Flashback. Freeside: Old Mormon Fort
Tessa could barely focus on what was going on around her, her battered and bloodied body had suffered a tremendous beating at the hands of a bunch of corrupt NCR pigs. Then again, when could the NCR ever be trusted in the first place? The battle of Hoover Dam had not been kind to the faction and if corruption was a problem beforehand, then it had only gotten worse.
Since she was young enough to remember, The NCR had effectively muscled in on Freeside from all angles. Basically putting all the residents in a quarantine by charging ridiculous fees in order to even leave the city, shaking them down and even killing some of the street kids for kicks. It was no wonder that many chose to rebel. The smart ones, however, kept their activities more discrete.
The only ones exempt from their abuse seemed to be The Followers of the Apocalypse. Whenever she was able to, Tessa would relieve items from the NCR camps dotted around Freeside and make anonymous donations to the Followers. She assumed that they would not look too kindly on stolen goods, so her identity and where these supply drops had come from was never truly discovered. The Followers had their head on straight and they provided plenty of help to the street rats, Tessa included when she was just a little girl.
"We can't do anything for this one, this is shotgun damage, it's miraculous that she even survived the trip here..."
The voice of what sounded like the lead doctor in a team spoke nearby. Nearby enough for Tessa's mind to snap back to the reality of the situation. Turning her head to face Sonea's mangled body, she winced painfully as her body pleaded for her to rest. Determined to get to Sonea, she collapsed to the ground as if her body was trying to illustrate how unfit she was in her current condition. When she looked back up, she caught a glimpse of Sonea's glazed over eyes as the bodybag closed over her head.
"No no no no no no no NO!" refusing to accept the reality of the situation, Tessa pleaded to wake up, hoping this was some ill-formed nightmare. Yet the dream did not end. "I-..." choking on her own words, the tears welled up and streamed down her bruised cheeks. "I-I'm...sorry. I'm so sorry. Please. I didn't mean to...oh god, I love you. COME BACK!"
"Give me a sedative for the other girl that followed this one, she's hysterical. We can do something about her at the very least...And get her back in bed!"
Bonerfarts Knuckleheads Safehouse
Her eyes fluttered open just in the slightest, treading the line between consciousness and slipping into unconscious a few times. During those times, she saw brief flashes of what looked like Mercy standing over her, Mercy shouting, Vera hovering over her body.
She felt heavily disorientated and while she willed her arms to move, her body replied sluggishly and only slightly as her fingers lightly scratched at Mercy's wrist while her head turned towards her. "Mer-Ver-...thank y..." Whatever it was that was flowing through her system was slightly beyond her level of drug tolerance, since she felt heavily sedated. She wasn't quite sure if this was due to the blood loss, the chemical in her system or both.
Groggily and tearfully, she had finally attempted to speak. "Doc-...Doctor. Caps. Follow-ers." Tessa croaked.
At this point, she vaguely noticed that Mercy was actually connected to her via an impromptu blood transfusion.
As if that detail was some sort of trigger, pain started to radiate throughout her body, especially her thigh.
So with her free hand clenching her forehead, her face scrunched up in absolute pain. Her hand started clawing into her hair as her body's pain started to override her senses.
Whatever Mercy was doing, it was working, but it came at an agonizing price.
With tears starting to fall down her cheeks, she choked out a few more words. "I'm...-so sorry." she paused only to catch her breath. "I didn't mean to..."
It seemed that Tessa was not completely within the right state of mind. Especially with the combination of med-x, emotional trauma, blood loss and physical damage to her body.
Vera wished she had arms that she could hug Tessa and Mercy with. And never let go. Vera searched her databanks for any way she might be able to express her feelings without having to risk setting the stupid building on fire.
She found one.
Vera adjusted the settings on her multiool's light projector, and sent out an image of the woman she'd been based, and while it was unstable, and kept sputtering at random intervals... it did move as she wanted it to. Being a blue hologram, it was impossible to tell a lot about what this woman had looked like... but she wore a set of leather armor, had a kind of button nose with a bridge that looked like it might snap if you brushed it, a large pair of luminous eyes, overall... a gaunt looking face, and short curly hair. Vera had the hologram slowly approach Tessa, and then... sort of give her a hug. Vera had never tried to use the hologram before, so its head wound up going right through Tessa's head as the faces drew near (to an outsider, it might look as though the hologram were trying to kiss Tessa full on the mouth, until one noticed the clipping), and the hologram's arms embedded themselves into the chair Tessa was sitting on as they tried to wrap around her.
After realizing this, Vera shut the hologram off, and let out a few embarrassed clicks. Then she turned her faceplate towards Mercy, and twirled her frame around, as if to say 'Well... what should I do now?'
Kaiden thought about the hospital he had seen in Cheyton, and about how small the world was. It was good to know he and his people would be welcome, especially now they had a trade agreement. There were a few Super Mutants that had sustained injuries when migrating to their new home, nothing life threatening but that required the attention of an expert.
'East of here, a half days walk, is an old campsite, Redstone Camping Ground.' He muttered to the doctor, as if implying only he was allowed this information. 'Tell them that I... Kaiden, said you would be welcome.'
With that he turned around and left the tent, pulling his cloak and hood over his green skin and setting off back home. As he left the smell of embers and smoke still filled the air, but the heat was much less intense. He still felt unnerved when the caravan members gasped at the sight of him and whispered amongst themselves. Humans, they were so unpredictable, so easily scared of the unknown, so ready to destroy the misunderstood. That is what made them so dangerous, and that was also why Kaiden pitied them.
Fair Wanderings was growing smaller behind him now as he found a small road and followed it back West, desperate to make sure his people were safe.
The Knucklefarts' Warehouse and Kumbaya Campground:
Mercy blinked a few times as she saw the ghostly projection attempt to wrap its arms around her near unconscious sister before disappearing. Looking at her sister, it appeared that she was getting stronger as color was returning to her cheeks and skin. Conversely, Mercy the skinnier of the two was starting to look a tad bit pale and was starting to feel a tad bit light headed.
"Twip! Chirp!" Vera said as she she rotated back and forth on her X axis for a moment, a sign that she was curious as to what would happen next?
"Are you asking what's going to happen next?" Mercy asked the EyeBunny receiving a shake on Vera's Z Axis, indicating a no.
"Are you asking me what you need to do?" The Plasma and Whole Blood Donating Rabbit asked, causing Vera to nod along her Y axis.
"Record: What do you need me to do?" Mercy said as she started feeling a bit more faint from blood loss, as she tried to pull the needle out and toppled over on top of her unconscious sister.
"The Med-X must've spread into my body too." Mercy said with a goofy smile and half open eyes.
"I'm --- going --- to --- take --- a --- na" The girl trailed off before letting out a light snore.
As the smaller Rabbit sister started to lose consciousness, Vera let out a series of loud, panicked chirps and whistles in an attempt to wake either of them up. When that didn't seem to be working, Vera activated the magnet on her omnitool on a low power setting, which she then used as carefully and quickly as she could to safely remove the IV running between both Rabbit sisters. Then she primed her laser, waited for it to heat up a bit, then shut it off and gently brushed the edge of it onto the spots where the IV had come out on Mercy and Tessa.
Vera had no idea what to do now. This had been exactly what she had been afraid of if she had simply left on her own. Now she knew she couldn't... what if the rest of the Knuckledraggers came back? Vera knew it was dangerous, but now she had no choice... she activated her distress beacon, which transmitted a general emergency signal that would disrupt radios all over the town.
Not sure if that would be enough... Vera went outside and aimed her laser at the moon, brought it to full power, and fired it as a continuous beam for half an hour before the lens on her precision laser melted and caused the beam to rebound inside itself, forcing Vera to eject the whole device from her frame before the laser blasted into her.
Now all Vera could do was hope that her efforts didn't attract more assholes.
Tessa had slowed down to focus on stabilizing her breathing and heartbeat. Occasionally biting down on her lip when a new wave of pain radiated throughout her body. The more she stayed conscious, the better she felt. It was a slow process overall.
The Med-X was not helping her emotional state. There was a ghost, apparition, soul, angel, demon-thing floating towards Tessa in what looked like an embrace. An embrace to the afterlife!? Was she going to the big Blamco in the sky!?
No no no, she couldn't be hallucinating, or could she? Whatever, she was going to go with denial and blame the apparent source. "Vera...never do that kind of poopy again!" Ordinarily, she would be taken seriously, but the ludicrous smile on her face contradicted the tone of her statement. Damn Med-X.
"I'm --- going --- to --- take --- a --- na"
Her sister had admirably given her blood to sustain Tessa's life. Mercy had rested her head on her stomach. The weight of such an action will become more apparent to the Elder Rabbit at a later point. When she had all her senses available to her, obviously.
Aww, she had started snoring, that's adora- NO! Focus!
"Mer-Mer, wake up!" with no response, she managed to sit up with considerable effort and cradled her head in her hands. "Get. UP!" Tessa resorted to lightly slapping her cheek, hoping to physically snap her back into consciousness.
No response, that's when she noted that while she felt physically weak, her sister did not appear to be coping very well either. "You can kick my ass later for this, but I need you with me..." She scrounged for the nearby scrap that was her bowie knife and dug the shard into Mercy's shoulder. "...Now!"
Tessa did not have much in the way of reserved energy at this point, however, that was the best that could muster for her sister in this moment.
There was no doubt that they were blood relatives anymore, as far as symbolism goes. That's why she needed her sister. Tessa was going to die alone, she had never counted on a rescue and nobody had put their life on the line as directly as Mercy had just done for her.
Pain was a great motivator in spurring consciousness forward. "Wake up, dammit! I can't lose you too."
Vera had gotten to work with what sounded like firing her laser in extreme bursts. For what purpose, she had no idea. What she did know, is that attracting attention will likely prove to be their demise instead of salvation.
Wide-eyed, she stared at Vera in fear of the potential danger she may have inadvertently summoned, but also in distress over how this could endanger Mercy further. "What did you do!? Th-..." feeling light-headed once more, she brought a hand up to her head and spoke through a glare. "This is the slums! There are no good samaritans here."
Whispering to conserve energy. "The Followers. H-hospital." This time she almost hissed in protective aggression. "Wake.Mercy.up!"
Markus wandered the streets, not too many people about, surprisingly. Granted, he was reloading and inspecting his rifle. He thought he saw a flash of someone peeking through their window, but they quickly disappeared. Markus sighed, continuing his march to give away his armor and weaponry, perhaps some of the stimpacks on his person, to some random vendor who would give him bottle caps. A worthless form of currency, if ever he heard one. At least the money could have other purposes...
He looked up from his musings to see a strange thing in the sky. A laser? It reminded him of a comic he read once, one of the kids from the camp had it, although it was a spotlight rather than a tool of death and doom.. He started jogging towards it, looking to perhaps pick up some cash for a job, or from a corpse.
He found the compound quickly, and cautiously made his way inside, searching the place with his rifle out. The backpack and its' contents were a tad loud, but he figured no one would hear it. He saw a rat skitter away from a room, where he could hear faint voices, something about hanging in there. He slowly turned the corner, and saw a robot, and a few injured women.
"Good evening, looks like you need medicine. I have some, but... It'll cost you a story and your promises to not shoot me in the back."
Lucy Liu's House Knucklehead Not-so-safe-house
Lucy couldn't see the stranger that had entered the now recently declared hellhole in which the trio of Rabbits were situated. Yet she could recognise the silhouette of a gun and feared for the worst while grabbing the remains of her blade. It was barely a weapon anymore, a mangled piece of scrap at best, yet it could be thrown as a distraction until Vera got to work.
Calling out to the stranger, Tessa cautiously voiced her concerns. "You're dealing with one unconscious female, one injured female and a floating jukebox which will hopefully be a soon-to-be toaster one day. Nothing here is a threat!" She had opted for honesty.
If she were to die, she would at least do so with the only family she had ever known.
"Good evening, looks like you need medicine. I have some, but... It'll cost you a story and your promises to not shoot me in the back."
So this person wasn't a threat, or it could be another one of those Knucklehead initiates checking up on his buddies. Either way, the odds weren't stacked in her favour and her main concern was Mercy. She'd offer herself as collateral if this all went south.
"I...was ambushed by some assholes who worked the trade supply for the Knuckleheads. Big time gang most likely. I'm guessing chems was their main attraction judging by the style... - " Tessa was getting off topic, it was difficult to suppress her times spent running with all kinds of gangs. Chem runners were the ones she had the least amount of respect for. "Long story short, my sister's followed me, rescued me...but not without taking some damage."
"Look, my little sister here needs a stim or something to get her blood pumping. Medicine is not my area of expertise...My leg is screwed. If you have something to get my sister up...just-please!"
Tessa was growing tearful again, the Med-X had heightened her emotional state to some degree, making her more susceptible to emotional outbursts. Taking a few breaths to calm herself.
"Help us home. I have three stimpacks waiting to be used there. I've got caps to pay you and a meal to say thanks." Well someone was feeling awful generous. Then again, that was her only bargaining chip.
"But one of us needs something to support the other. Preferably my little sister. Will you help us?" Tessa pleaded with a layer of sincerity that was uncharacteristically different from her usual self-assured, cocky tone.
"Will you help us?"
Markus sighed, walking over to the gang. An eyebot, a desperate girl, and a smaller girl who was bleeding out. He WAS going to go and unload a lot of stimpacks and drugs, but this was a noble use of them. Still, he needed money for supplies. If this place was a drug factory, there'd be a bounty, and more drugs he could sell. So what if the kids got to them, he'd be long gone.
"Good news for you guys, then. I got a doctors bag, and a few super stimpacks. Also, free time." He strolled over to the group, and got to work on the little sister.
"I propose we end what you started, if they're major they'll hound you. I got a rifle, and you look like you want to fight these men." He handed the conscious girl a super stimpack, trusting she knew how to use a needle, while he began his work on the younger. He'd learned a bit, but his specialty was always inflicting rather than fixing.
"If we can end these... fuckers? Fuckers, we can clean up these damned streets. Also, what's wrong with the robot? I'm not a mechanic, but I got a few energy and MC cells lying in this old pack. You girls could NOT have found a better person for this, I shit you not." He handed some gauze and a stick to the girl, hoping she knew how to tourniquet properly. If not, he'd check up after he was done here.
"Now, I'm almost done. How long have you had that laser up, and how attentive do you think those druggies are?" He flashed his winning smile to the girl, as he hoisted the smaller sister on his shoulder, picking up his rifle with his other hand.
Cheyton Slums. Shitheads' warehouse
Vera lowered her frame's hovering height to something she thought Tessa could lean on, then flew next to Tessa; chirping helpfully.
In response to the newcomer's question about her, Vera pointed her multitool to the broken, overheated laser just outside. That was when Vera realized that she'd just lost her weapon and one of her main methods of communication. Maybe even permanently. Vera didn't whine or whir... instead... she let out the clicking equivalent of a 'grin-and-bear-it' sort of sigh.
Then she refocused on helping Tessa walk.
Tessa smiled in relief as the helpful stranger laid down medical equipment, she scooched over to make way for Mercy while she got to work on herself. She was handed a super-stimpack.
"Thanks. I'll be glad to pay, give you a meal or even a place to crash for the night...shit!..." Her speech was interrupted while fastening and inserting the super-stim's needle into her thigh. It was potent. "Heh, forgot about the kick. Didn't get these on the streets much."
"I propose we end what you started, if they're major they'll hound you. I got a rifle, and you look like you want to fight these men."
This irked Tessa somewhat. "I'm aware of that. But I used to have teams at my disposal for this kind of thing..." she veered off in momentary contemplation before continuing onwards. "There are smarter ways of hitting a gang without marching into battle. Besides, we need intel before we make a move."
"I didn't come here to wage a war. My sister determines what happens..." Stopping to focus on working the tourniquet, she slowly got onto her feet to test her work. She would have another scar. Yay.
Luckily and appreciatively, Vera hovered in to assist her with walking. "Thank you Vera, for everything. I've always got your back..." She nodded at her favourite EyeRabbit.
"What's your name anyway?" Tessa, always the opportunist, picked up the 3 sawn-off shotguns and a repeater rifle from the dead thugs. "The Eyebot's name is Vera, my sister is the resident mechanic and genius with anything sciencey. She'll get her fixed up."
Scrounging for supplies, she emptied a duffel bag full of various chems. "You can take those if you want."
She had no use for the chems, only the bag and what she discovered through her thorough search of chem runner hiding spots. Filling the duffel bag with the guns, 103 caps, switchblade, 10mm pistol and a cleaver. Tessa hoisted the bag on her shoulder and with finesse, twirled an imposing and recently discovered dirty combat knife between her fingers.
She could make a decent amount of cash out of this. Maybe her sisters could use the parts. Either way, always a silver-lining...
The Knuckleheads and their runners weren't going to just forget. No, in time, when they discover what happened, they'll trace it back to this day and that would put Mercy in danger...and make stealing difficult.
"Rabbit." She said, extending her free hand with her characteristic thieving smirk.
There was a fine line between cunning and stupidity on the streets of Cheyton.
"...Let's just regroup, lay low, fully recover and find out what we're up against." she stated more reasonably. "Yet she's my top priority." And there was that aggressive protection layering her voice once more.
Noting her sister's body, she wasted no time exiting the forsaken hell-hole.
It proved rather difficult with her limp and wincing after each major step. She would feel better in the morning.
"...Thank you, really. We appreciate it." She glanced back with an appreciative nod and smile before guiding the group home.
(Elder Tempson's dialog was written by Soviet Heavy. Minor formatting edits have been made along with other very minor edits to make everything flow better.)
Dry Spring's lake
Joe was walking north along the eastern side of the lake when he came across an old man matching descriptions he had heard of Elder Tempson.
Joe approached Elder Tempson.
"Hello sir! I am Ranger Joseph Medina. I am here to act as an ambassador of sorts for the New California Republic."
"Hmph, are you here to steal another generation away from us?"
Tempson spat a wad of tobacco at the ground.
"What do you want son?"
"I have no intention of stealing away any generations. I am simply here to negotiate peace with your settlement, if possible bring your settlement into the NCR. If you prove hostile, I'm to inform my superiors upon my return. I understand anything I say will sound like a hollow salesman's pitch, but I at least hope you'll listen."
Tempson didn't look up.
"NCR, huh? And what good would they do us? Listen to me son, this town? I made it. I built this whole place up from nothing, you hear me? When we first settled, you know what we were after? Oil. Liquid gold, that stuff. But it didn't work, so we tried fishing. Being the number one supplier of fresh fish in all of fucking Wyoming makes you a pretty savvy businessman. So either cut the diplomatic crap and make me an offer, or buy a trout and get moving."
"I'm afraid I probably won't buy a fish. I was born in Arizona, and never got to develop a taste for them."
Joe pondered the situation.
"Since you're so big on fishing, I can help you in that regard. Back during the Mojave campaign the NCR set up the "Thaler Act." We paid farmers to move out to the Mojave, gave them a chunk of land, and used the food they grew to feed our citizens. If you were to join I'm sure that something similar could be set up here with fish. We also have what is probably the largest military in America, so we'd be a good source of protection, could provide employment, provide trade routes, and overall make life easier. We're a democracy, the kind America was before the war, except we don't have any Nukes so there's no danger there."
"Overall, I'd say we're a pretty good lot."
"That isn't what the Khans told me when they came. They said that they were slaughtered by you. I may not like those horse riding hooligans, but they showed me the survivors. You don't make something like that up. And this "Thaler Act" as you call it. What good would that do us out here? We already have a booming economy with the Local Federation and the Caravans. What good are taxes when you've got the sort of deal we do?"
"...Bitter Springs was something of a black eye for us. What people like to forget however, is that Bitter Springs was in response to their constant raids. First Recon was sent in to deal with what they thought was a raider settlement. Miscommunications happen, and they can end badly. The Khans seemed to forgive us though when they fought by our side against the Legion at Hoover Dam."
Joe let out a sigh.
"Seems you doubt the moral fiber of the NCR."
Joe took off the torso-piece of his armor revealing a tattoo of an angry looking gecko swearing in cartoon gibberish. (You know, things like !?*% that you'd see in old comic books to censor swears.)
"I'm not originally from the NCR, I was born a tribal out in Arizona. It's where I got this. The Legion nearly wiped us out, but we fled west. The NCR took us in, and kept us safe. They were strong enough beat the Legion twice. I'm not demanding you join, although I would appreciate that, I just want you to at least sign a peace treaty."
"Son, I don't doubt your moral fiber, if that's what has you coming here. NCR or not, I'd still say no. Like I said, we've already lost too many people in this town to foreigners. However, I am also a businessman. No peace treaty, it's not going to happen. But a caravan route to the NCR.... you said there wasn't a big market for fish down south? Maybe I could cut you a deal, the NCR proprietor of a sales contract. Who knows, it might be a delicacy down in the desert."
Joe armored back up.
"There is fishing in California, just west of where I was. I'm sure there's a market. However, we may not be willing to trade with anyone who isn't willing to sign a peace treaty. It's all very standard stuff, just look it over; you'll find it's all very reasonable."
"I'd say it's all pretty reasonable stuff, and makes life easier on both of us."
Tempson looked over the treaty intently.
"Not a lot of fine print for a political treaty. I suppose if you're illiterate you need to keep things simple. I'm not however, so you better not try and pull anything. I see anymore than what this document describes, and the deal's off. I can make money in Montana just as easily."
Tempson produced an old writing stylus, the one that needed to be dipped in ink. Old fashioned indeed, thought Joe. With a frown on his face, Tempson filled in the treaty, signing away part of his world to yet another group. He handed the paper back to Joe.
"Fine, son, there you go. Anything else, or can I get back to fishing?"
Joe signed at the bottom of the treaty where it asked for who oversaw the signing of this treaty.
"The lack of fine print is for everyone's benefit. Generally speaking you don't want people to distrust you when dealing with peace treaties."
Joe pulled out another copy of the same treaty.
"If you wouldn't mind, could you fill out a duplicate copy for you to keep?"
Joe handed him the duplicate copy.
"I suppose I would like to try a fish, assuming you're willing to cook it up. I'm not familiar with cooking fish myself."
Tempson scribbled his signature over the copy, shoving the piece back into Joe's hands. Joe then signed at the bottom and handed it back to Tempson who placed it in his bag.
"There, signed. Now how about you do something useful? There's been little word from Teton these past few weeks. The radio says its been bad weather, but that has never stopped them before. Maybe you could take a look. It's about three days north of here, way up in the Rockies."
Tempson spat out another mouthful of tobacco.
"Find out what's happening up there and I'll consider it a personal thanks. As for Graham Mackie, he's the rep for the Federation. I'll even cook you up a trout if you succeed."
"Would you mind marking where Teton is roughly?"
Elder Tempson marked Teton on the map.
"Now get going already!"
Joe headed off.
"Nice meeting you."
[Quest complete: Peace With Dry Springs]
Joe felt enriched from the experience, and this new experience allowed something to click in his head.
"What's your name anyway?"
"Markus, Markus Brutus if you want to get fancy..." He shrugged as he kept watching her. She seemed more alive, at least, the stimpacks sure were made well.
"The Eyebot's name is Vera, my sister is the resident mechanic and genius with anything sciencey. She'll get her fixed up."
'Of course they named their robot.' Markus smiled, and nodded towards 'Vera'. She seemed to be making herself a crutch, which was good. Them leaving was bad, however. His plan could wait. Right now, a free home and meal ticket was limping off to loot, which meant his lot was now with the thieves. She went on about regrouping, and recovering. That would be more time for a bunch of crazed addicts to kill him in his sleep. He waitied for her spiel to end before he spoke up again, caring and worried in his tone.
"I'll help you walk, if you don't mind. I'm a bit low on food, but I think I can manage."
"...Thank you, really. We appreciate it."
"No problem, what would any good person do had he stumbled across a laser in the sky." He spoke sarcastically, not really paying attention to his words. The time would come when he'd kill these two, perhaps the robot too if it put up a fight. It was more useful as scrap anyways. He allowed himself his thoughts, staying silent and looking cheery as they went to their home base.
The Streets of Cheyton:
"...person do had ... stumbled ... laser in the sky."
*Thud - Thud - Thud - Thud* Went the youngest Rabbit's head as a combination of two sensations rushed in to greet the girl as she started regaining some semblance of consciousness. The first sensation a tremendous amount of pressure inside her head, as if all of the blood in her body had decided to make a home inside of her head and throw a house warming party to boot. The second sensation was a little more annoying, is was he head being bounced off of someone's back as if she was slung over someone's shoulder.
Actually, it appeared that she was slung over someone's shoulder and in her condition, the kind that resulted from some sort of adrenaline hangover and a fair amount of blood loss, it was pretty easy to see why she acted the way she did: She started pounding on the stranger's (Markus Brutus') back whilst screaming:
"LET ME GO! LEEET ME GO!! HEEEEELLLP!!!" The Panicked Rabbit screamed as she continued to vainly pound on the strange man's back.
"TESSA!? VERA!? HELP!" The youngest Rabbit continued to yell while trying to reach for her Plasma Pistol. Yup, she wasn't much for subtlety was she?
The Streets of Cheyton: A Rabbit's ear twitches attentively
Tessa took her time making her way home and she was not taking the direct route. For two reasons: 1) Every moment was valuable towards improving her physical condition. 2) Something was off about the all-too-helpful Markus.
She could chalk this up to paranoia, some may think it a sixth sense, others may believe she had trust-issues. Yet where she grew up, one thing was always certain when working cons. Concern always came with some kind of angle to exploit.
And it takes a con to know a con.
"LET ME GO! LEEET ME GO!! HEEEEELLLP!!!"
The egg had finally cracked.
Dexterously twirling her blade into a reverse-grip, she spun around and closed the distance between her and Markus with unprecedented speed that had developed from years of experience.
With a blade to his throat and a grip on his free wrist to prevent him from attacking. She hissed with barely contained fury. "Let her go, right now!"
The yolk had been removed.
She couldn't shake the feeling that someone in the slums had selflessly come to her aid.
Concern always came with some kind of angle to exploit. That was it! She wasn't taking any chances. Her sister was the only exception.
"Leave." She hissed coldly. "Take the duffel bag as compensation. I do not appreciate potential traitors in my ranks."
Ranks? Seems that her past could never quite be forgotten.
Now the egg was scrambled.
Markus was caught off guard by the person he was oh so helpfully carrying away from the enemy, but not enough to preserve his own safety, as he moved his rifle fast enough to press the barrel against her heart.
"That escelated quickly. If you don't mind, your sister is awake. As I'm the closest we have to a doctor, I think we should check up on her. Please?" He shifted away from the knife slowly, letting the girl drop to her own feet, offering himself as a crutch. He moved hos gun away slowly and adresses the older one.
"As for payment, I need none. I honestly have too much to sell as is. I suppose the hero act seems phony, eh? I helped you because I could. It was a distraction from selling and wandering, ever afraid the legion is still following me. Deep down, I guess I was looking for companionship..." He lowered his head, looking pitiful. Wasn't difficult, three days from his last meal. He was pleasantly surprised he lasted this long.
The Site of the
Mexican Cheyton Standoff
What was occurring between her elder (and perfectly proportioned, I swear to GOD I'll never imply you're fat just don't hit me with Miss Toasty anymore) sister and their mystery saviour was perfectly metaphored by Mercy Rabbit's current perspective of the world: Everything was upside down.
While she didn't know what her sister was doing, she was, even in her diminished mental capacity, able to recognize the telltale grip and stock of a sniper's rifle, from the pistol grip's positioning relative to to the length of the stock to ensure a perfect balance to the weights positioned in the stock itself to offset the weighr of the extra long barrel to the padding at the end of the stock to reduce the recoil from the rifle. Now it's not to say that she was a gun fanatic but she knew these things because she's seen Daddy Rabbit using a rifle similar to the one that she got a close view of at the moment.
Her still Med-X soaked brain slowly calculated, based on the angle that the Rifle was being held and the position from which she heard her sister's voice that whoever was holding her was also pointing the rifle at her sister.
Was Tessa in trouble? Was the man that was holding The Plasma Bunny about to kill of the only blood relative that Mercy had left?
The little Rabbit cursed herself for being so weak and puny. She cursed herself for being so frail that the simple blood transfusion had brought her and her sister to Death's Door.
The weak little bunny felt a sudden surge of strength as she started feeling angry about all these combined factors and in that moment her hands latched onto the only thing that would give her enough leverage to free herself and her sister from this situaion.
She latched onto an exposed piece of the Stranger's (Markus') underwear and pulled with all her strength causing not only the cloth of the undergarmet to constrict on the Stranger's tender bits, but also served to suddenly force the Stranger's upper body to arch backwards.
The stranger now had only two option, release the suddenly superhumanly strong girl that was giving him the wedgie of a lifetime (A Plasma Wedgie) or risk toppling backwards with said superhumanly strong girl still attached to him giving the Elder sister a free shot with her knife.
Markus immediately lurched back, pain made his strength falter faster, and he tumbled over. He didn't INTEND to land mostly om her, but he didn't mind karma working. As it stood, he dropped his rifle but didn't have the blade on him anymore. Although if the drug addled, unappreciative girls tried to kill him for one of them waking up, he'd die by this. He didn't care anyways, he was half starved anyways.
"Just kill me, you want to anyways." His voice was hollow, emotionless. This was another humiliation to add to his ever growing pile. If he were to die, he'd make them feel as bad as possible first.
"Just kill me, you want to anyways."
If this was a year back, she wouldn't hesitate. While tempting, she was not that kind of person anymore, especially after...well, lets not get into that.
"I'm not going to kill you, neither will my sister." She extended her hand to help Markus up, bent down and handed his rifle back to him. "We panicked. If one of us is in danger, or if it sounds like danger, we'll react."
She dropped her aggressive stance and tone, "I'm sorry, just put yourself in my shoes. If you had to hear somebody you care about crying for help, you would react the same way."
Tessa lead the group directly home this time, she just could not shake the feeling about this guy, but she was now officially branding herself as paranoid as of this moment. It was evident that she needed something to eat and a good nights rest.
Unbolting the door to her home, she stepped inside and shut the door after everyone else had entered.
The Billowing Bunny Brothel
Feeling relieved to be home, she addressed Markus in a more relaxed tone. "You look starved, consider the two brahmin steaks, the nuka-cola and couch yours." She turned to her little sister, giving her a kiss on the cheek. "Catch up on something to eat and drink, okay Mer-Mer? You look like you need it. I'm just going to have lastnight's caravan lunch...I want to talk to you later when we're more...alone...okay?"
She put her hand on her floating bundle of joy, Vera. "Thank you again, words can't really express how much - I'm grateful. Repair Rabbit will have you fixed up soon enough." She uttered with a smile. "Help me out, I want to get out cleaned up."
She tried not to lean on Vera too much. Rummaging around for a stimpack, she emptied the vial in her thigh for external wounds and made her way to the shower. Dropping the tattered dress without hesitation as she walked past everyone, Tessa made her way to the shower and had begun to wash the blood off her body.
She stayed in there for quite awhile, feeling simultaneously scared and shocked at what had happened to her. The hot water pounded her head as she crawled up in a ball, trying desperately to feel safe in her own home once more.
She felt terribly guilty about putting her sisters in danger.
"I'm sorry, just put yourself in my shoes. If you had to hear somebody you care about crying for help, you would react the same way."
No knife, no bullet. Simply a lecture. This surprised him, he supposed. He got up, slowly. Hunger was taking over, quickly. His thoughts turned dark, as the younger sister walked for herself, following Tessa and the robot. No apologies for almost getting him killed. No thank you for the expensive medicine he had used. Simply. Walked. Off.
Markus felt his eye twitch, as he stood in place. They confused him, a person who would speak so highly of family and turn on strangers who would offer help, ones who offered salvation.
'Savages.' The word presented itself in his mind, and his eyes widened. Yes, yes, savages is what they were. They were not worthy of being saved, they were savages. Now that he healed them, what would they do? Lead their selfish lives, unconcerned with others. They only cared for themselves, they would steal and kill, and all that would be his fault.
He turned around, and walked. He was silent, they would not notice him gone. He doubted they'd notice him their, unable to see past each other. Savages, weaklings of the wastes. Attachments to one close to you is how you die. It was about what had been done for them lately, and all Markus saw them do for him was take his medicine and threaten his life. They were capable of no more. Was he surprised? No, he had learned his lessons in the camp. His brother, he had stolen. He thought Markus would back up his alibi, because they had come from the same place. No, he deserved to get his hand severed for his arrogance. He would not help others, that was final. He would live his own life, others were simply wasting theirs on worthless pursuits of happiness, their greed made them lesser and weak and yet they would claim to be a better person than he. They weren't. They never would be. Only he knew the ways of the waste, everyone else was weak, everyone else was greedy, everyone else were SAVAGES.
Markus grinned. His acts of charity were done, he had let a man live, he had let a man accompany him and share in the spoils of war, and he had healed people. What had they done for him?
"Oh, hey there." Paul stumbled towards Markus, they had both taken to wandering apparently. Markus merely looked at him, a savage as any other. Reeking of booze, of greed. He almost looked surprised when Markus raised the rifle. He almost looked betrayed when the bullet rang out. He almost looked sad when the bullet hit, piercing through and causing a small explosion of gore as it went out the back.
Markus laughed as he took his sword and pick. He laughed all the way to the merchant.
The Rabbit Hole
After Vera was sure Tessa would be all right... and after 'accidentally' getting a peek at the Thievius Rabbitus as she undressed for her shower; the little eyebot chirped, and floated back to check on her little Plasma Bunny.
Vera lowered herself onto the floor next to Mercy, and started chirping and beeping to her in a way Vera hoped was reassuring. As much for herself as for Mercy.
'Reassuring Mercy'... huh.
Vera had no idea what it was about the newcomer that had... apparently vanished from the house almost as soon as he arrived. Something about him sparked Vera's circuitry the wrong way. She couldn't put her multitool on exactly why... but she resolved to keep her eye on him... assuming he ever came back. Vera was grateful for how he had helped her sisters, but... she really hoped he never came back. There was just... something wrong with him.
The Robobrain looked toward Martin and said, "This unit is named Dave. He is a tour guide for a building dedicated to me and a few other presidents considered by history to be the greats. I am George Washington, one of the settings this defaults to once asked about who it is or where it is from. I would prefer if you acted as if you were talking to me in the flesh then as this thing."
George Washington, one of our founding fathers and first president of this nation before it was wiped out by nuclear war. I guess its fitting that at least in some form the man who helped create this country saw it end. He seems to have some trouble reconciling this fact. As do many of the Robobrains that have other people programmed into them. I do not envy these creatures as having memories that don't belong to you must cause much psychological damage if the original person is still in there somewhere or another and I do believe that these people are in there. We are not machines. You cannot wipe memories and keep the brain intact. You can at most suppress them. - The Psychology of Robots Volume 2- Dr. Booker McGrath.
Great Khan Campsite, early morning
Malkos had agreed to their terms, shockingly. Hell, the beast was even smothering the fire. However, as amicable as the Deathclaw had been, Ollie would prefer to be on his way as quickly as possible. While Malkos headed away with his not insignificant catch of mares, tauros, and one dead Rattler. Ollie jogged up to the crest of the hill, and let out a shrill whistle. [Walker Instinct] Putting a hand to the ground, Ollie sensed the nightmares' slight vibrations, growing into a steady rumble as the remaining mounts galloped back to the camp. Allegre cantered up to Ollie, sniffing affectionately at his rider.
Ollie gently stroked the Nightmare's nose before hopping onto the saddle and corralling the horses down the hill. "Tie the Rattler to a saddle and get him upright. We're running behind. We can get there by nightfall if we go hard, so let's pack up and move!"
Five minutes later and the Khan's aptitude for traveling light had paid off. A few packs lashed to a pack mare comprised everything the Khans needed for a settlement. Within moments, the group had moved on, riding at a full gallop as the sun rose high in the sky, signalling another long, dry day ahead.
Fort Laramie, 11:00PM
Papa Regis stepped onto the front porch of the Khan Longhouse. It wasn't really a longhouse, just the big, old house they had discovered standing among the ruins of the fort. But it was tradition to make the largest building in a Khan settlement the longhouse, where members could meet at any time and be welcomed. A warm wind blew across Regis's weathered face.
"They're late," he said bluntly.
"Yeah, but like, it could be anything, man. You worry too much, dude. They'll be here, quick as a hopped up White-Tail racing a Nightmare." Jack blew a plume of smoke as he rocked gently back and forth in his chair overlooking the grounds.
"Yeah, but with everything that's been going on, I don't want to take any chances," said Regis. "If they aren't here by midnight, get Diane to take a group out looking for them. The last thing we need are more dead Khans. Honest to god, the towns are getting worse, even with everything we're doing."
"The Federales aren't like, holding out on us, are they?" drolled Jack. The old stoner was high as a kite, and only half paying attention to Regis's concern. He trusted Jack enough to confide in him, but not to expect much in the way of wisdom or advice.
"It's not that they aren't paying up for the protection fees, it's that they aren't holding up their end of the bargain. The fucking idiots haven't done a thing to deal with that Red Eyed Reaper fuck killing our guys, and a couple of our runners have seen Knuckleheads setting up shop in Cheyton. If the Raiders get any further west, we'll be cut off from our trade outposts."
"Dude, seriously, you are worrying way too much on this, you're harshing my mellow with all this doom and gloom business." moaned Jack. "I thought we like, came out here to get away from all that. We're top dogs around here, the people love us, and we've got the whole plains to ourselves."
"Whatever you say, Jack," huffed Regis, unconvinced. He stepped off the porch of the longhouse and wandered through the tents and campfires dotting the Fort. Makeshift walls built out of old cars and planks of sheet metal formed a solid barrier of defense around the interior, but Laramie was little more than a collection of old buildings and half collapsed ruins. But it was home, right on the riverbank, and a far more welcome sight than the desolate Red Rock Canyon. Food was plentiful, and they were close enough to Cheyton for steady trade.
But they were also on the frontline. A steady stream of refugees and pursuing raiders kept surging westward. Shows of force by the Khans had so far diverted the tide north and south of Laramie, but with the way things were looking, it was only a matter of time before they would need to make a stand. Regis wanted everybody to be prepared for that, and parties checking in late was first on the list of things that needed to be fixed.
Through a pair of binoculars, behind a bronze mask shaped in the face of the God of War himself, two eyes burning with a fiery hatred watched the camp from afar. The hated foe, treacherous and scheming, had made themselves a new home. How touching. How despicable. These profligates, content in their cradle of power, would soon face the retribution twenty years in the making.
From behind the hill, a thousand men, soldiers, bandits, desperadoes and tribals, all awaited the command. The figure atop the hill raised his hand, swiping it forward in a silent command. Under the cover of night, the host advanced, bristling with weapons, desperate, hungry, and itching for a fight.
The Monster of the East had returned.
Jacob thought to himself for a moment as Kaiden left, only speaking when he could guess the Super Mutant was long gone. "Redstone Camping Ground...." Jacob looked up at Jose, who was peering outside the flaps of the tent. "...isn't that to the West?"
"Mhmmm." Jose nodded before turning back to the doctor. "Are you all set here? I set out planning to have a safe place for use to rest before moving on, and that's been shot. I need to see if we settle here for a few hours so we can recover."
"What about these men?" Jacob gestured to the couple dozen lying on the many bed in the makeshift infirmary. "I can save them, but they'll be too weak to move far."
Jose rubbed his beard as he thought to himself. "Ask me that later, got too much to do." With that, Jose left, leaving Jacob to his work
After spending hours (at least, Jacob thought as much, as the tent blocked the suns light), tending to the wounded nomads, the doctor finally felt comfortable with leaving them for a few moments while he caught his breath. Emerging from his infirmary, Jacob had to cover his eyes to prevent from being blinded by the sudden change in light. Squinting, he could tell that the sun was nearly overhead, and the men of the caravan were sitting among the ruins of Fair Wanderings, eating a meager lunch.
"Where's Jose?" Jacob asked one of the men who decided to eat next to his tent. The man pointed down the "road" to a tent that had most of its fabric burned away, but the structure itself remained intact. Through a gaping hole, Jacob could see that Jose was holding his little "war council" with the squad leaders of his rangers and his supply manager in attendance.
Figuring that this involved his patients, Jacob took it upon himself to intrude. "So, how have our plans changed?" Brushing off the glares he could feel burning into him from the rangers, Jacob continued. "Out of the 200 or so that lived in the traveling town of Fair Wanderings, 23 remain. Out of those few, only 10 can walk, and not very far. The rest need to be carried."
The supply manager spoke, catching the doctor off guard. "How many of them do you think we can fit into a wagon?"
"Depends on the case, some can stand to sit, but others need to have room to lie down." Jacob closed his eyes for a moment as he tried to fit all of his charges into the brahmin-towed wagons. "You'll need three wagons to carry them all, along with giving those that can walk a place to rest."
Jose grumbled as he traced his finger along the map. "Three...can we manage that?"
The manager nodded. "We had a few wagons stocked light in case we got lucky on the return trip, we can move stuff around and free up the space."
The old man nodded as he looked to his rangers. "Okay, Squad 2 will protect the injured while the wagons take them back to Cheyton. I assume you'll want them put up in your hospital, Doc?" With a nod from Jacob, Jose continued. "At the same time, we'll get back on the interstate and head up to New Wheatland. When the injured get where they need to be, bring the wagons back and we'll either meet somewhere on the highway, or at the town. Any objections?" Nobody spoke, Jacob himself was already composing a message in his head to send with the wagons back to Cheyton. "All right, clear the wagons and prep the injured, we leave in an hour."
It had taken some time before Kaiden admitted to himself that he was lost. Being in a new place and not knowing which landmarks to look out for wasn't the best way to start peace keeping expeditions alone.If he could get back to the I-25 he would be able to find his way back, once the sun was back up at least. He jumped over the concrete divider that separated each side of the road, feeling compelled to be on the right hand side as he walked.
He chuckled to himself as he walked, thinking of how the others would react when they hear that the mighty warrior turned ambassador was so easily lost in the big bad world.
Once he picked up signs for the I-25 he felt much more confident and began to pick up his pace, going passed the point in which he joined this road from the open area beside it he continued taking the easy path when he came across two cars blocking the road at an angle that led to a billboard. He checked the ground and saw it was well worn going under the billboard, this had obviously been here a long time and had been used regularly. As stepped underneath the billboard however, he learned about assumptions and where they got you as he heard a *crack* followed by a *creak*
"Fu-" he half said as a rope snapped around his ankle, whipping him into the air and sending his head crashing to the ground. Instant knockout.
"This unit is named Dave. He is a tour guide for a building dedicated to me and a few other presidents considered by history to be the greats. I am George Washington, one of the settings this defaults to once asked about who it is or where it is from. I would prefer if you acted as if you were talking to me in the flesh then as this thing."
Which president was Washington again?
"My apologies sir... I was not aware."
I wish I knew how the hell these things worked...
God, this is awkward.
Joe leisurely strolled back towards the bar.
It was a nice day by wasteland standards.
Wyoming was a lot cooler than Arizona, California, and Utah.
Joe liked the cool weather. It saved him a lot of water. It also made his armor a lot comfier to wear.
There was also less sand around. Made seeing easier. Maybe he could arrange to be sent even further north on his next mission.
Ranger Maya Karr apparently got sent to do the exact same thing Joe was doing in Oregon. Oregon was supposed to be somewhat nicer than Wyoming. The wildlife wasn't as hostile, and the ocean air made the climate nice. She always got the good assignments. Joe always had a bit of a thing for her. There's something about a woman who can give you a lead lobotomy from a kilometer away, or murder you with her bare hands.
[Still translated from Southwestern tribal dialects which are usually corruptions of Spanglish, so if you speak one, you can understand most others.]
<"Now, when we get in there, I just need you to identify your friend. If you see someone behind me pull a weapon, just scream and hide under a table. I'll handle them.">
They came to a building. Joe couldn't read the sign though.
<"Is this the place?">
<"...I think so.">
The Rabbit's Hole: A Bunny Brothel
Mercy smiled at her sister and began munching down on the Brahmin steak, enjoying the savoriness of the meat mixed with the fizziness of the Nuka-Cola. It was a good dinner that provided her body with the iron and vitamins that she would need to replace the blood that she had donated to her sister.
As she ate, she noticed that Vera was hovering over her, almost protectively.
"Vera. I just wanted to thank you for everything that you did for Tessa and me. If it wasn't for you, I think that she and I would have been in deeper trouble than we already were." The youngest Rabbit said cheerfully as she started mentally examining Vera's chassis. The look was not unlike the kind of look that someone had when mentally undressing another person.
Realizing the look she was giving Vera, Mercy turned red for a moment before explaining herself.
"Sorry, Ver-Ver. I was just looking at your multitool and your Laser and thinking about how I could fine tune them." The girl explained before adding, "If you don't mind, I'd like to see if we can't replace that Widdle Waser with a Pulse Laser Cannon or Plasma Cannon?"
Flashback: Freeside, Undisclosed location
Very few people took Tessa Rabbit seriously and it was no mystery since she most certainly did not look the part. The part where she was the leader of one of the largest organised crime gangs in Freeside. After having Rothen "fall" on a knife and having crushed The Kings and integrated most of their members. Tessa had become the Queen of the Feral Rabbits.
You see, Tessa lacked the physical disposition and a certain measure of charisma to be a leader. However, she chose to lead through example and displays of skill. Many a person had shut their mouth after Tessa had decimated the lock on a safe in under 20 seconds, demonstrated her precision with a blade or discussed tactics to bypass security measures.
"We have him, Ma'am."
Tessa got to her feet, donned a rabbit-themed party mask and made her way to the cellar. Muffled shouts could be heard from the bound and gagged NCR soldier.
Bending down to talk to the man at an eye level, she was handed a sawn-off shotgun by one of her fellow Rabbits. All of whom were contained in the cellar.
"Private Dimitri! After a week, we discovered that you were responsible. Her name was Sonea by the way."
Her stare did not waver, but her smile under the mask grew maliciously.
"Tell me, how has the Freeside NCR being feeling for the past three months? Thirsty, hungry, clothing missing, equipment broken, shipments getting diverted, guns jammed, beds missing, toilets not working, water supply diverted to a septic tank. Any of this sound familiar?"
The soldier nodded profusely.
"How does it feel to be one of the street rats, hmm? We took away your food, your water, your clothing, we crippled your supplies, damaged your equipment and we were there while you slept."
She pressed the shotgun to his forehead and watched the tears fall down his face, letting his muffled screams of panic echo off the walls.
She pulled the trigger. And the "click" of an empty gun was this man's only relief.
"We aren't going to kill you. We aren't the NCR...You'll find that everything will return to normal AFTER you deliver a message. Do not fuck with us."
The Rabbit's Hole: A Bunny Brothel
"Enough!" Tessa muttered to herself while she lightly slapped her cheeks.
What's done is done and there was no point in beating herself up over anything. So today had not gone as planned. So what!? If she had lived to tell the tale a next day, then she was happy!
It didn't take much for our Thieving Rabbit to get back up on her feet, it seems. Grabbing one of the shower robes, she slipped on some new underwear from the auto-wash and let her hair run loose for once.
Entering the dining area, she noticed the absence of their guest. Shrugging with a sense of relief, she took a seat next to Vera and Mercy. "Hell of a day, huh? I'm starting to think Cheyton sucks. I mean The Poison Rabbit, The Drunken Rabbit, The Rabbit Run - None of my Freeside cons worked today!" she pouted childishly. "Freakin' law in this town is redonk, yo!"
Like a feral rabbit (no relation to the gang this time), she scarfed down her brahmin steak. She also got out two glasses, for her sister and herself, and cut the nuka-cola with some vodka.
"Which reminds me, I hauled back some spare electro-thingy's. Maybe some of it can help out, Vera?"
Downing her drink in a very unladylike manner, she waited for the inevitable burn of the vodka on the way down.
She loved that feeling. Cleared the world of all her worries as a silly grin spread across her face.
"So, tell me..." For once, she actually managed to get a look at her sister's now extensively modified plasma pistol. It looked expensive, which meant that she was tempted to -
NO! Rule #1: No stealing from friends or family.
"...what did I actually get for you today? Because all I know is that the one thingy was blocky and the other thingy was roundish."
She had emphasised the "I" with a smirk.
The Rabbit Hole
Vera chimed wistfully as she watched the Little Plasma Bunny eat her brahmin steak, and Vera practically sighed in mournful ecstasy when Mercy gulped down the Nuka-Cola. I miss that... but wait... how can I? I've... never really eaten anything, unless you count absorbing energy from batteries and power cells. Why did... dad have to give me her memories of eating on top of everything else?
"Vera. I just wanted to thank you for everything that you did for Tessa and me. If it wasn't for you, I think that she and I would have been in deeper trouble than we already were." The youngest Rabbit said cheerfully as she started mentally examining Vera's chassis. The look was not unlike the kind of look that someone had when mentally undressing another person.
Realizing the look she was giving Vera, Mercy turned red for a moment before explaining herself.
"Sorry, Ver-Ver. I was just looking at your multitool and your Laser and thinking about how I could fine tune them." [/b[
On hearing that, Vera started playing some music you'd expect to hear in a cabaret and started dancing back in forth in the air, in as suggestive a way as a flying beach ball could.
[b]The girl explained before adding, "If you don't mind, I'd like to see if we can't replace that Widdle Waser with a Pulse Laser Cannon or Plasma Cannon?"
Vera let out a single, drawn-out, excited chirp, and bounced up and down in the air, shutting off the music in the process. Then Vera quickly, but carefully lowered herself to be right next to Mercy's head, and gently nuzzled the Plasma Bunny's reddened cheek with her faceplate.
Further Down the Rabbit's Hole - Halo 10
As The Plasma Rabbit was being nuzzled by the Floating Metallic Bunny known as Vera, Tessa entered and quickly scarfed down the last of the Brahmin steak quicker than you could say "Jack Rabbit Springs."
Stifling a giggle from the nuzzling, Mercy picked the Love Ball from the air and placed her in Mercy's lap, before turning her full attention to her pouting sister.
"Hell of a day, huh? I'm starting to think Cheyton sucks. I mean The Poison Rabbit, The Drunken Rabbit, The Rabbit Run - None of my Freeside cons worked today!" she pouted childishly. "Freakin' law in this town is redonk, yo!"
The last comment causing the youngest Rabbit to burst into laughter as she daintily sipped on the Nuka-Cola and Vodka, the taste of which caused her taste buds to almost literally explode in her mouth, kind of like when you mix Nuka Cola Quantum with certain House Hold Chemicals. This was Vodka right?
Shaking that thought out of her head, she serious-ed herself up for a moment.
"You know what Darwin said, sissy, in order to survive and thrive, you have to adapt to your environment." She commented as she suppressed her urge to burp at that moment.
"The way I see it, we can do one of two things. We can either go straight and make a living the same way everyone else does around here." The Plasma Rabbit said, though her voice betrayed that she knew that her sissy would be less than thrilled at the idea and internally, her mind told her that it was a less than stellar idea given the state of the Cheyton slums the Sisters had to pass through to get to the Brahmin herd.
"Or we can come up with new plans." She said cheerfully as she took another sip of the Nuka-Cola and Vodka(?).
As her sister mulled over the idea, Mercy took a look at the "spare electro-thingy" that her sister had brought back.
"Model CP-105.2, Cattle Prod Mark II." The girl said absently at the cylindrical device, turning it on at allowing the sparks to dance between the contacts before looking down at Vera.
"It's not much, V, but it might have to do until -" The youngest Rabbit said before she let out the burp that had been lurking in her stomach.
Now that was a bit of a sight. The rapidly escaping gasses that had exited Mercy's tiny stomach made contact with the electrical arc that danced up and down the Cattle Prod and combusted into a great big blue ball of flame.
"Excuse me..." Mer-Mer said with a smirk before she looked down at Vera and smiled, knowing that this would be infinitely better than any old plasma cannon. Did her sister do this intentionally knowing that the combination of Nuka-Cola and Vodka(?) would be this flammable?
"Sissy! You're an absolute genius!" The girl exclaimed as she started designing a storage and delivery system in her mind that she could install on Vera. It was at that point that she noticed that Tess was looking at the Home-Made Plasma Pistol.
"...what did I actually get for you today? Because all I know is that the one thingy was blocky and the other thingy was roundish." She had emphasized the "I" with a smirk.
Handing her sister the Plasma Pistol, she pointed at the two parts that her sister had acquired for her.
"Well that's part there is a Plasma pistol magnetic accelerator." She said as she pointed towards the reinforced circular thingy. "It's supposed to increase velocity of a plasma bolt. Since plasma has a magnetic charge, it does this by using a series of electro magnets to propel the bolt forward out of the barrel. The other part you got for me is a Plasma Pistol Hi-Energy Ionizer. It removes the free electrons that are floating inside the Plasma Bolt and allows it the Plasma to be in a more condensed state and causes more damage when it hits."
Looking at the glazed, glass-eyed look that her sister was expressing, Mercy smiled before adding.
"They're everything a Growing Little Sister needs."
The Rabbit Hole: A mixed bag of Rabbits
"You know what Darwin said, sissy, in order to survive and thrive, you have to adapt to your environment."
"Who's Darwin? And when did he say that about mmmm-me?" Tessa last word was muffled by her mouth being stuffed with food while digging through the fridge. "Well, whatever your boyfriend said, he's got a point."
Sitting down with the remaining caravan lunch, she pushed it to the middle of the table in case her sister wanted to share. "Moving to Cheyton kinda stripped me of all my resources, influence, street-cred -...hell, I forgot what it's like to be alone."
The moment Mercy made any mention of honest work, her face had scrunched up in disapproval. "Ehhhhhh, I'm too cute for manual labour. Besides, we have a few caps over a thousand now. We'll pretty well off for now."
Mixing more nuka-cola with vodka. "With this Knucklehead crap, we also have to keep a low-profile. What do you think about taking the fight to them? It worked on the NCR..." Tessa had a few ideas in mind, but she had no idea where to start. "Or we can steer clear from any borrowing from the market. How do you feel about good ol' fashioned house break-ins? It'll be exciting!"
After a moment's pause, she was exposed to the sight of her sister momentarily burping fire.
"Sissy! You're an absolute genius!"
Sitting back in her chair, she tried to play off that comment. "Well yeah, tell me something new." Slick. Wait...why was she a genius?
After her brief explanation of the modifications to her plasma pistol, Tessa concluded with a more-to-the-point summary. "Soooooo, this one makes the green stuff go faster and this one makes someone's day even worse. Got it!" She felt smart for understanding...somewhat. Silver star at least.
Trotting across the room to fetch her wrist-mounted throwing knives. She took a position furthest from Mercy and threw each blade in rapid succession. Two had embedded themselves a mere millimeter on either side of Mercy's ears. The final blade had twisted horizontally mid-flight and faced Mercy neck, again, a few millimeters away.
"Thank you for the present. They work lovely, by the way!" She winked impishly, hoping she didn't scare her sister to death.
The smile had lost it's weight though as she grew more serious. "And for earlier. Nobody has cared for me like that. Nobody would ever do that. Guess we really are blood relatives now." She wasn't quite used to having a heart-to-heart, so she wasn't sure if the thank you sounded half-assed or actually had some weight behind it.
Touching the cut on her lip. She commented with her usual teasing tone with a wink to her sister. "There never really was a contest, but now you're really the pretty one. You're gonna get all the guys and girls now!"
The Rabbit Hole
Vera was practically drunk with glee when The Littlest Plasma Bunny mentioned outfitting her with a rum-and-Nuka powered flamethrower. AWESOME!!!! And... with my energy replication track adapted to this... hmm... depending on how Mercy integrates it into my systems... I could be able to either A) fire continuously for long periods of time and over long distances... hmm... probably... carry the five... duration of 20 minutes before having to stop and get/make more, and able to project it over 25 feet. Or B) short distance fire projection (ten feet), short duration (eight minutes at most), BUT the cattle prod would essentially be turned into an arc projector with decent range (15 feet), and kick (a quick burst from it could stun people, especially anyone in power armor) Hmm... but how do I communicate this to her? Hmm...
Vera tried her voice synthesizer again. It started to read out again.
"Voice synthesization 85% complete. Please restart systems to complete process."
Without any warning, Vera suddenly blacked out, and fell onto the floor, rolling around again.
Jacob fluttered in and out of consciousness as he sat on the back of a caravan wagon. His energy was mostly spent, with no rest for a day and a half, coupled with dealing with massacre survivors and moving them to the spare wagons, it was amazing he hadn't passed out sooner.
He was only woken from his sleepy stupor when the wagon suddenly stopped, almost pushing Jacob off the wagon's ledge. "Hey, is that a body hanging over there?" The doctor's eyes fluttered open as he saw a trader pointing over to a billboard down an exit road. Squinting to see past the glare, Jacob could that something certainly was hanging beneath the sign.
"Squad 3, let's go see. Doc, you come with." Jacob could hear Jose already going to check the hanging figure out, and after a long yawn, he followed.
After a cautious trip down the road, the group could now clearly see that the figure wasn't hanging, but was in fact snared by the foot. On top of that, it was a Super Mutant. "Wow, someone caught a big boy..." One of the Rangers prodded the Mutant's body with his rifle, but Jose pulled him back.
"It's the Super Mutant that saved the kid back in the town. What was his name?" Jose moved towards the billboard to find the anchor that was tied to the snare, already planning to release him.
"It's 'Kaiden'." Jacob got a little jolt of energy seeing someone in need, especially someone he knew had some good karma to be repaid. "I recommend waking him up first before you do that." Jacob directed this to Jose, who had found the anchor. "He's too heavy to catch, and I doubt he wants another concussion. Someone give me a boost."
With a willing Ranger helping him up, Jacob pulled out a syringe of Jet and jabbed it into Kaiden's shoulder. While such a drug would've gotten a normal person high as a kite, one shot wouldn't do much beyond send a good shock through a Super Mutant's system.
The man stored away the last of his tools into the toolbox and pulled out a clean rag to wipe the sweat from his brow. He looked up at the huge machine, labelled 'Water Purifier 2' he took comfort knowing he had done a good job supplying... People... With clean water.
"Great work...Fancy a beer?" Called a muffled voice from behind. The man turned to respond when the room, the man, everything became blurry and hard to see.
I-25, Side Road
Kaiden woke with a sudden jolt, his heart racing and his head pounding. He thrashed a little with the initial confusion and vertigo, before setting eyes upon the doctor. Kaiden quickly settled when he realised he was in good hands. 'It seems I owe you this time, Doctor?' He asked, hoping the man would respond with his actual name.
Kaiden looked above him, working out how best to get down, his left leg was snared and the lack of blood made it difficult to to try to wriggle his foot free. He began to sit up, reaching for the rope he was snared with in the hopes of pulling himsel free and making a less dangerous landing than a head first one. Somebody thought ill of that however, and fired a bullet right next to his leg, missing by inches. Kaiden fell back and scanned the upside down surroundings. 14 men had closed in on them and taken cover, one of them, probably the leader stood in open view, aiming his still smoking rifle at Kaiden and the doctor.
"Well lookie here boys!" He yelled with a hillbilly sounding voice, "We got us a big one, a damned super mutant, and looks like he brought us some friends for the yogi's to chew on" The other men took up positions aiming at the group now. "Now don't y'all do anything stupid ya hear? Kay down those weapons and we can make this quick an' easy"