Fallout: When the Bull came (Starting)

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As the Haitian lay dying, his eyes glassed over, as though he was looking far beyond the world around him. He began to mumble, but then his death whimpers took the form of words.

"Lwanj LOA a, pou nou moun yo pa gen anyen sou pouvwa a yo. Bagay sa yo vye leve soti nan fènwa kote a, men pwofèt nou ka sove frich yo...."

His voice sputtered out like the final drops coming from a faucet as it rusts closed, and he was silent. It was almost like he had put himself in a trance. His movement topped, and there was no light in his eyes. It was as if his soul had simply left his body to fade away.

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Sounds and images raced through Saturday's mind. Things he had done, things he hoped to do. The lives and deaths of thousands of faceless victims of the wasteland. When nuclear holocaust was supposed to rid the world of life, mankind survived. Billions were erased from the earth in an instant, and even the planet itself seemed to be dying. And yet these mortal creatures that had wrought their own apocalypse clung to life.

Saturday could feel the Juju of every living thing in the wasteland, and he could here the spirits of all those who were dead. Some screamed in fury and pain, some merely whimpered. The gate to Baron Samedi's kingdom stood open before Brother Saturday, and the gaze of the loa was upon him. The Baron stood beside a grave stone, having freshly dug up the grave. His eye-less gaze looked to his follower expectantly. Saturday looked at the stone of the empty grave and saw the name. It was the name of the man he had sent to Freeside.

The Baron laughed deeply as Saturday turned to look at him again. Baron Samedi simply nodded, and Saturday knew what was to come. A wave of death, upon which Brother Saturday himself would stand.

Brother Saturday opened his eyes and found himself in his own body again. The smoke from the alter had run out, and the ritual was complete. There was only one reason the Baron would have given him knowledge without a price, and that is because he already knows he will receive payment. Many lives would be lost in the coming days, the Sons of Samedi would not disappoint the Loa.

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The sun beat down on the shoulders of every unfortunate soul in Red Rock Canyon. There was virtually no room to sleep when night came because of the over abundance of refugees and it was getting worse every day. The Khans had begun shooting people who tried to sneak in, and the food supply was virtually non existent. There were already people starving to death. Mostly just the old and weak, or those who were starving before they got here, but the damage was done.

Fear had spread like a poison through the populous of Red Rock Canyon. Rumors were whispered that the Khans would turn all of the refugees over to the legion as slaves in return for leniency. Some people had tried to leave, but the Khans refuse to open their defenses for anything. Any day now, a bird would arrive with a message from New Vegas, and the Sons of Samedi hidden in the camp would act. With one strike, they would drown the Canyon in it's own blood, like a needle to an artery. The Khans would be no more, and the Sons of Samedi would be ready to seize the Mojave wasteland by the throat.

John fell silent his hat covered his eyes making him look emotionless, holstering his guns he slowly walked over and knelt down on one knee next to the kid, reaching over at the man's face with one hand he used his finger and thumb to close his eyes, he then rests both his arms on top of each other on his other leg and put his chin on his chest carefully he said a single phrase "Requiescat....in pace" and still stay for a minute, after that he got up did the same for the another man.

It happened so fast, one moment I was ready to shoot people next thing I knew they were laying dead on the ground. The guitarist approached and humanely closed their eyes. I myself approach, looking down at the young man who killed them "you ok kid?". The question just fell out, soft and mumbled somewhat. I really didn't know what the deal is with me, if it were me a couple decades ago I would never have gotten involved. But I guess all people change, sometimes it comes in ways you don't really notice right away because you never really think about it. If life taught me anything its that life itself is hard, and as humans we do everything we can to make it easier. Sometimes even if it means doing things that are wrong, or questionable, even if it means hurting other people. That's really all we are, people who are just trying to get by in life, just trying to survive.

standing straight John turns around sighing as he did "I need a stiff drink, no actually I need 5" he said walking past them before heading round the corner he stops and turns his head to the others "any of you wanna come with?" he asked

"what...the f***....happened?" Thomas mumbled to himself as he was scrambling to wrap his mind around what just happened. He had looked away for about four to five seconds to get his eye back up to the scope and aligned his shot after having greeted the man. And now that he had gotten his eye on the situation taking place. IT WAS RESOLVED? The men were laying unmoving on the ground and were unmistakably dead, the only thing that seemed to be the way he left them was the three people he had sided with. The ghoul looked over and said something to the blond kid as the man in black, "a powerful title" the little voice in Tom's head said. walked over to the dead men and closed their eyes.
"not bad" the little voice said. Tom agreed with it, himself, whatever.
To kill people in the waste was as common as listening to the radio. everyone did it, and it could possibly be because of peerpressure from raiders. in the end, the few things that separated us from raiders was what we did afterwards. we rarely buried the corpses with dignity, but we didn't dance or piss on them either. barely keeping us morally afloat. the few with the decency to....
"I need stiff drink, no actually I need 5. Any of you wanna come with?"

Thomas's train of thought derailed and crashed in to the deepest and darkest parts of his brain where he rarely went as the voice in his head who had been narrating screamed "Oh god graces i need i drink!".
"best suggestion I've heard all day" he said with a mix of confusion and pride
as he holdstered his rifle (making sure to take the bullets out), jumped of the mailbox and walked over to the man "name's Thomas Godfeathers" he said, stretching out a hand to greet the man as he walked closer.

"best suggestion I've heard all day, name's Thomas Godfeathers"

John took Tom's hand and shook it firmly "John, John Matthews" he said as he realizes his smoke was almost out "damn" he said as he drops it on the ground and steps on it, putting it out, he then pulls out the pack of cigarettes from earlier and edges another cigarette up, grabbing it with his mouth he puts the pack back and he lights it.

he walks back to where he put his guitar and picks it up, putting the strap of it over his right shoulder and turns to Tom "so the wrangler?" he said to his new friend.

Tom shakes John's hand and smile.
"where else?" He pulled out the deck and started shuffling them "play you for a drink, loser pays for the first round?". He looked over at the kid and the ghoul. "Would be a great band name" he thought and made a hand gesture that said "you guys wanna come or..."

I smile, " I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have a few rounds" saying somewhat hesitant and trying to seem none shelont about it.

The Atomic Wrangler smelled of bitter smoke and sour liquor chased with the ever present salty tang of human sweat. Twitch nursed a bottle of Sunset Sarsaparilla, the cool sweetness calming the building heat of panic building in the back of his mind. He watched the other's play another round of Caravan. He'd lost the first hand and begged off the second. He never did have a very good grasp of the rules, and he'd found card games nearly as absurd as gambling away hard earned caps on the Strip, but he wouldn't fault others their absurdities. He'd didn't mind paying for drinks, he'd of bought them even if he hadn't lost, he owed these ones that much at least. Forming that debt into words though... that took a measure of doing. Twitch turned over the words one by one, looking at their edges and meanings until they fit together just right. He spoke, his voice low and steady, meant to ensure that the words spoken didn't sound past their table, "I... I'd like to thank you folks for... for what you did earlier. I appreciate it, but it wasn't necessary and it may mean... trouble for you down the line. Can't say for sure if anyone saw or didn't, but I mean to get in front of trouble if it's comin'. Tomorrow, I'll head to Gomorrah and speak to Brother Saturday... end this quick, one way or the other. Any of you know of the Sons of Samedi?"

There's nobody here, there was supposed to be someone here.

James had arrived at the meeting place between Hidden Valley and Nipton. The hilly area between the two locations was difficult for groups to move around in, but one person who knew the land could traverse easily. The Legion didn't know this land properly, not even their frumentarii had made much progress here. This was wrong. James scouted the surrounding area, looking for the contact, pacing back and forth for minutes with no sig-

Then his foot caught a backpack that had been dumped on the ground. It was uncommon, but not unheard of for messengers to leave their packs when they couldn't stay at a meeting place. Instructions should be inside.


You will find friends at the Wrangler, make contact with them. Use the entry permit to access Freeside.
The Resistance Prevails.

This thing was dumped in a hurry, the Legion might be stepping things up here, or learning to track our members. The Atomic Wrangler, I can get there, the Mojave is crawling with the Legion but I can get there. Probably best to avoid combat where possible.

James emptied the contents of the backpack and placed a single bullet in it before leaving it where he had found it. It would be a message to the Resistance that instructions had been received. Any scavenger or traveller who found the backpack would empty it of all contents or perhaps even take the pack. The bullet meant the intended recipient had found the message.

Time for the Wrangler, might take a couple of days to get past the patrols and into Freeside. Who could these friends be, potential recruits? New informants?

Time to go.

"Any of you know of the Sons of Samedi?"

Sitting at the bar drinking a bottle of whisky I look up to Twitch,
"Aint they supposed to be some sort of drug running group?"
I take another swig, and sigh "and you think those men were members don't you?".

"i fold" tom said, pushing the worst hand he'd had all night away.
As Twitch raised his voice he silenced his mental voice who were in the process of blessing Twitch for paying for drinks "thank the gods for Twitch, buyer of drinks, saviors of cap sacks."

"I... I'd like to thank you folks for... for what you did earlier. I appreciate it, but it wasn't necessary and it may mean... trouble for you down the line. Can't say for sure if anyone saw or didn't, but I mean to get in front of trouble if it's comin'
Tom had raised his glass when Twitch paused. But stopped himself when he continued talking, glass hovering in the air.

"Tomorrow, I'll head to Gomorrah and speak to Brother Saturday... end this quick, one way or the other. Any of you know of the Sons of Samedi?"

"Aint they supposed to be some sort of drug running group? And you think those men were members don't you?"

He put the glass back down and gestured as he spoke "wait, are you talking about those guys with that green scull like symbol thing?"

John had been playing "The Rookie" card pretending to be rather crap "thank you Twitch for your money, It shall be spent well" he said laughing as I pick up a whiskery bottle next to him.

"Tomorrow, I'll head to Gomorrah and speak to Brother Saturday... end this quick, one way or the other. Any of you know of the Sons of Samedi?" "nope, never heard of them" he said siting back in his chair before taking a swig of his whiskery.

"Aint they supposed to be some sort of drug running group? And you think those men were members don't you?" John's head snaps forward with a very serious face "Drug Runners, you know I think I might go with you kid" he said chuckling a little

After finishing my whisky I somewhat study the empty bottle over. Allot of things went through my mind in that moment, most of it were memories of my past life. For over a century Iv pondered on the meaning of my survival, sometimes I thought it was luck. But deep down I wanted to think that maybe just maybe it was for some reason.

I was probably around the age of these men during that faithful moment, when it seemed an entire sun had ben born right here on earth. The moment when I felt my skin singe and shrivel up to its current state, I can still remember the unbearable pain that fallowed. And when I awoke, I found that I was alone and death himself I felt was near. The world as I knew it, died that day.

I pray to god that no other man has to see and go through halfthe stuff Iv seen and ben through. Such things would have rendered most men dead a long time ago. But miraculously, Im still here, alive and well...for the most part that is.

The more I thought about it, the more it felt clear. It was like the fog had finally ben uplifted and all that I sought appeared before me. I know of all things I was gifted in three areas, medicine, fighting, and how to use guns. Since the legion took over the need for healers has increased at a significant rate, and with everything going the way it is, its gonna take everyone to defeat that accursed Bull.

Right then I knew, that this was my purpose in life. I was to be the one to bring the mighty Ceasar to his knees and all that fallowed him. Arrogant? perhaps, but at this stage in my life I could think of no other reason for me to be alive. Looking at the men around me I finally say.

"I may be old fellas, but this old man still has teeth. And right now, Im about to do something that could very well be the end of my life, but for the sake of all that is Human, I would gladly go through with it. Im going to bring the fight to Ceaser, and if you want to join me I wont stop you. But know that this will be a narrow road but a noble one. His forces continue to crucify innocent men, women, and children for no reason, its time that we teach them a lesson and I...WILL MAKE HIM PAY FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE"

John reached over and placed a hand on Howard "Howard calm yourself, we will deal with Ceaser but later much later my friend and when we do get our hands on him we'll strap him to one of HIS CROSSES and push him off of Hoover Dam, but for the time being we must do what little we can" he said sitting back in his chair

Twitch nodded as a few murmured responses trickled in. At least they knew a bit of it, though not nearly enough, "Not just drug runners... a cult, men and women with dark gods and dark ways. Dangerous to cross Saturday, they say his shadow's long and lingers in all the hiding places. So I won't hide, face him upfront, end him if need be, maybe strike a deal, have to wait and see."

The singer, the one who called himself John and wore a sheet of metal like a shirt, piped up and spoke of joining him. It was a kind offer, but that chuckle was a bit too easy. This would not be a thing for glory or songs, this would be begging, bargaining, bloodshed. Some men weren't made for that and Twitch knew too little about this man to judge him proper, so he'd warn him at least, "Come if you like, but I can't promise you anything. I can keep me alive, that's about it, can't say the same for any-"

Twitch lost the last bit of his thought as one of the ghouls erupted in an angry tirade, railing against Caesar. Perhaps he was a bit touched in the head. The outburst seemed rather random given the circumstances, and even with a fire burning in the ghoul's eyes Twitch was unimpressed. He'd seen those bright fires before and they burned too quick and died even quicker. If he was an old man, he should know better. Bright fires were quick, fleeting things, it was the low, smoldering embers that did the trick, the cold, slow heat that took a man's hatred and hardened it, sharpened it, and turned it into a blade that could do some real damage. But it took a certain sort of person to build that sort of fury up, Twitch had only seen it a handful of times, and he'd seen it strongest in the man with the twisted hair..., "You don't kill a Bull by shoutin' at it. You tire it out, cut it, bleed it, turn the Legion's ways against them, until the Bull falters and falls. Killin' Caesar is nothin'. Caesar is just a man, he bleeds like a man, no matter what he claims. The Legion is an idea, ideas don't die easy, not unless you bring down the Old World's fire from the skies, and the road from here to the Divide is a long and lonely one if you care to walk it."

The words soured the air for a bit. Twitch didn't mean to sound harsh, or disrespectful, but he'd seen too many good sorts throw themselves on the Bull's horns and not accomplish a damn thing. That sort of crazy had to end, that battle needed a new sort of thinking. The Bear had learned that the hard way. But all of this was neither here nor their at the present moment. There were more immediate dangers to deal with, "Won't be a thing you can do about the Legion, if this red shaman has it out for your head. Best deal with that first."

This moment, the one right now. Would be the first thing that was going to crawl thought Tom's memory when he had sobered up. And he could look back at it with equal parts pride and denial.

The memory started with Tom having put the cork of a whiskey bottles, his third one judging by the two laying infront of him. to his teeth and was in the process of trying to open it as he listened to the other ghoul's rant. As drunk as he was, he noticed that several of the people in the wrangler had started scowling at them.
Tom tried to ignore them and finally managed to open the bottle. it tasted great, the 200 years old drink flowed down his throat as John who had taken on the role of spokes person for common sense stopped talking and Twitch decided to give his comment on Howard's idea.
when he had finished, Tom looked at him with shock and horror in his eyes, his mouth trembling a little before finally saying: "yhouh wan'na njuke Cholorado?"

"oh NO!" did the future Tom with a hangover mumble to himself as he remembered why he shouldn't talk to people while being under the influence of alcohol. to his surprise though, he remembered that drunk Thomas had snatched a tin of mentats form the table next to them and emptied half of it in to his mouth before speaking again.

Tom shook for a moment as the drugs kicked in, battling the alcohol for the control of his brain. He had a terrible headache for a few seconds and then he felt... at peach. everything was so easy, he knew everything and he felt so calm and collected as he looked out over the rest of the bar and saw that most the people in it were now looking at the 4 men sitting around a table and shouting at eachother.
"fellas! Pipe down will ya, the entire clientele can hear you. Besides, bickering never solved a damn thing."
He leaned forward and had to hold himself up so he didn't fall face first down on the table. Just because his brain was going through a temporary improvement didn't mean his body was too.
look, guys, I am all for a mangled and maimed legion and throwing Caesar from tall places to see if he can fly. but Twitch is right, the legion will keep on going without Caesar."

"wow, those pills really are powerful" Tom thought as he listened to himself not talk like a drunken idiot.

the legion is like an earth worm, cut of it's head and you'll now just have two worms rather than one. The legioners are basically just a band of raiders who got hold of some powerful weaponry. Hiding behind Caesar as an excuse to harm others. If you wanna stop them you need to put out every single thing that has ever had been a driving force for their bloodthirst. you'd need to weaken it, if a bull breaks all it's legs do you try to nurse it or do you put it out of it's misery".

"okay, I definitely need to keep a tray of those around for later" Tom mentally reminded himself as the lady who's table he had stolen the mentats from took them back and gave him a punch in the face. He didn't fight back, seeing how he had stolen her drugs. And once they wore off and he returned to his drunk self he would probably spend the rest of the night trying to aggravate her.

Realizing the reality of the situation I nod in understanding. Twitch was right, perhaps it was best to approach the problem in a smarter way. But the passion still burned within my chest, I wanted nothing more then to see the Legion disappear from the face of the Earth.

"Ok fine, you've made your point...so... this, Saturday guy. How can we reach him?"

Freeside was popping off.

Popping off more than usual... that place was always a hot bed of violence and nasty chi... yet now the whole place was radiating something nasty, worse than Bob had ever felt. As he walked though the dangerous streets Bob came across the corpses of Haitians, long since stripped of anything valuable. even in death these men gave off a foul energy, never a good sign.

A few questions and caps later Bob found out who dropped the Haitians and where they went. a little swordplay clear the way to the bar. looking about Bob found a rather diverse group with strong, positive chi radiating from all of them...even the junke.

He sat down at the table and took a long pull off a water bottle.

"I take it you men are the ones who put down the giants in front of the old fort."

"I take it you men are the ones who put down the giants in front of the old fort."

quickly John puts his bottle down and puts a hand the sawed off shotgun, he then has another cigarette after lighting it "OK first who wants to know? and second are you with those "Giants"?" he said staring at him from under his hat and lets out a breath of smoke

"OK first who wants to know? and second are you with those "Giants"?"

Bob laughed a little before introducing himself. "My name is Bob, the last remaining master of the Wu Tang Sword Style. The chi coming from those men was the nastiest i have ever sensed, and that was after they were dead. If something is putting evil energy into dead people I'm all fighting it."

"My name is Bob, the last remaining master of the Wu Tang Sword Style. The chi coming from those men was the nastiest i have ever sensed, and that was after they were dead. If something is putting evil energy into dead people I'm all fighting it."

John raised an eyebrow "is he serious? I thought those samurai types died out" he thought staring at him "OK Bob but mind putting that in English please and after that how about you tell us what business you have with us?" he said picking up the whiskery bottle again and pours himself another glass

Tom who had been attempting to drink the entire whiskey bottle as a shot realized that that dream had been unattainable and was now focusing on the stranger sitting amongst them. "so what is it you are getting at...... And what do you mean putting in to dead people? I didn't see anybody touch them after they went limp" Tom said as he decided that maybe the full bottle shot idea might still work and poured another large dosage down his gullet before going "Weren't those samurai types Chinese too?" Tom said and flung his own gun on the table "as in, the people who blew young Howard here and all his past friends in to shits and dust" he looked over at Howard "no offense ment, it's just...." he flinched and imitating that Eden guy who used to babble away on the enclave radio a few years ago before he just suddenly disappeared: " Let not those who doomed America wander unpunished. For they are the.... Uhmm. Ahh screw it!" he said jokingly and returned his attention to the bottle again, letting John who actually seemed to know what he was doing do the interrogation

"Weren't those samurai types Chinese too? as in, the people who blew young Howard here and all his past friends in to shits and dust" he looked over at Howard "no offense meant, it's just....Let not those who doomed America wander unpunished. For they are the.... Uhmm. Ahh screw it!"

Bob lifted an eyebrow. "High yellow as I might be I've never been confused for Chinese before. As for those men, they were possessed by something I don't know of. Chi is life energy, all living things, such as ourselves, have it. Those men, even after death, still had some residual lingering in them, and it wasn't pleasant. If any of you could feel what I felt then you would do whatever you had to in order to find its source and eliminate it. Our twitchy friend here might even give up chems to stop it."

"You can peddle your 'chi' with Saturday's Samedi, it's all the same shit," Twitch's voice boiled through gritted teeth, aimed at the newcomer who'd swaggered up to the table bold as he pleased. This sudden influx of religious prattle had far exceeded Twitch's daily tolerance level. A bitter sort of bile rose to the back of the young man's throat. Twitch permitted men their gods because human's needed a bit of absurdity, just like they needed to toss away all they owned in search of luck on the Strip. This though, this shit here was real. Saturday wasn't dangerous because he had any magical powers. Saturday was dangerous because he was a damn chem slinging psychopath with an army of keyed up sycophants at his disposal. Twitch hadn't killed those two Haitians because they were filled with any sort of 'dark energy,' he'd killed them because they wouldn't have hesitated to do the same to him. Maybe they were black-hearted bastards, but only because they bowed to the animal within, the animal that Saturday's chants and sermons brought out. Twitch hadn't put Caesar's enemies to the sword because the man called himself a god, fancied himself Mars made flesh. He'd done it because he'd been Caesar's dog, his animal! That animal lived on in Twitch. That animal lived in each of the men at this table, and it damn sure lived in the self-styled master of some long dead band of killers. If there was such a thing as dark energy then it was what kept this godforsaken, wounded world turning, ever since the sky had fallen and stripped away the ten thousand years of domestication men had worked for and left nothing but the ravening beast behind. The sooner men recognized the animal, the sooner they recognized the darkness and stopped trying to hid it behind prayers and supplications, the sooner they could go about chasing way that natural evil with kindness faint as candlelight.

For a moment something clear, sharp and murderous flashed up in the blue of Twitch's eyes, fire in a flash pan, burning white hot for an instant and fading away into nothing. He caught the swordsman's gaze and held it for a long moment, body strangely calm and poised, perfectly still and primed for violence on the slightest hair trigger, "My demons are my own, keep talk of them the fuck out your mouth and they wont be yours."

Twitch turned back to the men at the table and frowned, shaking his head and rising to his feet, "This here is sign of a problem. Got less time than I thought. If a half-blind holy man can stagger into Freeside and tie us to the dead men, Saturday is half way to his vengeance. Thought I'd leave this till morning, not soon enough now. I'll deal with Saturday tonight. If you're following, you'll need a passport, can't help you there."

The lad shoved off from the table and stalked out of the Wrangler without another word. Twitch's word and actions always harmonized. Anything he did he owned, didn't blame it on a god and didn't thank one from it, believed in no mystic force guiding his steps. The closest thing to a god Twitch had ever met was made of flesh and blood, and his lessons had been simple. Gods didn't change the world, men did, even a single man could. That was the ugly purpose of mankind and there was no use hiding from it.

"I'll deal with Saturday tonight. If you're following, you'll need a passport, can't help you there."

"don't worry I had Mick make a fake, should do the job" he said and turned his attention back to Bob "now that wasn't nice I'm sure you mean no harm but you'll have to apologize to him later, but anyway you still haven't answer my question "what business do you have with us?" he said glaring at him with one eye as his other was covered up by his hat

Bob was immediately reminded why he never took a student. No matter how much positive energy he put out, trying to work with others always backfired. He had tried to explain the principals to chi before but in the wasteland science ruled the day. how do you tell someone who spends their days in fear of their fellow man that they are all connected? how do you tell the stalwart soldier or the grizzled prospector the barren soil beneath them is alive? Meeting John's glare with a look of saddened frustration.

"I never understood why people need such complex reasons behind their actions. I know your good guys, I know the big guys were not. my business is to stop bad men wherever I go and improve the Wu Tang Sword and Shaolin Shadowboxing in the process. I do not betray my allies, I do not try to profit from other's misfortune and I win in battle. If you could key into the flow of life around you like I could there would be no question whatsoever."

"I never understood why people need such complex reasons behind their actions. I know your good guys, I know the big guys were not. my business is to stop bad men wherever I go and improve the Wu Tang Sword and Shaolin Shadowboxing in the process. I do not betray my allies, I do not try to profit from other's misfortune and I win in battle. If you could key into the flow of life around you like I could there would be no question whatsoever"

"just let it go ninja boy" Tom got up and took a last shot of whiskey before looking back down at Bob.
"if you wanna help kill the baddies you can report to ol' twitchie down there"
He pointed a shivering finger at the door and started walking, slowly. And wobbly. The pills may have boosted his brain out of the sluggishness of alcohol but his body was still a wet blanket. He steadied himself on the jukebox and looked back at Howard and Bob.
"uhmm, can you boys give me a hand here? My legs are malfunctioning, I promise to return the favour tomorrow.... If my brain haven't exploded by then offcorse. This should still be accepted" he said and pulled the NCR passport and rubbed it on his throbbing head.

"uhmm, can you boys give me a hand here? My legs are malfunctioning, I promise to return the favor tomorrow.... If my brain haven't exploded by then offcorse. This should still be accepted"

I had one final drink before standing up "here you can lean on me mate" I said walking over to Tom and lifting his arm over my head, straightening up I support Tom as he flops all over the place "where to Tom?" I ask him

After everything was said and done I approach Bob, "Ehhh, don't take it to heart kid, I'm sure they mean well but in today's world you kinda have to be on edge of everybody...In my case, I'm an old man, ben around a long time and I know trouble when I see it". I smirk a little, "And something tells me your not the average lying, Thieving, murdering sort...I...trust you wont prove me wrong, hmmm?".

""Ehhh, don't take it to heart kid, I'm sure they mean well but in today's world you kinda have to be on edge of everybody...In my case, I'm an old man, Been around a long time and I know trouble when I see it, And something tells me your not the average lying, Thieving, murdering sort...I...trust you wont prove me wrong, hmmm?"

I walk over with Tom hanging off of me "you know I'll just assume him wants to join our company of outcasts, ghouls and lawmen, and just leave at that to be honest" I said before turning to Bob "and I hope you will be an excellent comrade in arms and a good friend, allow me to reintroduce myself I am John Matthews probably known best as "The Guitarist" or "The Man in Black" to our two friends here and twitch who just left" he said sounding friendly and comforting

"probably known best as "The Guitarist"

"speaking of which" I turn my attention to John, "just where on Earth did you learn how to play a guitar? Last time I saw someone actually playing one was a time I still had skin" I somewhat chuckle. "I mean...its not like people are just so keen to learn something of that nature, probably worry more about survival or ways to earn a quick buck".

"just where on Earth did you learn how to play a guitar? Last time I saw someone actually playing one was a time I still had skin"

I fall silent thinking back on memories of my childhood "it was a long, long time ago in my old hometown there was this old man and he was always playing this guitar when I saw him, I asked him over and over again to teach me finally he said "ah what the hell, could be interesting fine kid, I'll teach ya" for that I learned all of it and the old man was very surprised" I said looking back on the past

The journey was quicker than I thought, always expect the worst when travelling through the Mojave. Legion patrols seemed lighter than usual, are they distracted by something? Still, killed one Legion Explorer. Clean shot through the chest, destroyed his message. I took off his mask, they don't look how I expect them to look. It's difficult to picture them as humans under that gear. Maybe they think the same about others.

James had made it to Freeside with a minimum of worry, remnants of the Legion's advance still littered the land. Piles of bones lay on the ground accompanied by scraps of NCR armour. Nothing worth salvaging of course, that had been taken long ago when the bodies still had flesh to rot. Crosses dotted the horizon, marking the site of a former settlement now overrun. James didn't want to think about that much.

Could the Courier be one of these skeletons? Nobody remembers what they looked like, so it's possible. To have come so far and still end up here... or anywhere.

Then he was there, Freeside. The gate loomed ahead of him much, sturdier than in the past. Occasional bullet holes and scorch marks scarred the exterior. Securitrons at the gates turned away all who could not enter. Houses lined the street leading to the gate. Before the Legion had come, most provided a home for wastelanders who had nowhere else to go. Who could not afford to live in Westside or Freeside and feared trying to make it anywhere else. Now they were packed with refugees who could not enter the safe haven of Vegas.

James did not stop for them, their struggles went unanswered. Instead he continued onto the gate and presented his documents. The doors opened into another world, a word where the Legion did not live.

These are the people living in a dream world, with their houses and their food and their walls and shelter. It's not real to them, they don't know what it is like out there. This place is a bubble just waiting to burst.

Time for the Wrangler, once considered dangerous and seedy, now a safe gathering place. James opened the door and strode into the bar. The 'friends' were immediately obvious. They didn't look like residents. They knew what it was like out there. James strode up to them, "You are the ones I was instructed to meet. One of you bring me up to speed."

"You are the ones I was instructed to meet. One of you bring me up to speed."

I turn to this guy that just suddenly approached us with the most confused look so far on my face "I'm sorry uumm what? I think you're confused us for the wrong group of people but you have interested me in what you said" I said confused but a little interested

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