Fallout: Wild Horses (Started, Open)

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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?

It's your choice now, Assassin. Stay, leave or end us...Just make a choice you won't regret." The Elder Rabbit sister said before leaving Victoria to her own devices. Standing there, alone in the room, she briefly wondered if she had made the right decision to remove the veil of secrecy that stood between her and the marked Rabbit sisters. Picking up Milly from the night stand where she had been laying, the Friendly Neighborhood Undertaker jammed a magazine into her lower received and pulled back on her slide, allowing the bullet to find a home in Milly's chamber. Satisfied, the woman in black started towards the door that would have lead to the Rabbit's living room and placed her hand on the doorknob.

"Sis? If you leave that door, you better be coming back." Vicky heard the Youngest of the Rabbit Sisters say as Tessa left. The brat, the damned little brat and her heart-melting ways.

"...damn..." The Tall and Pale woman muttered as she clicked Milly's safety back on and placed her back on the Night Stand.

Turning to the board, Vicky looked at the information and the plans that Tessa had laid out. Precisely timed strikes on multiple targets at multiple locations. Supply cache locations. Barracks. Picking up a pen and a ruler, the Undertaker McGee found the tallest building in the town of Cheyton and started drawing lines from the Town Hall Bell Tower out towards the predicted locations for the target personnel and added jotted the estimated ranges underneath.

"Doable." She muttered as she looked over the various ranges to the targets.

Picking up the descriptions of the target personnel, she gave them a brief glance and smirked to herself as she found that they had a rather common flaw. They congregated nightly at one of the seedier brothels that the Knuckleheads oversaw. If one were inclined, the Knucklehead machine could be decapitated in one fell swoop.

Finally there was the matter of the Keepers that a bead on the Rabbit Sisters. If there was one thing that Victoria McGee despised more than anything in the world it was the Keepers and those that would use their services. Reflecting upon her decision to spare Tessa and Mercy Rabbit, she smiled to herself, happy to revisit an old family score upon those bastards.

Walking out into the living room, she noticed that Mercy was busy working on making explosives with their eyeBot "sister" floating nearby while Markus was in the bathroom, ensuring that the future water supply of Cheyton was wasted on his rather long shower.

Sitting down next to Mercy, the Undertaker smiled at the young girl started playing assistant bomb maker.

"So, how'd you learn to make all this stuff?" Vicky asked, trying to make conversation and get to know the strange family that she had dedicated herself to helping.

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.

"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."

The Pale and Tall Woman in Black smiled to herself as her decision to not kill the Rabbit Family was once again confirmed as being the correct one. Like her Favorited Uncle and Undertaker Patriarch said, " Any good person that you can find in the Wasteland is worth a thousand times the number of caps that you can earn in one life time."

Placing the finishing touches on her second IEB, by sewing on a small black veil and a black dress, Vicky didn't realize that The Elder Rabbit sister was nearby until she was pulled away from the work bench.

"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."

She could see that there was a fair amount of tension in the Lead Rabbit's voice as she spoke, she could see the lines that indicated that she was overly worried, overly stress, overly anxious and overly messed up emotionally. Of course, some of this was Victoria McGee's doing but still she needed an in with the family and the truth was the best skeleton key that you could get. However there was one thing that needed to be addressed, one last bit of seriousness.

"If you're glad I stayed, Tessa Rabbit, then please, address me by Vicky or Victoria or even Undertaker McGee if you must, assassin is not by true calling and has never been. It's a hold over from an older time within the group, one that my Uncle has been trying to stamp out. I agree with him, but it doesn't mean that I need to pass up the chance on learning how to better defend myself." The woman said sternly before moving on to her counterpart's questions.

"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." Vicky said as she glanced over at Mercy.

"I also want to make this perfectly clear. You were never my targets. Yes, the Undertakers were approached but I have final say on whether you should or should not be targeted. I... I wanted to get to know you first so that I could see if you were the type of people I should or shouldn't kill. And I'm glad that I didn't and I'm glad that I stayed." The Undertaker admitted before she went and sat down as Tessa collected the remaining member of their little coalition from the shower.

"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!"


"VERA!!!"

That was interesting to say the least. Between the eyeBot's outburst and subsequent exit and now the Youngest Rabbit's exit, Victoria was surprised that her own head hadn't imploded by all the implications. Waiting, Vicky waited for the inevitability of the Eldest Sister to run after her Younger Sister.

It was little wonder why Victoria enjoyed being in the presence of people of various societal positions, including those which her family would have deemed the lower class. It was little wonder why Victoria enjoyed "slumming it" as her Father put it when he would find her in a Public House surrounded by Factory Workers, Prospectors and the like. The one thing that these "common" folk had was honesty in their faces. Where Victoria was expected to wear a mask of perfection around people of her social and financial standing, these people didn't expect that from her nor did she from them. They were easy to read and she much preferred their angst or joy compared to the upperclass face of neutrality.

Watching as Tessa passed by, Vicky's hand shot out to grab the older sister's own hand, stopping her from following Mercy.

"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." The undertaker said as she opened her bag and pulled out a bottle that she had purchased earlier during her time in the market, a bottle of Absinthe.

"Your anger, your stress, your tension, your worries will put you and your sister in danger or worse, they'll get you and you sister killed." She explained as she poured out a measure of the green liquid for herself and for Tessa.

"You need to cut loose at some point, Tessa Rabbit. Otherwise world's going to rise up and consume you."

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.

"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." The Hooded Thief said to the Undertaker and the Ex-Legionaire before disappearing into the night.

Looking over at Markus, the Undertaker downed the last of her Absinthe, it's licorice fire burning its way down to her stomach before exploding, as she opened up her bag and dropped Milly's laser sight into its depths and pulled out something more utilitarian for the nighttime environment, a tactical flashlight that fit snuggly under Milly's barrel, or rather it would have been a flashlight if it wasn't strobing rapidly when Vicky rested her finger on Milly's trigger.

Pulling out her own hooded cloak and wrapping it around her body, the tall and pale woman departed with Milly in one hand and, curiously, her umbrella in the other.

Walking quietly, the Tall and Pale woman heard a couple of gutteral laughs as the neared the area where the Young Rabbit sister's voice had come from. A quick peek informed the Victoria that it there were two of the Keepers standing watch over one of their wagons, their demented wards stretching as they readied themselves into a frenzy for the hunt to come.

*tap*

*tap*

*tap*

*tap*

*tap*

The noise made the Keepers turn briefly before they chose to ignore the black cloaked blind woman and the tapping of her that came up the alleyway towards the street where they stood. They had a payday to wrangle up and no harrassing a blind woman would not get them any closer to that payday.

*thwip!*

*thwip!*

The Keepers were dead before the crimson blood started pooling on the ground around their bodies, its scent causing the feral children to start rattling at the bars as they smelled a meal to very close to them.

"Not yet, kids." The Undertaker said as she noticed a couple of Fragmentation mines stowed on the cart.


Walking away, the Undertaker heard the children howling in frustration as they grew impatient for their meal, drawing the attention of more Keepers to headed towards the cart only to find their comrades dead on the ground. With all the noise from the children and the surprise of their dead compatriots, they never noticed the frag mines that had been placed under the dead until it was too late.

The cart exploded taking all the acursed children and their acursed masters in a spectacular conflagration.

Normally, Victoria wouldn't have desecrated the bodies of the dead in such a manner, but her distain and her blood feud against the Keepers allowed her to ignore such a trespass and even smile about it as she continued to walk into the night.

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.

A place. At a time.
The Deathclaw had avoided Joe's kneecapping, and would be upon him in seconds. No time to reload, but time to plan.
[Survival 90/85]Since the knees weren't an option, what was? The Deathclaw would probably expect the limbs. There were a few parts of a Deathclaw that was just as soft and squishy as a humans, and most of them were much bigger targets than on humans.
The Deathclaw had leaped into the air to lunge at Joe. Perfect.
[Unarmed 50]Joe wasn't the best unarmed combatant around. He was far from a power-armored martial-artist can of whoopass...
[Ranger Takedown]...But he was good enough. Rangers were extensively trained in how to down someone in melee range to give themselves enough breathing room to reload.
Joe fell to his back as the claw came at him, hooked his feet into it's gut, and kept it moving. It didn't matter how heavy it was, the claw's lunge would provide all the necessary force. Joe just had to redirect it.
A cluster of plasma flew over where the Deathclaw would have been if Joe hadn't moved it.
Since the plasma was aimed at the Deathclaw, this was either a friend until the claws were dealt with at which point he'd be a raider, a friend for realzies, or a terrible shot.
No time to ponder that now.
[Agility]Joe leaped up, and reloaded.

Malkos, McGrath, Martin, and Joe... THEY'RE COPS!

McGrath had a bit of a problem. He'd only focused on one Deathclaw, the one in motion. He'd kinda' missed the fact that Malkos had a friend in the ring, so to speak, which was one of the reasons the two guys had been having such a problem. After he shot at the gray Deathclaw and missed - as per the Joe maneuver - the regular Deathclaw had been slightly winged by the cluster and Joe jumped up right into its face, since Martin had taken a tumble away from it The creature was...unsure of who to go after for a second, but it was probably going to go for Joe. The only thing about that was...he was REALLY up in its grill right now, in the right-in-front-of-it spot that is difficult to claw-swipe, although there is a mouth.

During this time, Malkos was propelled down the hill. Serious vaulting had occurred. Joe had mananged to send the gray Deathclaw into a roll that pretty much went "Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow." as he rolled down there in a somersaulting fashion. He eventually landed in a bush, on top of something fox-like that tries to ambush things. He heard it screeching under his body, trying to get out because he was driving it out of its little mind. Malkos got up, picking up the critter by the scruff of its neck and looked at it. He could eat it, or...hmmm... Five sseconds later, a screeching White Tail was hurled through the air at a trajectory that would land it on Mcgrath's head..

"Ragh! I missed!"

You know darned well who he was aimming for.

I-25 Lootapoolza

Jacob looked at the dying man, and his injuries, with a rather blank expression. Then, with a shake of his head, he waved Kaiden away, taking the man's wrist himself. Reaching into his coat, the doctor pulled out a syringe filled with a purple liquid. "I'd prefer something less...messy." Pushing the needle into the man's arms, Jacob only injected a small portion of the fluid into the man.

However, what little he put in appeared to be enough, as the raider seized his last breath, then lay still. "A cocktail of the most lethal poisons in the Wasteland, coupled with strong painkillers to mute their toll on the body." Jacob spoke absentmindedly, knowing that most people ask what was in the syringe. "I use it only for euthanasia, gives me an excuse not to change the needle."

With a weak chuckle, Jacob looked back at the Super Mutant. "Indulge a curiosity for me? How long have your people been in Wyoming? What drove them up here?"

The wastes of Wyoming

Time was slowing for Martin or atleast the drugs made him perceive it that way. The pain from the tumble evaporated and the only sensation he got from the claw wound was a slight burning sensation. He looked at the alpha, it seemed to have just tossed a whitetail at something, it must have botched its leap.

Martin aimed his rifle, emptied his lungs, and unloaded the rest of his clip on the deathclaw. Taking the briefest of moments with the first shot to try and hit its eye, and having the other two shots aimed at its center of mass.

He dropped the rifle after that, then grabbed his machete in one hand and his revolver in the other. He wasn't going to let a claw take him like this.

Wyoming
Joe was staring down a Deathclaw.
The stupid kind.
Or rather, the relatively stupid kind.
He was too close to it for it to get in a good swing, but he was also too close to get in a good shot.
[Ranger Takedown]Of course, nobody's that close to a Ranger for long. A quick leg-sweep followed by a palm strike sent the Deathclaw tumbling in the direction of the albino, but not before it nicked Joe's left shoulder with one of its horns. [As your secondary arm's condition goes down, Shoot to Wound has a chance of failure equal to your lost limb condition.](Limb condition 75% If I attempt to use [Shoot to wound] I will flip two coins, and if they both come up tails the perk fails)
An unfamiliar creature was thrown by the albino.
[Animal Friend 1]Even had it not missed, it would not attack Joe.
[Guns 85][Gunslinger][Cowboy][Shoot to Wound]While the albino was in the open from the throw, Joe lined up a shot on its left eye. Joe cocked the hammer.
[Survival 90/80]A Deathclaw's eyes were just a soft as a human's eyes, but a lot bigger. While may Deathclaws adapt to blindness over time, they weren't an immediate threat when blind.
*Bang*

Cheyton Outskirts, Eastern Side

The radio buzzed and crackled. A small dust storm was interfering with the broadcast. Shinty gave the box a good kick, and the channel suddenly came through crystal clear. The wiry old man with an enormous white beard settled back down in his rocking chair, listening to the news. Popping another bottle of Nuka Cola and straightening the old beach umbrella offering shade, Shinty strapped on his sand goggles, and let the news play out.

"In other news, there has been no word in recent days on the whereabouts of Vincent Hastings, assumed wanted by the Great Khans. Hastings was last seen last Friday, when he brought in the bounty on Khan member, John Ackerman. We can only hope that the Red Eyed Reaper has moved on, guy gave me the creeps. (wait, I'm not allowed to say that out loud on air? Fuck you Bert, it's my radio station, I can say whatever the fuck I want!... Oh yeah, you walk away, see if I care!)

... Moving on. Violent crime in Cheyton's residential areas and slums has taken a sharp rise in recent days. Witnesses claim that several gangs have begun open warfare in the town streets on the west end. Citizens are advised to avoid contact with any members of the gangs known as the Knuckleheads and the Twisted Hares (or Feral Rabbits, or whatever they call themselves).

...There has still been no contact with Fort Laramie following disturbing signs of smoke rising from the Great Khan capital. Reports are still incoming from eyewitnesses. Well, that's all for now, ladies, I'm Flint Darrel, leaving you with another commercial free classic rock block, starting now!"

Shinty took a huge swig of Nuka, gasping a contented sigh. It looked like the dust storm was settling. Fresh (well, cold fusion) cola, good music (even if Darrel only had one holodisk of Rolling Stones music), and the best view in the wasteland (across a barren, featureless desert). This was the life, or at least, the only one that Shinty had found acceptable to his likings.

The shifting sands sank back to the ground. But a line of black specks stayed floating around Shinty's eye level. Squinting through his goggles, he realized that the specks were actually... nightmares? No, not those death horses, they were too big. Oh, wait, no, those were just the riders. But the only people Shinty knew who rode nightmares were the Great Khans. And they only came through Cheyton once a month anyways. And only a few at a time. Not several hundred, stretched across the horizon.

They didn't look like the Khans he remembered. Dirty, yeah, that was the same, but so was everybody in Wyoming. Dust and dirt were the only things in abundance that weren't trying to kill people. The Khans passing by looked different somehow. They were drawn, ragged, and exhausted. Nothing at all like the proud, confident bullies that he'd met. Several of the horses were laden with wounded people, others with the dead. A young Khan with a red bandana stopped beside Shinty's sunbathing spot.

The boy was finished, bent double over his horse. He pulled a handful of caps out of his vest pocket and tossed them at Shinty. "Can you answer a couple questions?"

"Sure," said Shinty in a squeaky voice. "But you might not like the answer. I don't like to talk about my nether regions to strangers." The old man pointed a scolding finger at Ollie.

"That's.... that's not what I was going to ask you. Like, at all."

"Oh, well, my apologies, then. What did you want to know?"

Ollie leaned over his saddle, glancing from side to side. "Have you seen any groups of people moving around out there? At night?"

Shinty shook his shriveled head. "Nope, not much to see out there. Just the way I like it."

"Well, if you do see any, let one of my buddies here know, okay? There are bad people out there."

Shinty started sniggering. "If there's bad people out there, what do you think you'll find in here?" he said, sticking his thumb at the fenced gate to Cheyton's interior. "It's a bloody warzone inside, sonny."

Ollie kicked at Allegre's sides, catching up with the rest of his friend. "It'll be a lot worse soon enough."

I-25 Vulture's paradise

Kaiden watched as the man's eyes closed as he went into a peaceful and eternal slumber. It was a good way to die after his suffering, which prompted Kaiden to think that maybe he was being a little savage. Looking like a brute in front of all these people would do nothing to improve peoples image of his people, especially in an area they were new to.

. "Indulge a curiosity for me? How long have your people been in Wyoming? What drove them up here?" Asked the doctor.

"My people and I have been here for just 4 months, though this is the first time I have wandered these wastes since I moved here, so... So it was likely I would get lost" Kaiden answered, slightly embarrassed. He let out a loud laugh straight after, "Haha! But luckily I bumped into you again friend!" He patted Jacobs back hard. "Not many people are so willing to help a Super Mutant, most would kill us on first sight..." He sighed, his tone a little more serious again, "That is why we moved here, we peaceful Mutants came to establish a relationship with the locals based on trade and good will, to finally live without fear."

Kaiden walked back to his cloak, pulling it over his shoulders, leaving the hood down this time. He walked back to Jacob, placing a hand on his shoulder. "I am in your debt for helping me so much friend, and I intend to return the favor, but first I must get back to my people. Tell me where you are headed and I will find you and I will pay you back"

"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.

Victoria was close enough to hear the Elder Rabbit sister's words as she patted the left head and then the right head of Shifty, the Undertaker's Brahmin mount. The Rabbit Quarter of Cheyton had become a war zone between the exploding Keeper's Cart and the Rabbit Sisters' eyeBot's Vera's, the Friendly Neighborhood Undertaker corrected herself, pyrotechnics. The howls of more of the Lost Children alerted the Tall and Pale woman that she her time with Shifty was coming to a close.

Taking her umbrella, she used the curved handle to bring a fire escape ladder down to ground level before giving Shifty one last pat on the heads.

"I love you, Shifty. I'm sorry that it had to come to this." The woman said as a tear streaked down her pale face as she pulled a small chem bundle out of her bag and rammed the Psycho dispenser into Shifty's left rear flank.

"Sorry..." She said as she started mounting the ladder, starting the 10 second count down before the chem would take hold but first...

"HARRRROOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!" Vicky McGee howled as she mounted the top of the fire escape.

"(Two One Thousand...)" The count had begun as the Undertaker took the flight of stairs that would take her to the rood.

"(Thee One Thousand...)" Vicky's boot hit the roof and she started running along the rooftop towards a end of the alley.

"(Four One Thousand...)" Spotting Tessa's hiding spot, Vicky went sprinted towards the woman, her arm outstretched in indication that Tessa needed to come with Victoria.

"(Five One Thousand...)" The Tall, Pale and Morbidly dressed woman reached the Bladed Rabbit and placed an arm under the wounded thief's shoulder, taking the weight off the wounded knee.

"(Six One Thousand...)" The two women started their moving towards the end of the alley's roof top.

"(Seven One Thousand...)" Tessa was gently laid on the rooftop as Victoria started unstrapping TI(a)MAT, her AnTI-MATeriel rifle from her back.

"(Eight One Thousand...)" CHACK!!! A clip loaded with one Incendiary Round and One Explosive Round was slammed into the lower receiver and the Incendiary Round was eased into the chamber.

"(Nine One Thousand...)" This was the part that Victoria hated most of all but it was needed. As the sound of a horde of the Keeper's pets echoed down the alley, running towards Victoria's Howl, the young woman fished out a needle that she kept attached to her rifle and pulled the top off of the Med-X needle with her mouth before jamming it into her arm.

"(Ten One Thousand...)" Looking through the sight of TI(a)MAT, the black bonnet wearing Undertaker spotted the first of the Children and pulled the trigger.

CHUNK!!!

The Incendiary round was sent down range towards the red headed child that had the unfortunate honor of being the first one to round the corner and milliseconds later, the alley was awash in the light of the burning child, his squeals of pain echoing down the alley and alerting the now frothing at the mouth Shifty.

"I'm sorry Shifty." The Undertaker said as she heard the Mad-Brahmin charging down the street towards the flailing child, intent on goring the child and breaking every bone in his body.

KERSPLAT!!!

Impact. The child was sent flying backwards as Shifty's horns on his left head made contact, breaking bones and smashing internal organs. That was the first and last kill that Shifty made as a horde of children was suddenly upon him, sharpened claws and teeth digging into the now ailing Brahmin's flesh, causing the animal to start crying out in pain.

The Med-X kicked in, slowing down the Tall and Pale Undertaker's metabolic rate, slowing her breathing and her heart rate as she looked into the scope and carefully aimed the second bullet for Shifty's center of mass, determined to end the ailing Brahmin's life quickly, but not humanely.

CHUNK!!!

The Explosive Round was send down range, speeding towards its target, past one, two, three of the Keepers' Pets before impacting against Shifty's torso and breaking through the flesh and burrowing through ever deeper.

The explosion sent bits and pieces of Shifty all over the alley, coating the alley in gore and more important of all, blood, its scent drawing in more and more and more of those damned children, who would, no matter how hard their masters tried, not budge until the entire brahmin was consumed.

Looking towards, Tessa, tears still streaking her pale face, the Undertaker finally spoke after a few moments as she pulled out a Super Stimpack from her bag.

"Let's go. It looks like your sister and her eyeBot sister are in trouble."

She couldn't be more correct.

Cheyton Streets
The street goers promptly receded to let the massive column of Khans pass by. Three hundred weary riders pushed their way through the winding roads, shoving aside anyone stupid enough not to move. The Khans were friends with Cheyton and the other members of the Local Federation, but they were the power in Wyoming, and nothing would get between them and what they wanted. A dozen of the biggest, toughest members of the group threw the doors of the Followers Clinic wide open, forcefully vacating the premises. The protesting Followers were subsequently thrown out on their asses, while the Khans liberated several gurneys, wheeling their wounded comrades through the building.

Harland grabbed one of the doctors and pinned her to the wall. "Where the fuck do you keep the chems? Tell me, or I swear to god, you'll be the one needing a dose of Med-X!"

The nurse, June, was unimpressed with Harland's threats. "The Med-X is in the storage cabinet at the back of the Auto Doc room. But if you want that machine to run without killing the person you shove inside it, you'll need our help."

"Then fucking do it! I don't care what it takes, get that fucking thing running."

June held up a wrinkly finger. "Not so fast, buddy. If you want my help, you and your thugs have to bring all the people you just launched out the front doors back in. I am not going to offer aid to someone who has no regard for others."

Harland was huffing angrily, growing redder by the second. "Fine," he spat. "Fine, we do things your way. Where can we put our boys? I don't think we have enough room." Harland let June down, pocketing the knife he had discreetly been drawing.

June gently pushed him aside, and immediately changed into her business face. "All right, when you're done moving my patients back in, get as many of your friends to line up the wounded. We need to make a triage center. I'll ask Mander if we can use his garage for some more space. Do any of you have medical experience?"

Harland was rather confused, still angry, but at least rational enough to work with the Ghoul. "Yeah, uh, I mean, yeah, yeah we do. Jack and Melissa were running the chem lab back at Laramie. They had a sorta school thing going on. A few of us know how to treat injuries. I don't think we have any surgeons though. We just use chems.

"Leave the surgery to our doctors," said June, grabbing a clipboard and jotting down notes. "Just work with me, and I can save your people."

"All of them?" asked Harland, a hint of desperation gnawing at his voice."

June simply stared at the Great Khan. "I make no promises, son. I'm a doctor, not a liar."

The Twisted Hares' Turf: War Zone

"Goodbye, Mer-Mer..."

The sounds were a gunshot in the Youngest Little Rabbit's ears as Vera's words, possibly last words, fell upon them and caused the Plasma Bunny to jump out of her hiding spot and start the short sprint towards the Brawling Ball Bunny's crash site.

"OhGodOhGodohGod, what've I done. VERA!!!!" Mercy called out as she raced into the building, heedless of any danger that might have been signalled by the explosions or gun fire, or howling, heedless of the Keeper that had spotted her and was now fast on her heels as she raced towards her stricken sister.

"VERA!!!! VERA!!!!!!" She called out as she rounded a corner and came to skidding stop as she saw exactly what it was that she saw.

The electrolitic fluid that pooled up under Vera's "body" was reddish in the dimly lit room and resembled blood, despite the little eyeBot's robotic nature. The sparks that coursed all over the Beleaguered Bunny's exo-frame made her spasm as if she was siezing but none of that was caught by Mercy's panicked mind. Instead, she was focused on one singular objective: Saving Vera.

"Vera. I'm sorry. I'm - so - sorry." The Youngest Bunny said as she knelt next to her sister to examine the damage that had been sustained.

"Your aux power core's been breached, V. Your Main power core's almost completely drained. I need to get your hooked up to some power." The Builder Bunny said as she looked around the room in desperation to see if there was anything that could be used to repair the Baller Bunny and saw absolutely nothing. She could have routed power from the wall outlets to Vera but that would keep Mercy from moving her back to the Rabbit Hole.

Checking herself, she could only find one thing, her Plasma Pistol.

CRACK!!!

That was the sound of the grip of Mercy's plasma pistol being ripped away from the frame as the Repair Rabbit exposed the electrical leads that lead to her plasma pistol's primary and secondary ignition switches.

"Alright V. Don't worry. I'm gonna save you. I'm gonna help you, sis. Don't worry." The Youngest Bunny said as she attached the plasma pistol Vera's chassis using the flame thrower's mount point.

"I'm gonna hook up your Auxiliary Power first, that way when I hook up your main power, I won't lose you." The Engineer Rabbit said as she pulled out the electrical leads from the aux power core and hooked it up to the secondary ignition switches. Checking the the power subsystems, she saw the aux power reading go green as Vera's body accepted the "transplant."

Pulling out the main power leads was a bit more complex since they were so heavily embedded in Vera's chassis.

"Almost done, Ver-Bear." Mercy muttered as she hooked up the positive electrical lead to the primary ignition switch and positioned the negative lead to be hooked up.

"Okay, V. Good as -"

The girl's words were cut off as a hand silently clamped down on the her mouth and dragged her off, leaving Vera on Aux Power and one lead short of main power.


The sound of barking woke Mercy up as she found herself inside a cage.

"oh no" The Trapped Rabbit whispered as she found herself in the tender care of the Keepers.

I-25, Where Dead Men Lay

"That's hard to tell..." Jacob rubbed the back of his head as he thought about where he would actually be over the course of the next few days. "I guess New Wheatland would be the safest bet, but I'm with the caravan, and it moves around a lot." With a shrug, the doctor pointed down the highway. "Yeah, okay, if you want to repay me, then meet me in New Wheatland. If we miss each other, then I'll just write off the debt."


Follower's Clinic/Jacob's Hospital (YOU DECIDE!)

June glanced over the injuries of the wounded that kept passing her as they moved those on the brink of death into the Auto-Doc operating rooms near the back of the clinic. "Quite the battle..." The nurse muttered to herself as those riddled with bullets, mauled by dogs, and sliced open wheeled by.

Then, she remembered the letter that Jacob had sent her, detailing the destruction of Fair Wanderings by the Last Legion. Turning to speak to the still-distressed Harland, June calmly asked for confirmation. "Was it the Legion?"

A Rabbit's disgust

Between the blood loss, the effort of recollecting her weapons and enduring her pain. Tessa had plenty of time to be left alone with her thoughts, horrified with her actions, reflecting upon the way she had treated those around her. Specifically with how her paranoia, over-reliance on instinct before thought and selfishness had alienated and hurt those she had began to care for and some even love.


Tessa was no doctor but she could feel that the stimpacks were surely winning in the battle of blood loss, they did nothing, however, when it came to the fact that her body was aching. She had truly spent the capacity of her energy fighting...no...murdering...in order to save her conflicted life.

Enter the Angel of Death, Victoria, to aid her weakened body along the rooftop.

"Ow ow, oh that really hurts...Thank you Vicky. Your timing couldn't...ahh...be more perfect." The Broken Bunny winced as her body pulsed with pain and discomfort after each major step.

The sounds of more of those murderous children could be heard, howls split her ears and thrashing could be heard nearby. Tessa was in no condition to fight, however, Vicky showed the opposite while unfolding a rather large and elegant rifle.

Gently placed down, Tessa half-observed the Undertaker's actions. More attention was paid to Vicky's face and movement, something was different, the way she carried herself seemed to reflect her own feelings: regret and sorrow. But why?

"I'm sorry Shifty."

Moving to gain a better view and to make sense of the Undertaker's words, it was very easy to conclude: The raging brahmin. Tessa had realized that this was the same brahmin that accompanied Victoria upon their first meeting and having its presence outside the house.

It wasn't long before the brahmin was no more. Vicky, however, could be heard losing a part of herself through the muffled weeping. Tessa had lost her pet Molerat, although that was an accident. Vicky had sacrificed something she loved in order to survive.

Laying her hand on Victoria's shoulder, Tessa squeezed lightly, reassuring her that she was not alone. "I'm really sorry."

"Let's go. It looks like your sister and her eyeBot sister are in trouble."

Although it wasn't mentioned, Tessa had noticed what could only be Vera's fiery handiwork before the loud crash was heard during her fight.

Standing on her own volition, Tessa gently took the hand of Vicky with the intent of helping her up. Stopping to nod towards the fourteen scattered bodies of children on the rooftop, she hadn't let go and delicately turned the motion into a full hug.

"What the hell have I become? This isn't me!"

Tessa was many things: a prideful thief, con-woman, opportunist and a show-off with a blade, to mention a few. However, a murderer...of children?! She only ever fought in self-defence or for the protection of a loved one.

"...kids."

With tears of her own, Tessa felt purely disgusted with her actions. She enjoyed a fight, but not killing. There's a reason she avoided it all costs.

"I'm so sorry, Vicky. For how I treated you. For how I've acted. For everything...for so muc-!" Choking on her last word and clutching the Undertaker tightly, she eventually let go before looking away in shame of herself.


The emotionally wounded pair made their way back to the ground and moved towards the estimated location of Vera's crash.

Tessa was thankful that Vicky occasionally aided her movement when the pain from her knee grew too great. Tessa made a mental note to make Vicky breakfast in bed again.

"I need to get to my sisters. Both of them. This is all my fault."

Hoping that Vera and Mercy was safe by this point, the pair rounded the corner and discovered a ruined structure marked with electrical sparks.

"VERA!?" Inside, Tessa caught a glimpse of a green glow and sparks of electricity, despite the pain, she rushed inside to her spherical sister. "I'm here! Your sister is here!" Tears were once more streaking down Tessa's face as she inevitably blamed herself once more.

"VERA!?" Inside, Tessa caught a glimpse of a green glow and sparks of electricity, despite the pain, she rushed inside to her spherical sister. "I'm here! Your sister is here!" Tears were once more streaking down Tessa's face as she inevitably blamed herself once more.

The initial interaction between Tessa and the former "just an eyeBot" now Rabbit sister caught the Tall and Pale woman with black hair a bit by surprise as until she remembered their brief interaction on the roof tops as the Keepers' Pets were feasting on the Brahmin's remains.


"I'm so sorry, Vicky. For how I treated you. For how I've acted. For everything...for so muc-!" Tessa had said as she clung onto Victoria's clothing before being encircled by the Undertaker's cloak.

"There's nothing to be sorry for, Tess. You've been acting to protect your family and I would expect nothing less of someone who truly cares for those that they love." She had said they started towards the fire escape that would take them to ground level.

"As for these acts of violence not being part of who you are, I'm sorry that you've been drug into this mess. To tell you the truth, my family bears much of the responsibility for putting you in this position of having to kill those creatures." Vicky said with a sigh as she explained the history of the Keepers' Pets and how it all started with one manic girl who wore a red dress.


Looking at the Thief and her sister, Victoria saw an opportunity towards seeing her eyeBot of a sister in a new light. Taking a few steps forward, her feet at the very edge of the blood red pool of electrolytic fluid, the Undertaker knelt and spoke in a soft and comforting tone.

"Vera Rabbit... I've come to bring an end to your pain if you wish and allow you the opportunity to die with dignity." The woman said as she pulled out Milly and placed it on her lap.

"If you so wish, I can end your pain now and allow you to cross over with all the measure dignity and peace that I can afford you. You have fought hard for your sisters and you can pass on knowing that you can do so with no regrets. However... if that is not what you wish, I can help you prolong your life." The Undertaker concluded looking at Tessa and pointing to the single electrical lead that needed to be connected that would give Vera her main power back.

"The choice is yours Vera Rabbit."

Markus made it to the crash site of the pet robot, but not first. He stayed in the shadows, with his pistol drawn as Mercy came in. She panicked, -of course, emotional investment and all that- and began working. Markus was impressed she managed to break her pistol, but stayed silent. Perhaps too silent, as he noticed the keeper come in and take her.

Markus was about to take the shot... but thought better of it. This was an enemy, and if they were kidnapping her... He could find their base, destroy it, and take out a particularly nasty thorn in their side. He was about to take off, but the others soon arrived. The Undertaker, his savior, took out her pistol, and offered a mercy killing. MArkus couldn't stay for the result, he was off to track the lug that had taken her.

The guy was good, somewhat. He covered his tracks, or at least tried to, this made the ground he had treaded more distinct as there was simply a path of nothingness. This might've actually been easier to track... Regardless, he came to their encampments a moment or two after them, though he had to take care of security...

It took a moment, but he had made his way to them quietly. No gun, yet, so he had to do this the old fashioned way. His ice ax lodged its way into the first ones neck, and as he gurgled in surprise, Markus moved to the second one. He moved his arm under his chin, and choked the man against the wall. He, to, gurgled. Markus sighed, and snapped the bastards neck. He turned to look, the base was fortified but he hadn't been caught yet. He looked at the guards, they had armor... and dynamite. Markus grinned. The destruction would be quick.

Markus armored up, a new pauldron and chestguard, much like his old Legion stuff. Also a pair of kneepads and some unlit dynamite in his pockets. He began moving to key points in the camp, making an exit strategy as he went. He only had to kill a few more, but not pairs or groups. He placed the dynamite as he went, and lit it. Luckily he moved fast enough that by the time the explosion wrecked something, he was already onto his next target.

Finally, he made it to where they kept their true weapon. The kids. Several cages littered the area, and Markus looked into each one.

"No her... No her... No her... Ah, there you are!" Markus smiled as he unlocked the cage, "You weren't here for too long, right?" Markus drew his pistol as he waited for her to get out. This was the penultimate place that had yet to explode, so it was only natural guards would flood the area soon...

EmperorZuma:

Follower's Clinic/Jacob's Hospital (YOU DECIDE!)

June glanced over the injuries of the wounded that kept passing her as they moved those on the brink of death into the Auto-Doc operating rooms near the back of the clinic. "Quite the battle..." The nurse muttered to herself as those riddled with bullets, mauled by dogs, and sliced open wheeled by.

Then, she remembered the letter that Jacob had sent her, detailing the destruction of Fair Wanderings by the Last Legion. Turning to speak to the still-distressed Harland, June calmly asked for confirmation. "Was it the Legion?"

"Looked like it," said Harland. "By the time my group got to Laramie, whoever did this was long gone. There were definitely Legion among them, crucified khans, lottery executions. But I don't think they were alone. Way too many tracks for just the Legion. Have you seen anything strange in town, miss... sorry, I missed your name. Miss?"


Ollie sat in the clinic's back room, watching the whirring Auto-Doc in next room over work its magic. But some things just couldn't be fixed. Regis lay dying on a bed, surrounded by mourning Khans. When they had found what was left of Laramie, Papa Regis had been nailed to the side of the main building, forced to stare down at the butchery that had befallen the Great Khans. Hundreds had been killed in the huge fight, but losing Papa stung the hardest.

Jack and Melissa knelt beside his bed, grasping Regis's trembling hands. The Auto-Doc's surgeon protocol had mended the wounds, but the Khan's internal bleeding had been too great. He had minutes to live. Gripping Melissa's hand even tighter, Regis spoke, his voice still firm in the face of his mortal wounds. "Mel, I know you and Jack are happy together. Right now, you two represent the most senior Khans in the tribe. They need their Mama, and they need a Papa. I can't do anything more for them now. I leave it up to you. Make me proud."

Melissa spoke through tears, washing away the dirt from her face. "Don't you worry, Regis. We'll do the best we can."

Regis smiled faintly. "Just what I wanted to hear." Papa Khan stared towards the gathered tribals, before closing his eyes, and letting his grip slide from the new leaders' hands. Papa Khan Regis was dead.

Jack, unusually quiet, and unusually lucid, grimaced, fighting to hold back tears. His face was puffy and red, and the old junkie stood up and left the room. Ollie and the other Khans waited in silence, paying their respects to the fallen Papa, and to all the others caught in the massacre.

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