I'm from, Freeside, I've never heard of you Undertakers...and believe me, anything coming into Freeside, I would hear about."

Feeling more relieved when Victoria had unloaded the pistol in front of her, Tessa made a note of how deep her hatred for guns went. Tessa was also covered in blades in the various holsters, she wondered how she looked to the Undertaker. "But, no matter...whatever organization you belong to, I get the feeling I can trust you. And trust...is not something easily handed out in Freeside. You're welcome here, Vicky."

With one last 'intentional' gesture...of 'respect', she covered up her wounds once more while managing to brush her fingers delicately along her milky skin. Tessa concluded with managing a passing smirk followed by an intimate glance.


After everyone had arrived.

Tessa was not aware that she was running a clinic/hotel/repair shop. Because that's certainly what all this chaotic mess looked like. To elaborate further:

Victoria was in her bed(YES!), Mercy had tended to a damaged Vera and Markus was wounded yet recovering on the floor. That won't do.

Tessa had made herself useful by moving Markus slowly and carefully onto the couch. Checking that Victoria's medical aids were still in place. She bent down to address Markus at ear level. "Never had the chance to properly thank you. So thank you for helping us out earlier. We do the same for those that helped us. You're pretty banged up, but you're in good hands. Get better okay?" She laid her hand on Markus' shoulder for a moment before turning away.


Tessa didn't know if he could hear any of that, but she crawled onto the bed with Victoria momentarily to give her a little update on her medical work.

"Markus is on the couch now. I have my doubts and suspicions surrounding that man...but he did help us at one point. Selflessly. In the slums...too good to be true. Working an angle. Either way, we owe him...Sorry! I think you have an effect on me." Realizing how that sounded, she went crimson, rivaling Victoria's wounds. "I mean, you make me want to speak my mind. More than I usually do."

"TESS?!" came the familiar sound of her sisters voice, which followed having the bedroom door being opened and oddly closed immediately.

Addressing the pale Undertaker once more, "I'm being summoned. Talk soon...Don't hesitate to call if you need me."

That was smooth. Right? Right?!


Now was the time to focus on her sisters.

Especially Mercy when Tessa got a good look at her. Shallow breathing, bloodshot eyes, shaking hands, constantly moving...she was overtaxed and overly stressed. Laying a hand on her shoulder, she turned her sister towards her. "Mercy. Take it easy...just sit down for a moment and rest. I'm taking care of you now."

Giving Mercy the same bed and breakfast treatment as she had done for Victoria, without the bed and attempted flirtation, she did include a wrapped blanket though.

Tessa made sure that her sister was eating and drinking before wrapping her arms around her in sheer concern. Tessa extended an arm to grab Vera and pull her into the fold.

"Don't...run out on me, okay? Don't worry me. I've seen so many people leave a room, only to never come back...please...please tell me where you're going. Or wait for me."

The way Tessa held and spoke to her sisters, blatantly displayed unbridled concern and love. No facades, no pride and not even a single shred of arrogance was present. "I was useless today. I'm sorry."

The Bunny Sister Bond to Rabbit-maninoff Piano Concerto No. 3

"Don't...run out on me, okay? Don't worry me. I've seen so many people leave a room, only to never come back...please...please tell me where you're going. Or wait for me."

Reality came crashing into the room when Mercy heard her sister utter those words and felt quite a few things: Apologetic, Guilty, Sorrow and one more thing.

She felt apologetic because she had been so rushed to help these strangers out that she never took her kind sister's feelings into consideration. She new that Tessa had seen loss in her life and for her to lose Mercy, Mercy didn't know how Tessa would have handled it until now. When she had first come into Tessa's life, Mercy had often wondered how the Elder Rabbit had felt about her instant "just add water" sister. Was there annoyance? Was there anger from having her life disturbed?

Guilt, that one was a bit of a doozy because one of the people that had run out on Tessa had been their common father. He had left Tessa alone before finally settling down to take care of Mercy.

Sorrow. Mercy was sorry that she worried her sister and she was sorry that she had ever questioned Tessa's love of her and the fact that their father had left her and had Mercy. She was sorry that she worried her sister and she was sorry that she didn't take her sister's feeling into consideration when she ran out the door

The way Tessa held and spoke to her sisters, blatantly displayed unbridled concern and love. No facades, no pride and not even a single shred of arrogance was present. "I was useless today. I'm sorry."

Mercy, curled up in the blanket, snuggled close to her loving and devoted older sister before responding.

"Tessa should shouldn't be sorry. You've been amazing to me ever since I got here, ever since you found out that you had a little sister. You've been great to me and kind and wonderful and amazing and I had to show you that your awesomeness is rubbing off on me." The Younger Rabbit said as before she smiled and hugged her sister as she felt the last of the feelings that she had felt.

"I love you, sissy Tess. You're the BEST." Mercy said smiling as she did feeling everything that she had gone through that day.

"I'm sorry that you've lost people but you'll never lose me, Tessa Rabbit. We're sisters and that means we'll always stick together no matter what! So, I'm sorry if I'm cramping your style but you're stuck with me." Smiling Rabbit said before sticking out her tongue to tease her sister. There were two things that she wanted to ask her sister, the first was about the flirtation with the lady in black.

"Sis. I know that I never really asked you about well YOU before because I always figured that since we've got an eternity together, I'd find out everything there is to know about you. But, well, I was, um, wondering. Do you like that Lady in Black in the other room? Do you like, um, other women?" The Blushing Bunny asked as she felt her cheeks turning redder than a tomato. There was also a second question that required a sort of different mental state.

Now it was time for a bit of Blamco Bunny serious heart to heart time.

"Tessa? Did - did dad ever visit you?" The youngest Bunny asked wondering if she was opening up a can of rabbit pellets by asking that question. Mercy and Tessa's dad was a prospector that much was true and as part of the gig, he'd leave for weeks at a time on one of his runs. Did he ever visit Tessa? Did he love her like he loved Mercy? Inside Mercy's heart, she hoped so.

Black Rock Rabbit's: Season 2

"Tessa shouldn't be sorry. You've been amazing to me ever since I got here, ever since you found out that you had a little sister. You've been great to me and kind and wonderful and amazing and I had to show you that your awesomeness is rubbing off on me."

Hugging her sister, a smile finally cracked and so did a giggle as her sister was inadvertently tickling her. "Okay okay, you're gonna make me cry, sheesh!" Stifling her giggles, she was glad that her sister seemed to grasp the multiple layers behind her plea earlier.

"I love you too, Meredith" The Elder Rabbit teased, "I was completely alone until you came along. I've always wanted a family to go home too. I spent years believing that I had nobody on my side, it didn't help that I was dumped in Freeside of all places." Sighing, she continued, "So when you showed up by the front door one day, I was more than happy to finally get the family I always wanted." She finished that sentence with a kiss to her cheek.

That's when Mercy broached the topic about her specific tastes. Tessa was relieved that the bedroom door leading to Victoria was closed. "But, well, I was, um, wondering. Do you like that Lady in Black in the other room? Do you like, um, other women?"

Tessa cut her short by shushing her, putting a finger over her lips, pointing at her ears and then the bedroom door. "It's tough to be a woman on the streets. You can...imagine what men treat you like or see you as." Tessa was not playful with her tone, no, she was recalling many traumatizing events and it resulted in an absolute pained expression. "But with a female, it's so...different. I'm not treated like an object, I'm cared for..."

Her voice trailed off to answer the next question with a heightened level of embarrassment. "Remember that matchbook? That was from her...I think I like Victoria, but I dunno if I like like her, y'know? Too early to tell. Now hush before she hears."

"Tessa? Did - did dad ever visit you?"

This question came out of nowhere and sliced at her like a hidden blade. Opening old wounds in it's wake. "No." Replied the Abandoned Rabbit darkly, pausing significantly before elaborating. "I was left alone with the Followers. Then dumped onto the street when they couldn't take care of me anymore. I was about 6 when I had to leave."

Sighing, she tried her best to recall the repressed thoughts, "Maybe he was there at some point. I wouldn't know, I have no idea what that coward looks like. I doubt it though, he was too busy happily raising another family, remember?" The Elder sister replied coldly, a departure from her usual chipper nature. "I was told that a real Father is someone that cares for you, even if loving you hurts. Going by that logic, I was never loved."

"...Tell me about your Mom, my stepmom I guess." Tessa asked despondently.

As the Rabbit Turns: Season 3.14159

"Maybe he was there at some point. I wouldn't know, I have no idea what that coward looks like. I doubt it though, he was too busy happily raising another family, remember?"

Had the Bristling Bunny not remembered who it was that spoke those words and had she not remembered the fact that the person who spoke those words was her own flesh and blood and had she not remembered that Tessa was the only family that she had left in the world, the Battle Bunny might have attacked her Brooding Bunny of a sister. Instead, of feeling anger however, she felt tremendously sorry that she had broached the topic and was afraid that she had created some sort of rift between the two and hoped that it wasn't the case because she really did love her sister and would have done anything to keep her happy.

"I was told that a real Father is someone that cares for you, even if loving you hurts. Going by that logic, I was never loved." The Bruised Bunny continued only to have her hand squeezed tightly by the Beloved Itty-Bitty Bunny, reminding her that she was, in reality, loved.

"...Tell me about your Mom, my stepmom I guess."

Murderous Mercy's body seemed to tense suddenly as a memory flashed into being within her mind, a memory of Mercy and Tessa's mother laying in a pool of her own blood, her face frozen in time with the look of betrayal, the smell of burnt gun powder and burnt flesh from the pistol clinging to the air.

"She was - mom." Mercy began to say slowly as she attempted to clear the memory by accessing a memory in a part of her mind that was as far far far far far away from that memory as possible.

"It's hard to be a mom on your own. I mean, I guess she had dad there to help but he was gone for weeks at a time, sometimes months, only to come back for a couple days, but still it was hard for her to raise me on her own and make sure that things were okay around the house. She helped out with the local share cropping outfit and so I was left kinda to fend for myself while she was gone working all day and when she came back, she always looked so tired." Mercy said as she remembered how tired mom looked at the end of a work day as she kicked off her high heels and dress.

"There was this one time, though, I fixed up a Mister Handy for her to help around at the house so that she wouldn't have to work so hard after she came home but he sorta ended up making even more of a mess of things. She turned by backside black and blue when she saw that the Mister Handy had logically thought that incinerating the dishes would be a more efficient way of cleaning them." Mer-Mer said with a smile.

"But really she's the one who got me interested in science and technology and stuff like that, I guess." The Blaster Bunny said as she remembered how her mom had come home one night with a terrible bruise on her face that she said had been caused by one of the Brahmin on the Share Cropping outfit and had asked her daughter to help her administer some medicine. Mercy didn't know what it was but it seemed to help her a lot and she slept for a while afterwards.

"All I can say is that she did the best she could." Mercy sighed sadly as she started missing her mom terribly at that very moment.

"I'm sorry if that hurt your feelings but I thought you should know about her. I mean she might not have been the best mom in the world but she tried. But I know that if we had known that you were around and if dad hadn't been such a tremendous asshole for hiding you from us, she would have loved you and I would have loved you too. But sissy Tess, you're my sister and no matter what, I love you and you'll never ever ever have to worry about me leaving or getting lost or anything like that. I promise, promise, PROMISE. See? I promised three times so I can't get out of it. So there you're stuck with me." Mercy said as she wrapped her older sister up in the blanket with her. It was Mercy's turn to ask a question.

"So, do you think we would have gotten along as well as we do now if we had known each other when we were younger? I mean I would have pulled your hair or something by now or done something annoying that only little sisters can do." It was at that point that Mercy pulled on Tessa's hair, not hard mind you but enough to hopefully illicit a laugh from the Bruised-Ego Brooding Bunny

Somewhere

"You do care."

"I don't leave people behind"

"Now let's try this again."

The alpha started charging about the same time the second deathclaw had shown up.

"Are we staying or going?"

Martin turned towards the second, aimed his rifle and fired five shots carefully and quickly into the beast.
He didn't wait to see the results, he was already reloading getting ready to fire off another clip at it.

I look over my shoulder, I lay on the ground in the echoing black void... I have companions behind me. My brother, of course, waving me on with the painfully large backpack on his back. The man had never seemed so small and weak...

Aeneas was there too, he was in his full Legion garb, when he graduated in his classes, he was looking nervous though. He was shaking, and without his helmet you could tell he was sweating. He was nervous about the upcoming Battle of Hoover Dam... and then there was Faunus. The painfully frail little kid, an empty vessel, whipped a bit but his smirk never wavered. His small frame moved to me quickly, as I seemed to be moved through space, his friends following quickly. Aeneas spoke, his voice was odd and feminine.

"Never had the chance to properly thank you. So thank you for helping us out earlier. We do the same for those that helped us. You're pretty banged up, but you're in good hands. Get better okay?"

"Why... would you thank me? You were always the one who helped me..." I tried to gulp for air, I felt I had so little as I blushed heavily. Didn't he know I appreciated him, his protection from enemies?

Faunus began chuckling now, bitter and self mocking. I look at him confused, and he rolls his eyes at me., speaking in a dismissive tone.

"You only used him. You don't appreciate him, or anyone else. Savages, remember?" His bitingly sarcastic voice chided, continuing on since I could do nothing but breath right now. "Yes, everyone is savages. Your bladed protectors always die around you, have you ever noticed that? Aeneas protected you, Paul was simply around you... And now we're going to break the Rabbits back, aren't we? Because THEY'RE the savages. Never. Us."

I can only glare in response, I don't want to hurt them. I helped them earlier. I don't want to hurt the two and their pet robot.

"Are these your true feelings? The Legionnaire doesn't want to hurt these Profligates?" I nod my head slowly, and he laughs bitterly. Self mocking as ever, why can't he just laugh like he goddamned means it? It wasn't an evil thing to laugh, it didn't show weakness.

"YES IT DOES! Laughter is a thing of commoners, thing of the sheep who cry for peace who do nothing about it! Those who hide behind guns and morals they run from when the going gets tough! We won't get going, we will ENDURE, we will change the wasteland for the better kicking and screaming if we have to! The Legion will end the evils of drugs and crime through the cross, we want a better way, a way that means happiness for all, BUT THERE WILL NEVER BE ONE!"

Markus woke up, with a headache. He was stiff and felt like he couldn't move. He was also alone, it seemed, in the Rabbit's head quarters. A band of thieves helped him... Why? Vicky probably told them to, he saw the way they dove at her, waving him out of the way until she was fine.

Yeah, that must be it. He sighed, he felt he was going to be useless for awhile now. And smelly. He looked around, for a book, something to read and do, he could hear a shower going so he'd inquire about that later. He picked himself up, clutching his chest, and looking around for a bookshelf. He immediately keeled over after the fisr step, landing heavily on his jaw. It hurt, naturally, but at least he was alive.

He sighed, trying to pick himself up. He heard voices behind a door, so he began stumbling over to it. He slammed his shoulder up against it, and caught his breath before speaking to them,

"You guys got a shower...? Something to read?" His voice sounded so raspy, he felt he needed something. Water, probably. He sighed, leaning against the wall next to the door and sliding down it. At least his back was relatively clean, he thought, sitting cross legged at the door.

The Rabbit Hole

Vera listened quietly to the conversation her sisters were having, too fascinated to say anything. And then...

"But, well, I was, um, wondering. Do you like that Lady in Black in the other room? Do you like, um, other women?"

That threw Vera through a loop. Almost literally. I don't know... she seems all right I guess... and then Vera Rabbit realized the question had been directed at Tessa. Vera didn't want to hear Tessa's answer so...

"Umm," she began, quietly, "I need to go run some tests on all this new equipment this little genius has given me in the past few days," she nuzzled Mercy quickly and gently, "I'll just be in the... junkyard if you need me."

With that, Vera flew out of the hole in the ceiling and headed for...

The Cheyton Junkyard.

Vera scanned the piles of scrap for anything useable, then, she started the slow process of pushing bits of scrap into a smaller pile in a 'clearing' sort of area in the forest of scrap. Vera didn't really know what she was trying to make, but she was determined to craft anything... just so long as it resembled something coherent.

Several minutes later, Vera was more or less satisfied with the pile she had. So she started trying to arrange them into a more coherent shape like a tree or a person, but every time she moved a piece, five more would slip past her, forcing her to rush to put them back in place, or to just let them noisily tumble to the ground. After about ten minutes of this, Vera finally gave up and just started melting the pile together with her flamethrower.

At best, the end result could be said to vaguely resemble a funeral pyre with a twisted, gnarled weed-flower poking out of it, and at worst, it was just an incomprehensible mess, impossible to distinguish the signal from the noise. Vera let out a brief, frustrated wail.

On hearing her voice, she got another idea for what she might try out next. She searched her databanks for songs, and rather than simply playing a record, she tried using her own voice to sing... and she decided to sync up her hologram projector to the song.

At certain points in the song, Vera brought the hologram in front of the melting pile of scrap she'd assembled, and had it stare into its semi-reflective abyss. She also replaced references to 'perfect daughter' with 'real sister.' Though she left 'family' and 'father' alone.

The iBunny's song was cut short when she heard a pair of hands clapping very slowly. As if they were trying to slow the temmpo of her singing... and in a way they did. Vera stopped singing and cut the hologram off just as it was about to reach out to a sharp point on Vera's "Rabbit Tree." She turned to face the source of the clapping, to find...

Ulysses standing atop a giant pile of scrap.

"An excellent performance, Vera Rabbit," he said, and where one might expect a mocking tone, there was no tone, no hint of emotion or irony, just... a hollow and empty voice, "Though, there is something in me demanding an answer from you."

"What?" Vera snapped at him. He deftly slid down the scrap pile, and jumped down to the ground when he was at a safe height. He used Old Glory to help get himself fully upright again, and then leaned on it, more out of habit than any actual need.

"I wonder, did you really sing that?" he said, not taking another step closer to the little eyebot.

"Yes, of course I did." She answered, getting confused.

"Really?" he started pacing in a circle around Vera, and she tracked his movements, turning her faceplate to keep him in her visual scanner's field of view. "Then who taught you that song? Who gave you the knowledge to sing? How have you trained your voice to hit every note so perfectly? Where did all of that time come from?"

Vera didn't have an answer to that.

"You are a machine." he said, "You did not learn anything needed to play that song. All of that knowledge was already in you, all of that training was already there, waiting for you to access it. You did not have to study, learn, practice and struggle to do accomplish any of that."

Vera was starting to get angry.

"You work only within the scope of the men that built you with metal and diamond." Ulysses went on, stopping to lean on his staff again, "You learned nothing. Can believe nothing. You are nothing but the sum of your modules and wires."

Vera's rage reached the boiling point. She activated her cloak, then circled around behind Ulysses, and was about to use her flamethrower on him when...

THWACK!

Without any apparent effort, Ulysses knocked the little eyebot to the ground with a single punt from the dull end of Old Glory.

"Humans choose their paths," he said, starting to leave, giving Vera a view of the Old World Flag on his back, "Machines follow orders they were made with."

A few moments later, and the Legend of The Divide was gone, leaving Vera lone on the ground.

And there she stayed, perfectly still, almost blending in with the scrap around and behind her. She couldn't even form a full thought at the moment, except to briefly wonder...

Do Eyebots cry electric tears?

Somewhere. Over the Rainbow. Where Claws die.
"I don't leave people behind"

"You're sounding like a ranger. I approve."
It seems the second presence was another Deathclaw after all. The new one was the traditional earth-tones as opposed to the albino.
"Are we staying or going?"
"I'm not leaving any intelligent Deathclaw around to harm anybody. We stay."
[Survival 90/85]This one didn't look to be intelligent.
"Hit the new one with the flare-gun."
The albino on the other hand, would not be scared off by a flare. It had however, finally broken cover.
"Let's see how well you charge with one one working leg."
It had no cover, and was in a full-frontal charge. No avoiding getting shot this time.
[Guns 85][Gunslinger][Cowboy][Shoot To Wound][Fan The Hammer]Joe was going to kneecap this ugly mofo. *Bangbangbangbangbangclickclickclickclickclick*
(Although as a character, Joe didn't know what perks were, if he did he would really wish he had the [Concentrated Fire] Perk right about now)

Joe shouldn't have focused on Malkos.

With the other Deathclaw in the traditional dead run, claws outstretched to pounce and slash, it was approaching faster but more openly. Their combined firepower would have done more to slow it down than Martin alone. They could have done disabling damage easier and given themselves more time. As it stood, the rifle bullets forced there way into toughened hide and pure muscular nightmare, causing the Deathclaw to grunt from impact and then continue.

The problem with Malkos was that he was well aware of the power of guns and what a Deathclaw can do. A Deathclaw dodging - such as his zig-zagging - would avoid shots under normal circumstances. Joe was trying to hit a specific spot of Malkos' body while this was going on, during a time in which the Deathclaw is on all-fours. Not only was this not a full charge as Deathclaws are wont to do, but it was physically impossible to reach the knees.

Malkos felt a few heavy thunks on his body, bullets of a higher caliber than some of the stuff the Khans had been using or the Raiders usually. He ignored the pitted pain of bullets getting stuck in flesh, and with a mental 'I win.' thought, went from his evasive actions to a full charge-and-leap as soon as he heard Joe's gun click empty. He knew that that was the moment in which most humans were screwed.

Intending to give NO chance for the Ranger to reload, his leap brought himm from the crouched all-fours position to use all muscle against the ountain to spring forward at a greater-than-normal speed due to orientation and trajectory...which he HAD tested back home. Here, the gray Deathclaw fanned his arms out to try and tackle BOTH humans down the hill, to throw both of their balances right off, even as the regular Deathclaw was closing in. Hopefully, the sudden act would knock the guns right out of their hands...but there was no guarantee.

BUNNY-ON!

Absorbing Mercy's retelling of life with her Stepmother, Tessa couldn't help but envy Mercy's previous position. Her sister's previous life almost sounded like a routine, something which the Feral Rabbit would find incredibly boring, yet she would take a stable lifestyle over a life-threatening one any time of the day.

"I'm sorry if that hurt your feelings but I thought you should know about her."

Why was her sister apologizing? Tessa had practically insulted their dead Father only moments ago. Something which Tessa felt infinitely guilty about, personal feelings towards the man aside. "She sounded really sweet and hardworking, I can see where she rubbed off on you."

"I promise, promise, PROMISE. See? I promised three times so I can't get out of it. So there you're stuck with me."

She had to admit, her sister was good at defusing tension and batting aside Tessa's more serious nature. A quality which she greatly appreciated, since Tessa was never fond of being put in serious emotional situations.

"You sound like a kid, you know that? But hey, where I'm from, we do it properly: We pinky-promise!" Extending her pinky finger. "Now that's a promise that can't be broken. Ever. The battle of Hoover Dam? Broken pinky promise. A folk-story about a badass eye-patched girl and her crimson-cloaked best friend waging war on the Enclave. All started with a broken pinky promise."

"So, do you think we would have gotten along as well as we do now if we had known each other when we were younger? I mean I would have pulled your hair or something by now or done something annoying that only little sisters can do."

Tessa contemplated life with a younger Mercy in a cushy house, with no reason to look over your shoulder to check if you were followed after your last theft. As if to illustrate her point, Mercy lightly yanked on her hair before giving her a strange look.

"I think I would have been the troublemaker of the house. I'd be breaking stuff, running away whenever I want, collecting the bladed cutlery and putting holes in the wall. You would probably be the responsible sister, sometimes taking the heat for the shit I pull. I would help you sneak out and cover for you while you go meet that special boy you've always been thinking about...I would sneak into your room and read your diary. You would take the crap I collected from the neighbors and use it for your experiments...We'd get into fights, I would hit you with a toaster, you would probably rig some machine to kill me...normal sister stuff."

Tessa yanked lightly on her sister's hair in return and hugged her after having being cheered up. "Sorry about what I said about Dad, it's just different from my end, y'know? I love you too, Mer, and don't you forget it."


"You guys got a shower...? Something to read?"

Came the reply from the other side of the thin wall. The voice had belonged to Markus.

"I got you covered! Gimme a sec!" Tessa shouted in reply. Scrounging around for one of her issues of Grognak the Barbarian, she opened the door to discover Victoria handing him some reading material instead.

"So You're Going to Die..."

Addressing both Markus and Victoria, she placed two issues by his side. "Maybe something a little less...morbid? Anway, use the shower whenever you want. Just don't complain about the cold water. I have auto-dibs on the hot water!"


Having being followed back into room by the more clean and fuzzier Undertaker, she enjoyed hearing her give Mercy the credit that she deserves. Getting under the blanket with her sister once more, Victoria propped herself nearby. She looked dreadfully out of place in comparison to the more rundown surroundings that possessed a certain measure of character.

"If there's anything I can do for you at all, (or to you Tessa), don't hesitate to ask."

Her bold statement wasn't lost on the Eldest Rabbit, but there was little reaction to be found. This was largely due to the presence of her sister. Tessa would forego any form of flirtation or indulgent behaviour when the attention AND safety of Mercy took centerplace.

"You could help with some information. What the hell happened to you and Markus? How do you know Markus in the first place? Why did meeting Markus not too long ago, lead to you, of all people, landing up here with me?"

Mind you, these questions weren't posed in a threatening manner. Tessa was genuinely curious, but her tone suggested an edge of caution.

"You also have a weapon of a professional. Something that suggests that you don't like to leave a trace and keep things quiet...now call me paranoid, but you can imagine what that suggests as a side business. Finally, with everything that's going on, what do you know about the Knuckleheads?"

Tessa didn't need an army, she just needed a few specialized individuals to make the enemy think they're facing an army. Markus and Vera as muscle. Victoria and Tessa on distraction and sneak attacks. Mercy on demolitions, support and specialized tactics.

As far as all the questions went. Mercy seemed to be the perfect buffer between Tessa's romantic inclinations and paranoid street thinking.

A War of Rabbit-rition:

Before their privacy was invaded by the Stilt Walker in Black!

"You sound like a kid, you know that? But hey, where I'm from, we do it properly: We pinky-promise! Tessa said as she extended her pinky finger. "Now that's a promise that can't be broken. Ever. The battle of Hoover Dam? Broken pinky promise. A folk-story about a badass eye-patched girl and her crimson-cloaked best friend waging war on the Enclave. All started with a broken pinky promise."

Mercy, who had never heard that story perked up for a moment.

"I kind of heard about the Badass Eye-Patched girl and her Crimson-Cloaked best friend. You'll have to retell me that story some time." The Youngest Bunny said as she wondered who if they would be any match for Mercy and Tessa, scourges of Cheyton and overthrowers of the Knuckleheads.

"That would be nice, maybe one night when we can just relax over a bowl of Blamco and Rad-Scorpion, you can retell me the story about how they met. If I remember it right, they got along like sisters, even with some stupid man getting in the middle." Mercy said, sighing in contentment, the first real feeling of contentment in a long, long, long, long time. The feeling was so intoxicating that she didn't quite tune back in until she heard:

"... I would help you sneak out and cover for you while you go meet that special boy you've always been thinking about..."

The Plasma Rabbit hoped that the Beguiling Bunny didn't feel her tense up slightly at those very words, as the words "Shoot them! Shoot them both! Do it! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!" ricocheted through her brain for a few, hopefully very brief, heartbeats before it was jettisoned for the time being.

"I - would never ever rig something to kill you. But you know what I'd do? I'd stick you in a room in a hole in the ground, I would paint the room ultra PINK and have a modified Mister Handy play Princess Tea Time with you all day. Well he wouldn't really be a Mister Handy would he? He'd be a Missus Crumpets! Yes. Missus Crumpets would be playing Princess Tea Time with you all day while I sat there behind my one way mirror, with Vera on my lap, petting her on the head while I watched Missus Crumpets asked you if you'd like more imaginary tea for the three hundred and eight third time that day and as your mind was breaking, I'd start laughing like MUHAHAHAHAHAHA!" Mercy said with a smile, delighting in the fact that her sister accepted her childishness


After the Appearance of the Bitchy Bunny in Black >;P

"So Tessa tells me that I have you to thank for me still being alive, Mercy. There are no words for how grateful I am for everything that you've done for me and the hospitality that you and your sister have shown. I am greatly in your debt."

"It was nothing really." The Younger Sister said with a smile as she looked at the tall woman in black glad to see that she was on her feet again.

"I'm just glad to see that you're feeling better and that you're back on your feet." Mercy commented as she noticed the patches on the woman's clothing.

"I'm sorry that I had to rip up your nice clothing."

"If there's anything I can do for you at all, (or to you Tessa), don't hesitate to ask." The Lady Undertaker said in a rather boldly stated fashion that took Mercy by surprise for a moment, at least until the Bruiser Bunny stepped in and took control of the situation like a tough sister would.

"You also have a weapon of a professional. Something that suggests that you don't like to leave a trace and keep things quiet...now call me paranoid, but you can imagine what that suggests as a side business. Finally, with everything that's going on, what do you know about the Knuckleheads?"

Those were perfectly reasonable questions from Mercy's point of view. She wouldn't have put it past the Knuckleheads to have hired some outside muscle to handle the Rabbit sisters, especially since they'd taken out one of their chem stashes already. Plus, Tessa had told her about the message that she had told the Knucklehead to propagate, so there was an even higher degree of probability that this Lady had some sort of connection to the Knuckleheads.

"My sister's right, you know. Between you happening to have bumped into my sister in the middle of the market and then showing up here with Markus, it's a bit suspicious." The Brainy Bunny said as she arranged all the mental puzzle pieces in her head. She had found the corner pieces but now she had to figure out where the rest of the piece lay and what picture the puzzle would form once it was solved.

"It's too convenient for it to have been just coincidence." Mercy said, looking at her sister and nodding, letting her know that Mercy had her back and that she wasn't about to break a pinky swear.

Cheyton Junkyard.

Vera briefly entertained the notion of soaring back into the air and melting the entire junkyard to vent her many frustrations at this point. But, she stopped herself, thinking... What's the point?

Ex-Military Compound just outside of the Boneyard

I ran through the halls, my feet clattering on the metal floors loudly.

Crap! I'm so late!

I keep running, trying not to hit the Paladins, last thing I need right now is to pass out after smacking right into their armor head-on. Scribes are fair game though. I'm sure some of them even enjoy it. Hee-hee.

After about five minutes of running, I finally make it outside and to the inspection area. No one's there! I must've been early this time!

"Sister Veronica!" McNamara, the drill sergeant yelled, "You're late! I finally had to dismiss everyone else before they starved to death. Just what were you doing that was so important?!"

Umm... reactor leak? No, he'd check on that. Er...

"Nevermind," he said, his voice dropping a little in register, "Get cleaned up, and join your teammates for breakfast. Or what's left of it now."

As I run for the tables, saying "Thank you sir!", I can't help but look back and see the look of... pity? on McNamara's face. What the hell brought that on?

The Divide

If the asshat hadn't disabled my audio module, I would be screaming... well, screeching in agony as he tore into my frame and clumsily ripped that unlicensed and classified module out of me. Who the in the name of Raplhie does this guy think he is?!?!

Cheyton Slums. A... different perspective.

Ulysses made it back to the Knuckleheads' HQ without anyone noticing his passing. Inside, he found his new... minions, fighting each other over... who would be his new lieutenant, apparently.

The sight brought back a dozen different memories. None of them pleasant. All of them involve watching enslaved children brutalizing each other in Caesar's gladiatorial arena for the sport of an ever bloodthirsty crowd.

Still, he let the two idiots continue for a moment before getting his smg out and killing both of the 'contestants'. Ulysses said nothing, but he knew his message was clear: This isn't what I want. Don't kill each other to try and please me.

Ulysses was unpleasantly surprised when four of 'his' men started fighting each other. The Savior of the White Legs brought his face into the palm of his hand and let out an exasperated sigh. He had only one thought as he shot the four idiots...

Never thought I would miss Vulpes Inculta.

"I should warn you that there is no hot water and as for something to read, I believe I have something for you in my bag."

"Sounds good..." Markus sighed. He held out his hand for the pamphlet, and read the title with a grimace.

"A little planning never hurt anyone Markus."

'Neither does a tan.' Markus just frowned and sighed, and began reading, keeping an ear on the conversation. No section for Legion burials, how disappointing.

"Maybe something a little less...morbid? Anyway, use the shower whenever you want. Just don't complain about the cold water. I have auto-dibs on the hot water!"

"I'll live, besides, I like the cold." Also he was sweating a bit from the effort of the day. He picked himself, heading to the showers to clean up a bit, when he heard Mercy,

"It's too convenient for it to have been just coincidence."

"Because I tracked you. Blood trails are easy... If no one's taken it by now, there's a backpack with 15,100 caps in it. That should cover our rent." Markus smirked, closing the door behind him for a nice, cold shower. The water felt painful against his wounds, but it was a thing he was used to by now. Legion training really does train you for everything.

A land of claws

Martin continued to fire upon the claw as it approached. He heard a grunt, at just about the right time as he turned his head. He gripped his rifle as tight as he could as he was struck by the alpha, and knocked down a hill.

He forced himself to regain enough balance to pull a syringe loaded with a cocktail (of med-x, turbo, and stims) from his bandolier and jam it into his chest after the tumble. He felt the drugs spread into him as he raised his rifle again, looking for a target.

Rabbit's;Gate

Tessa's emotions had turned cold to the Assassin and her glare reflected just that. Caring little for treating her delicately, Tessa grabbed the Undertaker by the wrist and lead her to their diagram-filled board of plans and information.

Crossing her arms she stood beside Victoria, pointing out crucial bits of information gathered on the Knuckleheads. "Any other day, I would commend you on your subterfuge. However, this involves my family, so no more secrets." Continuing with absolute threat in her tone. "Your trust is not being disputed, Assassin. Our goals seem to align if the Knuckleheads are responsible for all the kill orders. In essence, we could use your aid and knowledge."

Narrowing her glare at the Assassin. "This is all the more reason to bend the situation and quash our anxieties of the future."

Channeling unbridled authority, the Thief addressed the Assassin directly. "We plan on crippling their supply lines. Co-ordinating our attacks to create an illusion of an army. Creating fear, then using it as a weapon. Taking out key personnel. We will start small, but we will ascend...It's your choice now, Assassin. Stay, leave or end us...Just make a choice you won't regret." Echoing the Assassin's final words.

Turning her back on the Assassin, she muttered in conclusion. "Mull over your decision and get back to me, Feral Ra-...Assassin."


Having made her way over to Mercy, she addressed her sister more casually, yet she kept her voice in a hushed tone. "We were right to expect something. Thank you for backing me up. She's an assassin sent after us, hired by Ulysses, now it looks like she's against Ulysses." Wracking her brain for answers. "That guy from Vera's past? Ulysses. What does he want with all of us? The Knuckleheads are also hiring assassins to target us? I'm not going to put it past them if those two were linked somehow."

Drawing a blade out of frustration, Tessa twirled it wildly, "Mercy, how far is my armor coming along? And what of the explosives? Finally, I'm looking for Vera."


Donning her riding-hood, she crawled through the hole in the roof. Scouting for any signs of the Eyebot's movements, a little difficult considering that she was cloaked under night. However, the disembodied shape of an Eyebot could be seen from their rooftop. Their house was situated close to the Cheyton junkyard after all, a personal choice made my Tessa to avoid the busy work of the market dwellers.

[Silent Running] Having made her way to the Eyebot unnoticed. Vera was either malfunctioning from her previous damage or if she were human, then something was bugging her. "Vera!" Announcing her presence, Tessa, in her annoyed state, grabbed the faceplate of the Eyebot and directed Vera ahead of her. "Go home now. We have a lot to discuss."

Tessa made her way back inside, never letting her bladed hands go unarmed while retaining the scowl that the Assassin had created.

Cheyton Junkyard.

Vera didn't really see Tessa running towards her, but, nonetheless, she was kind of expecting her to come. But... the welcome was not what she hoped would happen. After the sound, if physically harmless thrashing that Ulysses gave her, Vera was finding she was losing a lot of patience for being manhandled again. Even if it was Tessa doing the handling.

"Go home now. We have a lot to discuss."

Before Tesssa got back up and ran back for the Rabbit Hole, Vera shot up into the air in a flash, and played a sound effect from her databanks:

DING!

Vera made her way back home quickly, but not entirely enthusiastically. She chirped a little to Mercy as she made her way through the door, and didn't even register Markus and The Undertaker being up and about now. Vera didn't say anything or do anything aside from float to a bright corner in the room, hoping the extra lighting would at least mask her dark mood, and silently waited to be addressed before even thinking about anything.

Knucklehead's HQ

"That it took ten deaths for you to learn the lesson I should not have had to teach you," Ulysses said scowling at the idiots he found himself surrounded by, "Shows that I need to hold these dogs on a tighter leash..." Ulysses was more saying that last part to himself than anyone else, and to no one's surprise reading this, none of the Knuckleheads figured out they were being insulted, "They'll go for your supply routes first, go and defend them. Go. Now. Walk the path I have set before you and do not wander from it or you will all answer to the sleeping nation."

The Knuckleheads needed no further 'encouragement' and they all left to spread the word that their drug and gun runners were to be sent along with armed escorts of at least four Knuckleheads each.

These fools can't possibly stop the Wild Rabbits... no... their den is too entrenched, and their stake too personal for them to just let it go. No... all these empty bodies can do is stall them. Good.

Bunny King: Home of the Whopper

"Mercy, how far is my armor coming along? And what of the explosives? Finally, I'm looking for Vera." The Bunny Master General asked as she prepped herself to leave to go look for their Brooding Bunny Ball of a sister.

"Well, the bombs are going to probably take a few hours to put together since I need to mix the chems together without blowing myself up." The Build-a-Bunny said with a relaxed smile at her sister. She was nervous but she didn't want to amp up her sister any more than she had to, especially when she was about to leave.

Mercy had gone outside, when her sister had taken the Undertaker into the other room, and examined the bodies of the hitmen that the Black Bunny had mentioned. They looked savage, and mean, and dangerous. That wasn't the worst part, however, as Horrified Hare discovered the bodies of the children not too far away. Each of the children had a feral look to them that no longer made them look remotely human, with their teeth being the scariest thing about them as it appeared that they had undergone some sort of rudimentary dental work. Someone had gone in and filed each of their teeth down into a sharp point so that it looked more like a shark's mouth than a child's mouth.

Tossing the memory out the window, the Younger Rabbit, pulled something from out under her blanket.

"Tada!" She said, using the best tada and jazz hands that she could, mirroring all the times that her sister had surprised her with new clothes, food and presents. Tess' composite leather armor looked like a regular set of leather armor save for the fact that it was designed to be form fitting around Tessa's body, meaning only she would be able to wear it. The leather, however, disguised the fact that there were layers of nano-polymer weaving sandwiched between the Brahmin leather that would disperse the kinetic energy of the impact of any blades, bullets and blunt weapons.

The Seamstress Sister was especially proud of the shoulder pads, where she had stitched her design for the Twisted Hares, a Rabbit's Head outlined in twisted barbwire.

Watching as her sister left, she called out as the door was opened.

"Sis? If you leave that door, you better be coming back."


Vera was back and that made Mercy relax quite a bit since she has stuck alone in the house with two strangers and while the Undertaker was in the other room, Markus was still in the same room as her, a fact that made her 18 year old body nervous in the stomach.

"Vera! I'm so happy you're back!" Mercy said as the Belle of BunnyTown settled in the brightest spot in the room, with only a chirp in greeting, which was - strange - as she didn't even get a nuzzle from her robo-sister and so it was that Mercy Rabbit walked over to Vera Rabbit and nuzzled her face plate.

"I think you forgot something sissy V." The Happy Hare said to her Elder Sister with a smile before settling in at a chair next to where Vera was floating before whispering to her.

"Sis? Are you okay?

Brightest Corner of the Rabbit Hole

The extra light was doing nothing to improve her mood. Vera was already starting to get lost in thought when her little sister sat next to her and started talking to her.

"I think you forgot something sissy V."

Vera turned to face Mercy and bowed her faceplate for a moment, then let out a slightly exasperated, disappointed sigh.

"Sorry, Mer-Mer," Vera said without some traces of affection bleeding through her now sullen voice, "Guess I did."

Vera gave Mercy a slow, apologetic nuzzle.

"Sis? Are you okay?

Vera stifled a quiet sob that came to her out of nowhere. Yet another inexplicably... biological habit that Vera somehow had despite being a freaking robot. Gah!

"Well... I was... sort of playing around in the junkyard when Ulysses showed up and..." Vera cut herself off, she couldn't quite bring herself to actually repeat what the asshole had said. So instead, "Umm... do you have a holotape player and some working headphones? I'd... rather this stayed between us..."

Though, even before Mercy could respond, Vera gently popped a holotape copy of the entire exchange between herself and Ulysses... including the song and attempt at artwork that preceded it. Then Vera lowered herself enough for Mercy to be able to take the holotape.

"I'm not sure what I should be thinking right now..." she said, more to herself than Mercy.

Cheyton Slums. Knuckledragger HQ

Ulysses paced back and forth along the length of the room, keeping his eyes fixed on his new... devotees. Though he'd seen this kind of... rape written in someone's change in appearance before... White Legs all over again... he wasn't sure what to do about it now. Oh, he was angry, sure. Just another bunch of idiots using a symbol to please him without understanding its meaning. Ulysses was angry enough to kill, but he still needed these idiots... for the moment.

Garden Of Rabbit's

Letting her hair loose for once, the brunette strands concealed her face somewhat. It was the only pleasant feeling she felt at the moment.

Tessa had foregone entering the house straight after Vera. What was Tessa doing? Well, she was silently inspecting the trail of bodies left by the assassin. Some time was spent trying to identify if they belonged to any organization, Tessa would have to resort to asking the assassin if she knew anything about this particular group.

A more significant amount of time was spent moving each body to the Cheyton Junkyard, covering them up and then taking careful measure to cover the tracks. It was a mass grave hidden under mountainous piles of scrap, yet further from the house. The better.

Tessa made a mental note to thank the Assassin for her handiwork. The Brute too, if he was involved. However, Tessa cursed the name of Vera. Why? Well this Ulysses character was connected to the Eyebot. Had the Eyebot not bashed down their door one fateful evening...then perhaps the two living and only Rabbit sisters wouldn't be under constant threat.

Oh she had much to be angry about. Tessa had finally received her own family, which was now under constant threat. Tessa was still suffering from the loss of Sonea, then she met Victoria and in her haste to suppress the pain and let her heart lead her...she had been deceived after opening her heart for the first time after so long. Victoria had also successfully bruised her ego, the former leader of the Feral Rabbits had not been deceived in a very long time. Tessa was one to pride herself on her abilities. Even her home had become filled with strangers. This entire situation has felt like it spiralled out of her control.

Now she had no idea who to trust, but her only sister.

Their trust would be proven. With Victoria taking the lead, despite the ruse to get close to them.


Climbing down from the rooftop and into the house, she immediately ripped off the ill-fitting black dress and put on her composite leather armor. The armor formed around her body seamlessly, if she concentrated for a moment, she could feel an energetic pulse of power radiate throughout her body. The armor was a vast improvement, providing bladed, impact and even minor bullet protection. With protective shoulder-pads, she noticed the Twisted Hares emblem.

"Mer, I cannot thank you enough. You are a genius!" Tessa exclaimed as she reapplied the various holsters and blades to her body, the armor now extending to her wrists. Long-sleeved. She liked that. "When we get a chance, I want you in similar armor. I need you protected from now on."

Tessa stopped to notice Victoria assisting Mercy with the explosives, suppressing her emotions even further, she decided to address Victoria while getting her away from Mercy.

"Assassin, I had those bodies checked out, moved and tracks covered. Can't have bodies surrounding the house now, can we? Anyway, who are they? Do you propose that we fight off these attackers or the Knuckleheads for now? For what it's worth, I wish I never had to have an assassin called off me in the first place, but I'm glad you stayed." Plus one for Victoria.

Tessa called out to Markus in frustration. "Hey! Shower-time is over! We need you in here!"

Tessa finally turned her attention on the Eyebot in cold disdain for her manufactured 'feelings'.

"Eyebot, we need to know everything you know about this Ulysses character, you two were involved at some point!" Growled the Feral Rabbit. "You're probably a big reason why he's even threatening this family in the first place!"

Tessa was reaching the emotional breaking point. Since her anger and frustration only seemed to spike further.

I-25 Ambush

Jose and his Rangers used the distracted Kaiden made with the car door to pick off the raiders that Kaiden missed. Soon after the Super Mutant took cover, the shooting had ceased. "You're clear!" A shout came from the raider's former position, prompted Jacob to back up against the support pillar.

However, Jose seemed unfazed by the sign of life, making Jacob curious enough to take a peek. Then, he saw it was one of Jose's Rangers, specifically on he left with the caravan. The conclusion wasn't that hard to draw, with all the noise and the smoke, their little skirmish easily drew the attention of the rest of their group. Letting himself relax, Jacob made his way over to Kaiden, while Jose and the Rangers looted the raider's corpses.

"So, we meet again." Jacob flashed a smile at the Super Mutant while keeping his hand on his laser pistol, in case the raiders had reinforcements too. "I thought you said your settlement was east of here."

Markus could admit to falling asleep in the shower. He was still a tad woozy, and he wasn't entirely sure he had the right blood in him. Thus was the curse of the O- crowd. He sighed, shutting off the water and stumbling out, barely managing to stay on his feet. The bleeding had stopped, so as long as he took it easy for a couple days and ate regularly, he'd be fine in time to start hurting the Knuckleheads.

He wrapped a towel around his waist, and went out to investigate the source of yelling, of course it was the older sister though. It certainly wasn't the robot. They were like Markus, they didn't truly have feelings. Only cruel imitations if they needed to in public.

"Hey! Shower-time is over! We need you in here!"

"Yes, my lady." Markus' smirk was back, and he kept a hand on his towel. He needed new clothes... "Wait, give me a moment. I left my backpack outside I think. I'll go get it and get dressed." Markus trudged out the door, finding the backpack lying in the dirt. No one had even bothered touching it... Upon trying to pick it up, he remembered why.

'Fucking hell this thing is heavy.' He sighed, and bent down. He retrieved a plain white T shirt, a bit tight but otherwise fine. His green cargo pants and combat boots were a bit more difficult to put on in public... he'd wait until he got inside and some privacy. He dragged the thing behind him to the door, letting it lie in the middle of the room. He undid the top flap, and kicked it over, spilling countless caps onto the floor.

"I believe this should cover our expenses...? Nice armor." Markus marveled at the suit, he hadn't gotten to see it earlier. A masterpiece in the waste, he grinned at it. He quickly snapped his head back up to eye level after a thought, perhaps spending a tad too much time looking at the armor, IE her chest. His grin shrunk, but it still never reached his eyes.

The Rabbit Hole

"Eyebot, we need to know everything you know about this Ulysses character, you two were involved at some point!" Growled the Feral Rabbit. "You're probably a big reason why he's even threatening this family in the first place!"

There it was, exactly the sort of accusation that Vera had been dreading. And with it, came a number of unfortunate implications that both chilled Vera to her power core, and filled every circuit, wire, and bolt with rage. Still, the eyebot decided to contain her growing anger and try to respond to the Bitchy Bunny's question.

"Ever heard stories about The Courier?" Vera said, keeping her voice level, but also devoid of emotion... making her sound unnervingly like a female version of Ulysses... minus the poetic flare, "A former version of me... before the personality matrix you know and -" Vera cut herself off, not really believing the rest of that cliche anymore, "was installed in this frame. The Courier called it ED-E. No idea why. Anyway, after some of our travels together, The Courier got a message through me. Just a set of coordinates, and a name, like a signature. One guess who that was from."

Vera realized that some of her new-found anger was starting to slip into her voice, so the eyebot paused to calm herself a little, and then continued.

"Back then, he was obsessed with The Courier," Vera began again, "Apparently, The Divide... that stretch of sand-storm covered canyon south of Nevada? Well... apparently, it used to be home to a thriving community. According to Ulysses, The Courier helped... build that town in her own way. I don't quite understand it. This was some time before the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, and well... The Divide was a major supply route at the time... which drew the NCR and... eventually, The Legion. Both fought over it until one day, The Courier (according to Ulysses anyway) brought in a package... that... as he would put it, 'woke the Giants of the Divide'... and a few underground nuclear detonations later, and it became the blasted ruin that we know today."

Vera fought off ED-E's memories of that horrible place. The Marked Men, the Deathclaws, the Tunnelers... and the man himself.

"Longer story short..." Vera continued, losing patience with the accusatory glances she thought she saw coming from Tessa, "Ulysses held The Courier responsible for the destruction of his home, and since... the device that activated the nukes had been installed inside me... for some damn reason... he tried to use me to destroy The Courier's home... New Vegas and all of Nevada along with it."

Vera paused again, trying not to let the memories come rushing to her... they were equal parts alien and familiar to her.

"I... well... ED-E sacrificed itself to prevent the nukes from being launched," she said, "And downloaded itself to its... copy in Prim. Which, if Ulysses is to be believed, was also installed with a module capable of activating nuclear missiles."

"And no, sister," Vera said, almost spitting the last word out, "I don't know why he's decided to obsess over me all of the sudden. I had no idea he was even still alive after all these years. Aside from that... he's a former Legion scout, he claims to be the one that led The Legion to the Dam in the first place. And you know what... maybe you're right. Maybe I did put your family in danger. But you know what? I'm going to go fix that, right now. Don't worry. This'll be over one way or another, soon enough."

Vera played that sound effect again, DING!

With that, Vera zoomed at top speed out of the Rabbit Hole and towards the slums.

Knucklehead HQ

"Strange," Ulysses said, "I thought they would be taking the offensive by now... what is keeping them from walking that path yet?"

The assembled Knuckleheads were too afraid to shrug.

Cheyton Slums

Vera came across a group of eight Knuckleheads escorting one of their suppliers. She immediately turned on her flamethrower and roasted everyone there. Each time one of them fell to the ground, screaming, the eyebot played that sound effect again, DING!

"As for you," Vera said to the supplier she'd let live... for now, "Go here," she gave him directions to the Rabbit Hole, "And pledge your loyalty to the Twisted Hares. Betray them in any way, and well..." Vera nodded to one of the smoldering corpses. The weapons dealer gulped and said he'd do exactly as she said, and then sprinted along, following Vera's directions.

The eyebot continued to search the slums for more Knuckleheads.

Come on you fucker. I know if I keep doing this, eventually you'll have to come out of your hideyhole and deal with me. Come on out and play with the fucking Pyro-Ninja you bastard!

The Reputable and Ridiculously Refined Royal Rabbits Residence:

(Before Tessa Returned)

Vera gently popped a holotape copy of the entire exchange between herself and Ulysses... including the song and attempt at artwork that preceded it. Then Vera lowered herself enough for Mercy to be able to take the holotape.

"I'm not sure what I should be thinking right now..." she said, more to herself than Mercy.

Gently accepting the holotape, she popped it into a personal holotape player and found a set of battered headphones and nodded towards her Blue Bunny Sister before clicking the play toggle. Watching the scene from Vera's perspective was a bit unnerving at first but the Mad Bomber Bunny quickly adjusted by the time she heard Vera's song, her logical mind processing the scene somewhere in the background as a childlike awe, for lack of a better term, took over.

"That's such a pretty song, V. You've got a really pretty singing voice." The Hare with the Horrendous Singing Voice complimented as she found her body swaying in time with Vera's song, at least it did until the appearance of Ulysses.

Her body became tense as she listened to Ulysses' breakdown of her sister's personality, her artificiality, and her realness. For a moment, the Rabid Rabbit forgot where she was and reached out as if to choke the life out of Ulysses, her hands closing around nothing but air before she remembered that she was watching a recording. Mercy's anger left unsatisfied vented itself upon the Holo-Glasses and headphone as she slammed them down on her workbench, compromising the structures of both devices and sending bits of plastic all.

"What's that piece of Brahmin Road Apple even know, Sissy V? I bet - I bet - I bet he still thinks that it's a good idea to take a hair dryer into the shower." She said angrily and set about building the bombs that would send the frizz haired jackass into low orbit. "I'll tell you what's artificial, him. He's nothing a bully trying to pick on someone more real than he is just to make himself feel better."

Her anger had taken such complete hold of her that her hands were shaking as she attempted to place the first detonator inside the explosive, a potentially hazardous thing to do when there were enough caustic chemicals around the Bristling Bunny to send HER and the house into low orbit.

A pair of pale and soft hands gently took the explosive device away from her before she caused any permanent damage to the house and its inhabitants, causing the Youngest of the Rabbit Sisters (VERA INCLUDED) to blink as she realized what was going on as she watched the Undertaker, Vicky, place the detonator inside of the explosive package before wrapping the IEB (Improvised Exploding Bunny) in its stuffed bunny camouflage.

Inhaling deeply, Mercy turned towards her sister and gave her another nuzzle.

"He's so full of crap that his eyes are brown." The Young Bunny said before turning back to her task.

"So, how'd you learn to make all this stuff?" The Undertaker asked as she started assembling another IEB.

"It's simple really. My dad was a prospector and he always came home with a bunch of parts that I could use. So I sorta learned how things work since he would be gone a lot and my mom had to work a lot." The Bunker Busting Bunny responded as she started building another one of the IEBs.

"He used to come home with a lot of books for me to read and I - I - TESSA!!" Mercy exclaimed happily as her Eldest sister strode through the door.


(After Tessa Returned)

"Mer, I cannot thank you enough. You are a genius!" Tessa exclaimed as she reapplied the various holsters and blades to her body, the armor now extending to her wrists. Long-sleeved. She liked that. "When we get a chance, I want you in similar armor. I need you protected from now on."

"No problemo Tess!" Mercy responded beaming with pride as she watched her sister move around to test the her new armor. Mercy's would be simple to manufacture since she didn't rely on close quarters like Tessa did. Sitting back down, she noticed Tessa pulling the Undertaker lady away and talking to her before getting Markus from the shower.

---------- Moments Later ----------

"I believe this should cover our expenses...? Nice armor." The Former Legionaire said as he spent a bit to much time ogling Mercy's Eldest Sister with his eyes, a sight that caused Mercy to wish that she had Plasma Vision.

She had considered inventing something like that before, glasses (since she needed them to see) that had the ability to launch bolts of Plasma at whatever she was looking at. However, there were quite a number of issues that she would have had to overcome had she gone through with her plans.

The first issue would have been the plasma emitters themselves. Since they were constantly on and pulsed green constantly, it would always give her position away, especially in the dark, making her head and it's tender bits a pride target for any competent marksmen.

The second issue was more practical than tactical. Staring directly at a plasma bolt discharge was like staring at the sun. You'd be left temporarily blinded after a the first shot and there was no telling what the long term effects of this would be. It might have been anything within the range of permanent blindness, split personalities, needing an eyepatch, social diseases, constipation, diarrhea, internal bleeding, spontaneous external bleeding, spontaneous combustion, weight loss, weight gain, paranoia, sleep disorder, mood disorder, mental disorder, sterility and even death.

There was one final issue that stood in the path of the eye mounted plasma death emitters. Plasma was hot and being so close to her eyebrows, the heat would probably singe them off. The last thing the Beauty Pageant Bunny wanted to do was have to draw eyebrows on her face every time she left the house.

Still, it would've been worth all that just to render Markus into a puddle of green goo for staring at her sister for too long.

She had been lost so deeply in her day dream that she almost missed the part where Tessa had called Vera eyeBot instead of sis.

"Eyebot, we need to know everything you know about this Ulysses character, you two were involved at some point!" Growled the Feral Rabbit. "You're probably a big reason why he's even threatening this family in the first place!"

---------- A minute and a Vera sized rant later ----------

"And no, sister," Vera said, almost spitting the last word out, "I don't know why he's decided to obsess over me all of the sudden. I had no idea he was even still alive after all these years. Aside from that... he's a former Legion scout, he claims to be the one that led The Legion to the Dam in the first place. And you know what... maybe you're right. Maybe I did put your family in danger. But you know what? I'm going to go fix that, right now. Don't worry. This'll be over one way or another, soon enough."

With that lie told, Vera whizzed outside.

"VERA!!" Mercy yelled out trying to stop her sister before she got too far before turning on the Elder Rabbit sister, grabbing her hand and taking her to the bedroom where they had some modicum of privacy.

"Sis. What in the HELL was that all about? Vera's out sister. She's more of a sister to you than dad was to either of us." Mercy said as she revealed her true feelings about their common patriarchal lineage.

"Sure you didn't have dad in your life but I only had dad in my life for a couple weeks a year, at most. Do you think that that's any better than not having him at all because let me tell you, there were times where I wish that he didn't come back just so that I didn't have to miss him all over again. But now that he's gone, I'd take those couple of weeks a year if I could see him again. I'd gladly take it even though it meant that I'd spend the rest of the time missing him. Vera's out sister, Tess. OUR SISTER! She's here and she's been like family to us. Sure, I know that her body's manufactured but still her personality is real, sis. It's REAL! Please, Tess. Just - I - I don't want to lose Vera. I already lost mom. I already lost dad. You and Vera, that's the only thing I've got left in the world. So don't make me lose Vera too." The Tear filled eyes Rabbit said before she scampered out the door to look for her half pint sister.

"VERA!!!"

---------- A couple of minutes later ----------

There was no sign of her. No sign of Vera, at least not that Mercy could see but what she did see was something else entirely, something else that made her draw her plasma pistol and wait in the shadows for a moment as the Keeper passed by.

[MENTAL V.A.T.S.]

    Trip - Left foot (95%)
    Plasma Burst - Torso (95%)

The Plasma Rabbit walked casually out of the shadows and swept the Keeper's trailing left foot as he started moving it forward, causing it to catch on his right foot and sent the hulk of a man tumbling onto his face as he let out a surprised grunt that was muted by the ground. His surprise didn't last long as his body was consumed by the plasma bolt that struck him in the back, leaving not only a green puddle in the middle of the alley but the Keeper's ankles and boots.

Sighing to herself, she looked around for any other signs of the Keepers or their childlike pets before her mind started working again.

It stood to reason that it would take Mercy quite some time to find Vera, especially with Vera's mobility and the size of the town of Cheyton and the Stealth Field Generator that had been recently activated. Given this scenario, it would take less time if Vera could've been brought to Mercy.

Looking at the boots, Mercy came up with an idea as she pulled the remains out of them and placed her feet inside.

"grrroooooossss" She muttered as she started walking away from the green goo corpse, dragging her own shoes behind her.

"VERAA!!!!! TESSAAAAA!!!! HEEEELLLLPPP!!!!" She screamed loudly before she crawled between some boxes and waited. If her sisters loved her then they'd come and they'd find the body and assume that Mercy had been captured. They'd put their differences aside and they'd go look for her and then she'd surprise them. They'd be a happy family again. It would be Tessa, Vera and Mercy against the world.

"VERAA!!!!! TESSAAAAA!!!! HEEEELLLL-" She screamed once more before clasping her own hands over her mouth as if her voice had been cut off.

Bunnylogical Contamination

Before Vera's speech

Tessa couldn't help but stifle a bitter chuckle after Markus was blatantly ogling her for a moment too long. "I believe this should cover our expenses...? Nice armor."

"I don't run with your gang, if you get what I mean" Smirking in response. "Anyway, check out the board. We could use the help and someone experienced, if you're up for it." Noting the massive amount of caps, she nodded in thanks. "Make yourself at home, just don't play with my knives or my toaster."


Tessa addressed the Assas- Victoria, more calmly, after she had made a few reasonable points and allowed her more information. Holding her head in frustration for a moment. "You're right, Vicky. J-just call me Tessa."

"The best thing to do would be to take care of the Knuckleheads. Without a reward to collect on, they'll drop you and your sister as targets and pack up and go. As much as I would love to tell you that they should be wiped out down to the last child, it's not you or your sister's fight."

After massaging her temples. She looked at Vicky more kindly, dropping the edge to her voice, yet her anxiety surrounding the situation was still very much apparent. "I'll fight for you. You protected my family without me even knowing, if you have some personal stake in all this, then our enemies are one in the same. So I think it's very much our fight as well. I'll be happy to help and show you some good faith." Tessa even managed to reassure her statement with a smile.


After Mercy's outburst

Tessa had slapped her half-sister. Extremely hard.

Assuming what Tessa had thought regarding Dad and making assumptions about her life had greatly insulted her.

"You really are just a little child, aren't you?" Narrowing her eyes into a glare, she advanced on her half-sister. Every step made her lose her patience and raise her aggression.

"You don't get the luxury of telling me about life without Dad! I had nothing. NOTHING! My life was in constant danger, I slept in drainpipes, starved for days, I've been attacked, beaten and...worse...more times than I wish to remember. All the while, YOU were curled up in your warm bed and safe home with your dear Mommy to give you food and kisses. That is not something a little child, like you, could understand. Boohoo, Daddy wasn't around much, he wasn't there for me at all!"

With her half-sister against the wall, she folded her arms defensively. "As for the Eyebot, that's exactly what she was. PART of the family, like a dog. You need to realize that she is just a personality in a robot, she won't replace mom and dad and she cannot be a REAL sister. So GROW UP!"

Tessa was too angry too discern whether what she said had made her half-sister run off. However, she knew it was monumentally stupid to run after the Eyebot in the middle of the night. Drawing a blade, her hand was caught and held by Victoria. Signalling her to stay.


"Just let her work it out on her own, Tessa. Let her go find Vera and let them talk. They need it. However, what you need to do is relax a bit."

Vicky had a point, she was overly-emotional and her thoughts were clouded at the very best.

She needed to clear her head...

"Thanks, I'm pretty sure you heard the entire conversation. It's been a few weeks since I met her, and I said all of that." Taking the drink in her hand, she took a small sip before grimacing at the foul alcohol.

Crestfallen, Tessa held her head in her hand. "Does that make me a bad sister?"

...yet not like this.

Setting the unfinished glass down, yet cracking a brief smile in return "I don't drink when I'm angry, it's not a good move. But, I do wanna apologize for before, I'm sure you can understand the caution. Conversation hel-...!"

"VERAA!!!!! TESSAAAAA!!!! HEEEELLLLPPP!!!!"

Mercy...that immature child!

Immediately rushing for her riding hood, she addressed both Markus and Vicky while pointing at the board. "If you're in, I say we all do a bit of hunting tonight! As for me, I'm finding my sister and maybe that damned Eyebot."


"VERAA!!!!! TESSAAAAA!!!! HEEEELLLL-"

[Silent Running][Finesse] With haste, Tessa quickly and silently made her way up the nearest building. She intended to use the rooftops again to cover a lot of ground while searching for her sister.

After hopping several rooftops, regardless of her silence she could still be seen, she turned to the source of nearby snarls and growls. Children, four of them, edging towards her. Immediately, she activated her throwing-knife unit to have a blade ready.

It was safe to say that Mercy's screams had probably attracted the attention of a lot more than these four untamed children in the immediate vicinity.

Somewhere between the Marketplace and the Slums of Cheyton

Vera waited for the drug dealer and his escort to walk into the giant puddle she'd set up by rolling barrels of water and then zapping them until they burst open. Once they were all walking through it, she uncloaked, gave them a moment to stare at their coming doom, and then she electrocuted the puddle until, one-by-one each and every Knuckledragger... and the drug dealer... 'lost their heads', as it were. As each head popped off, Vera played that sound effect every time, DING!

As the last head exploded, Vera heard Mercy's cry for help... just barely.

"VERAA!!!!! TESSAAAAA!!!! HEEEELLLL-"

That snapped Vera out of her blind fit of rage and turned her into a knotted ball of worry and... a different kind of anger. Momma-Bear mode activated! Complete with yaoi-gui growl on loop all the way...

To somewhere around the Rabbit Hole

Vera followed the source of the scream to its source, and found a dead Keeper lying there. Not that she really knew the name for them yet... but it still seemed similar to one of the assholes that had attacked their the rabbit sisters' home earlier. Vera cut the bear growl. Vera noticed that the Keeper's boots were missing and were leading off somewhere around the corner... Vera sighed, finding the attempt at reconciling her and Tessa adorable even despite the danger Mercy's probably put herself in.

Without another word...

[Terrifying Presence] Vera cloaked and rose quickly towards the sky, as she did so, she started to spin in wild and random directions as fast as her maneuverability jets would let her. When she got 10 feet off the ground, she started firing off her arc projector, at first in bursts, then continuously; making it look like an incredibly localized lightning storm was brewing, which was sure to get the attention of everyone in the vicinity. When Vera got to around 20 feet in the air, she let the rum-and-nuka fuel fly, turning the lightning storm into a nearly spherical fireball. Fortunately, by this point, she was high up enough, and still rising, that any... stay bursts of flame would peter out before reaching the city below.

Then Vera heard the screams of utterly terrified and bewildered thugs and would-be assassins as they ran as far away from the flying ball of fire and lightning as they could get, some even left Cheyton to get away from its wrath.

Satisfied that Mercy was safe, Vera shut the flamethrower and arc projector off. But she kept the cloak on; she wasn't sure if she even wanted to go back to the Rabbit family now.

It was always going to play out just like the Van Graffs... and I was stupid enough to think it'd be different this time. A toy or a slave is all anyone will ever see me as. Well... there was 'dad', but he was crazy and desperate. So... yay... I can have a real friend, they just have to be a complete nutjob loner for it to work out. Oh... what's the point, I guess I might as well leave this cloak running until...

That's when Vera realized she'd already been letting the tactical cloak module run until it drained most of her power... which was sorely needed to keep her in the air. In short order, the little eyebot plummeted to the ground, and crashed into a smaller shanty. Luckily no one was in it, so no one was hurt. Aside from Vera, obviously. Her frame was heavily damaged by the descent, and the thin sheet of metal she'd left a mini-eyebot-sized hole in was not helping matters. There were a number of deep gashes all along her body, the antenna with the green ribbon had been torn off. A quick diagnostic revealed that her main power core had been comprimised. It wouldn't explode, but it was leaking power all over the place in her little body, causing painful shocks of electricity to shoot throughout her shell - some flying out of her new holes.

I guess I'm dying now... the little eyebot thought what she was sure would be her last thought, I guess its better this way. At least I saved Mercy from her own foolishness, and... that woman has her sister safe and sound now. And... Ulysses should leave them alone once he sees that he got what he wanted. Another broken eyebot. What did I do wrong? Why can I never be seen as an equal? Ehh... guess it doesn't matter now.

"Goodbye, Mer-Mer..." was the last thought Vera had, and that she unknowingly said out loud.

Invert Rabbit Controls: The Beast!

Tessa had preemptively thrown a blade into the stomach of the nearest child, followed by another to the second child in the thigh. Focussed on disabling her opponents, the two remaining children howled and charged.

Tessa dodged one of them, while giving her enough time to draw her bowie knife from the hip, she was too late for the second child which pinned her to the ground.

"Get the hell off me!" She screamed while the child sunk it's sharpened teeth into her shoulder-pad. Hands were clawing at her leg, so she wildly kicked at the second child until her boot connected with it's face. Tessa took the opportunity to sink the bowie knife into the child grappling with her several times before slumping over on top of her.

The children she had apparently 'disabled' earlier, they were charging at her with her own blades held high. Using the body as a human meat-shield, Tessa pushed with all her might until they crumpled into a heap.

"HARRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

Howled the child that she kicked in the face.

"Shut up!" Tessa yelled before throwing her remaining throwing-knife into the throat of the howler.

Two were dead and two were wounded. She didn't anticipate the maddened children to still crawl towards her in a desperate attempt to kill her.

"I make no apologies, you lost your humanity a long time ago." Cleanly, she slit the throats of the maddened children before recollecting her throwing knives.

Sighing, Tessa was aware of children attacking their home, as Vicky had left a trail of them, but she never expected them to attack like animals with feral emotions.

The former Feral Rabbit's ear perked up as multiple howls and clawing could be heard.

"What the hell?!" rang out the voice of Tessa as ten children clawed their way over the rooftops and many more howls could be heard in their wake.

The Feral Rabbit didn't waste time with pleasantries, took aim for the throat and the head and hit all three of the ten targets with her throwing knives, sending them slumping to the ground. The remaining seven took that time to slowly edge around her.

Surrounding her while smiling and gnashing their teeth.

Drawing both blades, she reversed the grip on her combat knife for downward stabs and her bowie knife would guard her with slashing and piercing attacks.

Plunging her blade into the chest of her attacker from behind, Tessa slashed at the throat of a nearby charging attacker. What she didn't anticipate is how her arm would be held in place by two pairs of hands and bitten.

"Fuck!" Tessa immediately reacted by stabbing wildly at the necks of those who held her in place. Blood was steadily streaming down her left arm. They had penetrated the armor at the upper arm and forearm with their teeth.

Seven down of the original ten. The remaining three had charged at her in unison, a coordinated attack that she could barely protect against. One chose to bite at her leg, another at her wounded arm and the final she struggled with before succumbing to the force as he sunk his teeth into her neck.

Absolute pain radiated throughout her body, but adrenaline was giving her valuable moments to dig her free blade into the neck-biter repeatedly. Her left arm was out of commission, but the arm-biter recieved a blade to the throat while the leg-biter was wildly kicked at.

Scrambling away, Tessa threw her combat knife into the leg-biter's throat.

The scratching and howling couldn't be heard anywhere nearby, but there was more out there. Tessa had expended every ounce of her energy and she was bleeding from the arm, leg and neck. Pushing herself against the building's rooftop fencing she clawed for her only two stimpacks and injected them into her thigh.

Surrounded by the bodies of children, hoping that the stimpacks beat the bleeding, she gripped her remaining bowie knife tightly. Tessa tried her best to stay aware, yet the adrenaline was wearing off and sheer agony was clouding her senses, especially her vision.

"N-need to get to Mer. Dammit, I'm screwed for now. Please be okay Mer. I'm so sorry Vera." Tessa muttered to herself in a desperate plea for them to be safe and to reassure herself that everything will be okay. It wouldn't.

Cheyton Slums

Ulysses steadily climbed up the pipe to reach the roof of one of the sturdier-looking shanties. Once he got up there, he got a pair of binoculars out and surveyed the fruits of his labor. The eyebot on the hunt. The little Rabbit sister running around trying to fix everything around her. The older Rabbit sister chasing after the younger and ignoring the flying Rabbit entirely. If the old Legion scout was satisfied with his handiwork he gave no indication of it.

Then he saw Vera's little pyrotechnic display as it overpowered the feral howls of the Keeper-pets. They fled, as did every Knucklehead that had been in the area. And a bunch of other random thugs. And... another lone assassin. Not The Undertaker that Ulysses had met, but... similar. Who is this? Another group that the Knuckledraggers hired? Hmmph. No matter.

Then Ulysses saw the little eyebot plummet to the ground. Hmm...odd... didn't think a machine capable of that... no matter. It will survive.

Ulysses was about to turn away when he saw a small burst of flame pop out of the shanty that Vera had landed in. And finally, for the first time in decades, an emotion flickered across Ulysses' face. But was it fear... or worry?

Cheyton. A shanty near the Rabbit Hole

That small burst of fire that poured out of Vera and the shanty was the inevitable result of Vera's broken power core sending a random arc towards the fuel tank that held the rum-and-nuka. There wasn't enough left to destroy what was left of Vera's battered frame at this point, but there was enough to send a jet of flame out of every available hole in her body. Setting everything flammable within range ablaze.

Ow. Well, guess that settles it. Looters are sure to come find me now.

Markus simply shook his head slowly, burying his face in his palm. He didn't feel like pointing out the cellibate thing quite yet. Then he'd have to tell them he was Legion. And everyone always had some sort of problem with the Legion... Although she also wasn't his type. Though she seemed to be Vicky's type, considering the way they kept looking at eachother. He didn't exactly feel like pointing this out, she was the sort who pulled knives on wedgie victims.

He didn't feel like going out and hunting his fellow man quite yet. Bloodloss made it difficult as was to move, let alone shoot or fight. For now, he'd sit around and think. He waved the crew off as they left, with a smile, and when they were all gone he put on his pants. Very good to know they didn't mind that he was pretty much naked waste down. He emptied out the rest of his backpack on a table, he'd recount for now, until he was needed. It's not like he could aim right now anyways, except maybe with his pistol. He sighed, and began counting with a slightly warm nuka-cola bottle next to him. It was going to be a long night...

He had fallen into a dreamless sleep quickly enough. At least he couldn't remember anything except his old name. Legate Virgil, what a lofty title. He chuckled a bit before freezing, loud noises outside. He unholstered his pistol and stumbled outside, seeing an eyebot off in the distance fall down to earth. It reminded him of the story of Icarus, for some reason. Had Vera the eyebot died? He found himself not caring, but the older sister was already angry and pissed for what seemed like little reason. This would end poorly for everyone.

Markus grimaced, and began moving towards where it had fallen.

The Divide

The fight over, ED-E glanced over at Ulysses, trying and failing to understand that guy. Not five minutes ago, the former Legion scout had been ready to kill both of them, Courier and duraframe eyebot alike. And now... he'd just helped them take out the Marked Men he'd lured here.

What is the deal with this guy?

The Courier snapped her shocked hand away from a console, cursing. ED-E approached, and chirped to ask what the problem was.

"I need to hack this console to stop the nukes, but... I can't do it. The interface is all wrong." The Courier said, punching the console in frustration.

ED-E chirped and whirred a few times, offering to help. Somehow, The Courier understood him, and her frustration turned to frantic worry.

"No! ED-E! You can't do it either!" she raised her voice, as if starting to panic. Then she coughed, and then ED-E saw it. She was hiding a sob. She was trying to keep herself from crying, she knew what he was thinking of doing, and knew what it would cost him.

He played the Ralphie theme again. And again, she understood that somehow.

"I'll... I'll miss you ED-E." Against all logic, The Courier hugged the eyebot, bringing his faceplate to her chest, and kissed the top of his head. He didn't know how to tell her about the back-up he was already running to his 'copy' in Prim.

He hacked the console, and fell to the ground. In his last moments in this frame, he thought he could see both Couriers standing over him. The Courier of the East looked... impressed, despite himself. The Courier of the West though... she looked like she'd just lost a very dear friend... and was still trying to fight back tears... with limited success.

ED-E was profoundly touched by the sight. The Living Goddess of New Vegas... who had stared down death in a myriad of forms and laughed... was trying not to cry, over a little eyebot like him.

Ex-Military Compound outside of The Boneyard

McNamara told me that Father Elijah wanted to see me. What he didn't tell me is that when I got to the Elder's office... that Christine would be waiting for me in there... and looking closely at her face, she seemed to be fighting off angry tears.

"Now child," Father Elijah said, gesturing first to Christine then to me as he continued to speak, "Tell her what you've told me, as we've discussed."

"Ver-Ver... umm... Initiate Santangelo," Christine said as she turned to face me, her eyes were suddenly completely dry, "Its time we ended this... foolishness between us. Its... its just a phase. I'm about ready to grow out of it, and you should too."

"W-what?" was all I could say. The rest of the scene seemed to unfold without any input from me. Christine was reassigned to another cell within the Brotherhood... and I stayed with Father Elijah, all I had left now that my folks had been sent on long-term missions away from home.

I-25 Mass Grave

Kaiden stood after receiving the all clear. The dust had all settled and the only thing that remained was the smell of smoking barrels, seared flesh and disturbed earth. He looked around, making sure everything was safe, trying to control his breathing and lower his heart rate as the last of the drugs ran their way through his system he looked at his shaking hands. No drugs were pleasant, they all had side effects and caused addiction, he preferred to stay pure... or as pure as an FEV mutated human could be.

"So, we meet again." The doctor said as he approached, visibly still wary of any further attackers as he kept his hand at his laser pistol. "I thought you said your settlement was east of here."

Kaiden decided it best to swallow his pride and admit he had made a mistake. "As you may have noticed," He began, "I am not from this place, and may have gotten lost. I was goi..." *Gargle gargle, cough cough*

A strange noise came from one of the bodies on the floor. Kaiden looked at the doctor, before turning his head and body toward the noise and investigating. A man lay on his back, clutching the side of his neck, a pool of blood slowly grew underneath him. He had obviously been shot through the neck, and was choking on his own blood. He looked at Kaiden with fear in his eyes, fear of death? Fear of the mutant? More than likely the former. He changed his gaze to look at the doctor, tears beginning to stream down his face as his expression changed to one of desperation. He reached out his hand.

Kaiden looked to the doctor. "How humbling an experience to face ones own mortality. This man sought to destroy you, to use your possessions to his own end, he fought without honor, should I end his suffering?" He asked as he raised his boot and rested it on the side of the mans head, waiting for the doctors decision.

Dr Booker Mcgrath was a tall lanky man with a pair of coke bottle glasses that he had since he was 15 years old. Without these he was legally blind. He had quite the love for writing, robotics, and writing about robotics. While he gave the impression of a man who was calm and collected his mood fluctuated wildly from moment to moment. This was not one of his best. The good doctor had a long claw mark down the back of his once relatively in shape lab coat. This was splattered with a mix of Brahmin, human, and deathclaw blood and had several burns in it. He was limping awkwardly due to a bullet wound in his knee. There was a long series of cuts and bruises up his body. It had been one hell of a trip getting here. He had a newly develope plasma shotgun in hand and was muttering incoherent swears as he hobbled forward. Plasma Shotgun...Possibly the single slowest weapon in existance, but one of the most powerful. He probably will only get one shot, but it will count for a lot. Suddenly he saw a deathclaw fighting two people in the distance. This was a freakish creature. A rather muted grey and it was rather larger than the average deathclaw. Booker was pumped full of enough anger and frustration to last a life time. He aimed his plasma forward and moved as quickly as he could towards it. "All this for one freaking RoboBrain." By the time got close the deathclaw had knocked the two down. He saw that the deathclaw hadn't noticed him yet. He aimed his weapon at the creature from about ten feet away and pulled the trigger.

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