One week ago the rogue hitwoman known as “Shrike” attacked New Vegas, targeting its ruler, Josey Wales. She killed Wales’ closest associates, with the exception of Craig Boone. Wales and Boone have been missing since Shrike’s attack and Shrike herself has been in the wind, although there is rumor that in the time since she has continued her murder spree around the country. Working alongside Shrike are two men: Thomas Hamilton and Randall Clark, both notorious killers in their own right.
Shrike slowly advances her plan to kill those she has deemed necessary, regardless of the collateral damage inflicted. Meanwhile, those Shrike pursues prepare. Will a competent defense form against her in time or will Shrike achieve her goal of ending the Legends of the Wastes?
1. The date is June 30, 2290.
2. You can be a Human, Ghoul, Supermutant, or Synth.
3. You must post a character card before posting. You can have as many characters as you want, provided that you can handle it.
4. Don't be OP (should speak for itself). VATS is disabled. Guns and gun wounds work like real life. You cannot survive three bullets to the head, et cetera. Armored characters be it metal or skin obviously have the edge.
5. You cannot kill (or control) other people's characters, without their consent. Same goes for amputations and maiming. Named NPCs cannot be directly controlled by the players, without the GM's permission, for story purposes.
6. Take the RP seriously, shit posting will get you banned. I don't care how bored you are or how many pets you've lost. Don't hijack the story and change its purpose, you're more than welcome to make your own RP doing that. Anyone who leaves (without a good reason) will not be allowed back in. This is to stop people from taking the RP hostage, by constantly leaving/threatening to leave.
7. Please use common sense when adding a character. The story relies upon the inherent threat Shrike presents. Do not make a character that Shrike would have no desire to kill (such as a bag merchant) or a character that Shrike would be incapable of killing. If your character can’t be hurt by Shrike, doesn’t care about Shrike, or isn’t afraid of Shrike, then what the heck would they be doing here?
S. P. E. C. I. A. L. (Optional):
Tag Skills (Optional):
Background: Keep in mind that your character’s background is the reason they were contacted by Miller or Shrike is coming after them. Refer to rule #7.
The new coalition planned to divide up based upon objectives. One group is planning to be headed for the Big Empty to search for a weakness for Shrike, while the other two plan to get clues on Randall or Hamilton.
It was eventually decided that Morgan Jones, Josey Wales, Denis Callaghan, Brutus, Harriot Walker, Wilkes Walker, Rick Deere, and Paul Morgan would head to the Big Empty. Tanner Collins, William Van De Poorter, Timothy Ashford, Tyrus Carr, Evangeline Winfield, and Shanks would be heading to San Francisco.
In the Big Empty, the Vertibird designated Devil 2 crashed into a crystal filled trench.
At San Francisco, Timothy Ashford ran into an unhelpful whaler, and Willy drew the eye of the Yakuza.
In the Big Empty, the crew of Devil 2 came up against THE RAT GOD, an undoubtedly worthy adversary who will most certainly destroy them. They've gotten through spore carrier forests and communist ghouls of Little Yangtze. They must press forwards to X-13 so that they can claim valuable tech to use against Shrike. After killing Rat God in X-8, rescuing Mobius, and retrieving Muggy and a Sonic Emitter from the Sink, they were ready to crack open X-13 and get valuable tech to use against Shrike.
In San Francisco, Willy was captured by the Yakuza and brought to Kabu Chotto. He was rescued by Eva, but it incited a shootout in Chotto's club between the crew of the Devil 1 and the Japanese gangsters. After defeating second lieutenant Inchi's crew, they got some information out of Chotto about Shrike and Randall, mainly Shrike's interest in the Steel Palace and Randall's severence of ties with the Yakuza. They headed to the Steel Palace.
Inside the Steel Palace, Eva met with Chairman Qin, the head of the Shi, who had no knowledge of Shrike.
Tim and Willy are about to receive some training from Ju Yung, the same woman who possibly trained Shrike, although the ages don't line up.
And those who were previously in the Big Empty know find themselves in the Divide, being briefed by Ulysses on the dangers of the Divide and Shrike's intentions. It appears the hitwoman intends to wake the giants of the Divide for usage against her enemies.
Oh, and Shanks is enabling Tanner's alcoholism. Tyrus joined them.
In the Divide, Paul Morgan and Morgan Jones fought against Shrike, and held their own long enough for Denis to lead the rest of their group below Abaddon, to disarm the missiles before Shrike can use them.
Reno was a handful of things. Dirty. Corrupt. Maybe evil, if you spun it the right way. Dead wasn’t one of them. There was a reason they used to call it “The Biggest Little City in the World.” A stupid name made up by stupider people, but it wasn’t inaccurate.
Randall pruned the blade of his knife, looking out over it. He wondered if they still remembered him here, but didn’t care much. His life here had been empty. Soulless. It felt like a bad dream compared to what had followed. In the grand scheme of the nightmare that had been Randall’s life, Reno was worst of it. Joining the Yakuza had been the best thing he’d ever done—it’d put this city behind him. And now he was back.
The air hummed, not perceptibly, anyone else would’ve missed it, but just enough for Randall turn his head in the right direction, so that he could stare straight at Shrike when she appeared. He grinned wide at her. It was important, when faced with an animal that was bigger and tougher than you were, to appear as if you weren’t frightened by it. The more cornered you were, the less you acted like it bothered you, the harder you hit.
“Havin’ trouble?” Randall drawled.
Shrike looked little worse for wear than she had a few hours ago. Her armor was scored, marked by blades and bullets. The woman herself appeared uninjured, but that didn’t mean she hadn’t been bled.
“Josey’s teleporter shorted out when it came into contact with other Big Mountain technologies.” Shrike said, shortly. “It placed me in Portugal.”
Randall cocked his head at that. “Where? That in Florida?”
“Never mind.” The hitwoman crossed the room to him, where he was looking out the window, watching the Bishops’ casino. “Have you noticed anything?”
“Nah.” Randall said, edge of his knife screeching as he drew a stone across it. “Not a thing. Ain’t a problem yet. People like them… won’t come out ‘till night falls. That’s when we see how they move.”
“I only care to see if they do something different.” Shrike said. “It means someone talked to them.”
“Don’t see why you care.”
“In war, you feel out your enemy’s lines of communication first, where their information comes from.” Shrike said. “They’re too prepared for me to make it efficient. I won’t be able to get them all in one go. But if I can trace their paths, know where they’ll go, how they react, I pick them off at which point.”
“Why’re you telling me any of this, I don’t care.” Randall said, looking down.
“I’m including you in my plans.” Shrike said, narrowing her eyes at him. “You wanted information.”
“I only care about one kinda information. Lady, if you ain’t going to help me, I’ll just go to the Denis guy myself.”
“He’d sooner shoot you.”
“Then, I’ll, eh, cut his hands off first. The longer you dance around it, the less I think you know.”
“You don’t honestly believe I’d lie?”
“Fuck, you’re capable of a lot more than lying.” Randall sat back in his seat, getting a good, genuine chuckle out of that. It sounded like a pair of dice rattling around in an empty can. “I think pulling my fucking leg would be by far the softest of the shit you’ve done.”
“Randall.” Shrike began, patiently, but a dangerous edge was beginning to work its way into her words. “I’m a lot of things. But a liar isn’t one of them. I keep my word.”
He only grumbled with begrudging acceptance. He supposed that was true enough. “Don’t see any reason you have to not kill me too once this is over.” He muttered.
“Maybe I will.” Shrike said, smirking. “But you’ll probably try to kill me first. I won’t feel too guilty.” She turned from him. “Do as I’ve said. I have other things to take care of.”
“Got away from you again, didn’t he?” Randall said quickly, before she was gone. She halted in her tracks. “Wales. Hell, not just him now. All of ‘em? All fucking slipped out of your fingers. Had ‘em all, and lost ‘em all too.” He laughed, mockingly. “Oh man, I wished I coulda seen the look on your face. Bet it was priceless.”
Shrike said nothing, and vanished without a sound.
“Don’t know nothing about no fucking samurai.” Randall spat at where she had been standing a moment before. “Arrogant bitch.”
She had him by the balls—no, by the throat. That was a more accurate analogy. And as long as the jaws were tight, he had to do as she said. But when they loosened, Randall’d slip free and be gone. Everyone let their guard down soon enough, even people like her. All Randall needed was one moment. Caesar, the NCR, those volcano people. If Randall was good at one thing, it was getting out of tough situations. This wasn’t like any other. At least, he told himself as much.
"Partner, you can tell all that 'cause I missed a clay pigeon?" Josey said, sounding pretty skeptical of Tyrus voodoo-zen bullshit. "Best time to shoot someone is when you're angry. Angry makes you tough. Angry gets shit done."
Psychomantis108 wrote: Kayleigh didn't seem to react at first before slowly turning around on her chair, her expression was sort of blank at first before seeing who it was.
"Shanks? You're back and okay. That's good to see."
"Yeah, it was really nothing", he said, slightly bashful, trying his best to hide his enthusiasm over the fact that someone was happy to see him alive again.
The fact that his fluffy tail whipped around eagerly like it had a mind of its down, didn't exactly help, so he tried to hide it behind the doorframe.
He cleared his throat of flim. "Listen, uhm... mea- I mean, Kay! I don't know what stories Naomi or that old zombie Hancock might have told you about me and all, but I was just wondering whether you'd be up for like... you know... grabbing a drink with me later on? Just sit down, relax and have a chat or so?"
"Oh, you hardly do. Leaders get more high maintenance and their people think that everything is sunshine and rainbows, to the point that they end up falling out." Denis smirked, snapping the last piece into place to create, what was basically, the knee.
Shanks grabbed a couple of bottles of stored beer from the fridge. He expected that they were some kind of locally produced swill, not at all the kind that they used to brew back when the world was still a shining example of why it was a mistake to nuke it: they knew how to make their drinks. Still it was cold enough.
He sat down as close to Kay as he could, flipping over the caps with a sharpened claw. "It can even be flavoured with nuts", he put in, handing a bottle over to the woman.
Foam and saliva started to seep out through the corners of Shanks' elongated mouth, and he quickly wiped it off on the sleeve, fearing that Kayleigh would notice. He didn't want to turn her off more than he already assumed that his canine appearance did.
"Meat, you are a fucking life saver", he praised the little man. "Normally I'd have to scavenge the kitchens of luxury hotels for this kind of stuff." He eagerly broke the thing open with one of his sharp teeth, savouring some of the juices as they came pouring out. "Smell that, meat? That's the nectar of life."
This wasn't exactly the conversation Shanks had been expecting. Though he didn't want to come off as a total ass and tell Willy to go somewhere else, he had other things in mind to talk about than ice cream and mutfruit. With Kayleigh. Preferably alone...
"It's unlocked." Miller called through to Tim. Upon opening the door, the masked man would find Miller sitting behind a small desk, neat stacks of paper in front of him. He sat back in a chair, poring over a cluster of documents.
"What did you need?" Miller asked, briefly glancing up.
Shanks really didn't want to touch the subject more than he had to. Though his amnesia came and went, it was hard for him to completely forget about the abuse growing up.
"He was a mean old bastard", Shanks said. "Military man who fought in campaigns all over the world. You easily got the impression that he really didn't want kids. But then he and mom had me, and he had do to with what he could with the unwelcome surprise he was given: another soldier to carry on his legacy. No fun. No game. No play. Just..." He grimaced. "Order and discipline", he ended.
This wasn't the way he wanted his date to be. He wanted to whisper sweet and naughty things in Kayleigh's ears, and get happily drunk with her, instead of moping about yet another shitty childhood he assumed the rest of these misfits had.
A faint flicker on the monitor revealed a line of code too confused and meshed to read before the screen turned back to normal. The computer must've glitched due to some power surge or failiure... or something... Who knew with these weird machines from before the war. Most wastelanders only knew that if you pulled them apart you couldn't put them back together as easily.
Yes Man glitched too. Just for a second, his monitor flickered. This wasn't just localized to one computer in the building, it was the whole mainframe.
the computer suddenly said. Despite the brevity and simplicity of that phrase, it came out all wrong. Mangled, not at all like speech really, more like a machine loading something. Inhuman. And yet... It did say: "I am."
The screen kept its bright green hue. Nobody spoke, but the sound of the computer, it definitely sounded like it was running something big and powerful. It hummed and buzzed with power. Randall appeared insignificant in front of the giant monitor.
But reveal its secrets it did not. As if Randall was too insignificant to diginify with a response.
The computer continued whatever it was doing, seemingly unperturbed by Randall. It was just a machine after all. It needed commands, input, something.
A wide array of buttons lay before the ex yakuza/slaver. All of them lit up by the bright green light of the screen. It was so bright that looking directly at it hurt your eyes, and they would especially hurt Randall's.
The artificial light created long shadows where it couldn't reach.
The first five button presses didn't appear to be doing anything, neither did the sixth or the seventh... but the eighth caused the screen to instantly turn black, the computer to stop humming and complete and utter silence to return.
Not soon after the computer rebooted, revealing lines of code on the start up screen like it usually did, but instead of data clusters and information of that ilk it read, very neatly in lines that stretched down to the bottom of the screen:
i am i am i am i am i am i am i am i am...
Then the computer loaded up and the screen turned on to its normal dark green hue it had always been. It's humming too, was just like it had been before. Everything seemed normal, once again.
"We got some good tech. We also had an altercation with Shrike." Denis pointed out.
"So, hopefully we've got a lot off of it."
Naomi had been in her room, unaware that anyone had come back. It wasn't obvious what she was doing in there but the door was open.
Kayleigh gave him a meak smile, still finding it hard to imagine being brought up in a world where everyone was set against you. Everyone was always kind to her, so it made it hard for her to grasp, no matter how hard she tried.
"So I take it that you're quite old at this point? Do you remember how old?"
Kayleigh gave him a meak smile, still finding it hard to imagine being brought up in a world where everyone was set against you. Everyone was always kind to her, so it made it hard for her to grasp, no matter how hard she tried.
"So I take it that you're quite old at this point? Do you remember how old?"
Not that he reckoned that he'd have any chances with this sweetheart, but if there was a snowball's chance in hell that she would be able to look past his trainwreck of appearance, then maybe mentioning just how old he was would nullify that as well. Nevertheless, she had asked, and he would reply.
"Oh... uhm... I must be around..." He did some counting on his claws as he did the headcount. "About 240 years? 243, I think."
If that doesn't put a damper on things, I don't know what will.
The Retroriffic Man wrote: the computer opened up tabs for Randall that corresponded with the buttons he pressed. Whatever had caused the thing to malfunction before, it seemed to have resolved itself now.
Randall slapped the console for good measure, just to make sure it was really off now.
Evangeline smiled upon Tanner's return. "You are back", she said weakly, trying her best to hide her enthusiasm.
"Alright, just lie back, so I can get a good look." Denis instructed, pulling his gloves up.
"What? Oh, right."
She grimaced and lied back, breathing heavily. Though it wasn't the first time she had been shot, it was definitely the worst condition she had been in.
"Like Hancock?" The Redhead teased as Willy started complaining.
"Hancock's mug is pretty enough", Shanks chuckled. "But I sort of had other faces in mind", he said eyeing her, probably leaving little imagination as to what was going through his mind at the moment. "You are very good-looking, if that's not too bold of me to say?"
He nodded. "I do..." A wicked grin appeared on his elongated face. "... under the right circumstances." As he didn't want to push his luck, he toned down the subject, pointing to the fluff underneath his chin. "See this? Most of the meat I encounter think that more fur equals more heat and warmth, but what they don't know is that this acts as an insulator. It's only during extremely hot days on end that it does become rather unbearable."
"Yeah", he chuckled. "I mean, hell, I didn't even know half of this stuff back when... well, back when I had smooth skin, and the only fur I had to worry about was the stubble on my cheek when checking the bathroom mirror in the mornings. I guess it's just something you learn after having been transformed into a household pet."
Josey spat at Tyrus' feet. "You can kindly fuck off." He said, pointing a finger at the man. "I didn't come out here to take shit from you. Don't care for it none, don't need it none. Take your precious gun, shove it up your ass, and pull the trigger 'till it clicks. That's what I think of your talk, and that's all I hear. Talk."
Shanks had no idea where this was going, awkward as it was. But he found it to be rather entertaining. "I am warning you though. There's a lot of fluff there. I will probably not feel a thing with those small delicate hands of yours."
"Honestly? The first time, I broke down, the second that I left the room... was sick several times in the night and slept with the lights on and a knife under my pillow.
After a week of it though? It got more dull than anything, given that he repeated himself so much that I thought Naomi was testing me, by playing a broken record. So I offered to take him up on the offer, if he answered my questions.
He was kinda disarmed by that, so that made it a bit easier to win him over, she he'd tell me what I wanted to know. Struck up a deal, to let him go if he told me everything and he did. So, then I shot him in the head." The Yeoman shrugged, taking a sip of drink as she, somewhat casually, mentioned that.
"That's kind of hot, to be honest", Shanks smirked. "I like women with a 'no bullshit' attitude like that. They may not like me as much, of course, because of..." He gestured to himself. "Well, I mean, look at me. Ain't gonna win any beauty competitions anytime soon. For dogs or people alike."
"Beauty contests are bullshit anyway, Shanks. You should win something that requires skill, not something that requires you to be squeezed out by a pretty mother and a handsome dad." Kayleigh pointed out, though she did see how easy that was to say in her shoes.
"That actually makes me feel a bit better, toots." Shanks said in all honesty, making an effort as to not call her meat. "But if I were to start lining up the things I am skilled in, we are going to need a whole lot more beer."
"I mean..." Tanner thought on it a moment, sitting down in the chair next to her bedside. "Yeah, but nothing that makes good conversation. A lot of violence, mainly. Me hurting people, or them hurting me. Nothing I'm proud of."
"The hell's this supposed to prove anyway?" Josey asked.
"It doesn't upset me, I was just speaking frankly." Tanner said. "If I talk about it honestly, yeah there were good bits. I helped me, really helped. And I've made friends, people I can trust. Just..." he bit the bottom of his lip, struggling to phrase what he wanted to say, "I don't know. I wish I didn't feel so... garbage all the time."
"But you are not though", Evangeline insisted. "These friends of yours must surely have made you see that. I can see that. Why would you feel that way when you have helped so many in their time of need?"
"Maybe I'm doing it just to make people like me." Tanner scratched his head. "Or because I feel like I have to. Other people do things because they feel like they need to. There's no voice inside of me crying out that things ought to be done. Like, if I could, I'd lie around all day do nothing. That's the honest truth. And I hate it."
This was a side of Tanner she hadn't seen before. She found it sad, but nevertheless beautiful in its naked honesty. She only wished that there was something she could do to help him, limited as she was at the moment.
"I am sorry you feel that way", she said. "You don't have to pretend for me though. I like you just the way you are, Tanner. Even if you so decided that you would want to lie down, I'd be there for you. Though it sounds to me like you lack a motivation in your life. Something to strive for, if you will. Maybe that's what you need?"
Lazarus Grimm wrote: "That actually makes me feel a bit better, toots." Shanks said in all honesty, making an effort as to not call her meat. "But if I were to start lining up the things I am skilled in, we are going to need a whole lot more beer."
"I guess we can add drinking to that list then." Kayleigh shrugged as she took a swig.
Hamilton had spent some time in the Diner, taking a while to eat very little. In truth, he wanted a drink, more than food but the Vault had a strict food and drink policy, that only allowed alcoholicbeverages, if bought with a meal. Mostly to stop people like Ellen Deloria from emptying the place out.
In truth, his mind was far away as he considered as to what he should do with that husk in there. Leaving her in a braindead prison didn’t feel like revenge, it felt more like giving up and walking away but if he did anything to her, would she even know?
Would she even respond to physical pain? Outside of a grimace or a groan? She doesn’t value anything in this world, anymore.
Nothing even properly existed to her now, apart from a few memories and delusions, brought on by her rotting brain.
This wasn’t as cathartic as he had hoped, seeing her in such a state, when she pretended to be a dignified woman.
If only she could see what she’s become... Just for a second. That’d be fantastic, just to get that look of shame and horror, a glimpse of consciousness before it was robbed of her.
He was so caught up in his train of thought, that he didn’t notice that someone had taken a seat, opposite him. The worn leather of the chair creaked under the weight of the elderly Hispanic gentleman, who slipped into the booth, staring Hamilton down with an icy glare.
He was top dog here or he was, once upon a time, until his little princess took over and succeeded his monarchy. Suppose he was still the Queen Mother around here...
Shame that being Top Dog means very little, when the man opposite is the predatory equivalent of a Tiger. The two Vault Dweller’s eyes met, with intense focus, a burning mutual hatred that made this small, crappy, pre-war aesthetic diner feel like Agua Fria.
“Thomas Hamilton...” Alphonse began, staring down at the Brahmin steak on the plate.
“I didn’t think I’d be seeing you again.”
There was a pause as Hamilton messed around with the vegetables, on his plate. Long since gone cold, moving them into patterns, to look disinterested.
“Sorry to disappoint.” The Slaver said, glancing up to the former Overseer, who now looked a little less than comfortable. He was used to dealing with delinquents but not people from the outside. He detested the thought of not having a ten inch steel door between them.
“Look; I know that I and the Vault owe you an apology.”
“For what?” Hamilton asked, it sounded like he was being coy but in truth, he wondered what Alphonse was referring to. Wolfe? His mother? The fact that they tried shooting at him, on the way out?
“Well, I feel that we failed you. In more ways than one.”
“Yeah, like when you failed to shoot me as I was trying to leave?”
Alphonse sighed, not really expecting this to go well but... Well, this was skin crawlingly bad.
“Look, I was expecting a lot of anger from you but...”
“What do you want, Alphonse? You’re not here to apologise, because you’ve never regretted a thing you’ve ever done in your life. Your apologies are as hollow as the rest of your words. So why don’t you just cut the shit and get to the point?”
Hamilton had little patience for this dancing around the point crap. He just wanted this old fool to be gone, so he could be left to his thoughts.
Still, this got through to Alphonse, who was disarmed but didn’t seem to be all that into putting up much of a fight anyway. Kind of depressing really...
“You spoke to Maeve today.”
Alphonse paused, taking a deep breath as he leant back, thinking a little before leaning forward.
“Look, I know that you’re angry at me and the Vault and everything to do with us but please, leave Maeve out of it.”
Hamilton, in truth, wasn’t exactly expecting that. He expected a talking down to or a ‘spare my daughter’ thing but why Maeve?
He supposed it would make sense for Maeve to be the one who died, so that Amata would blame her Father and his failings for years to come. Though he barely gave a rat’s ass about the Vault at this point and that girl was hardly the worst of them.
She was alright by him, in truth...
He’d killed kids before, not that it bothered him, the little monsters usually deserved it but this kid helped old people and played chess. It wasn’t like he was itching to shoot her or anything.
“Maeve came to me, Alphonse. We just happened to cross paths. So long as she doesn’t give me a reason, then she has nothing to fear from me.”
Alphonse didn’t seem to expect that, he nodded, falling back and looking a little withdrawn as that answer somewhat went against his expectations.
“She did speak highly of you. I hardly believed it was you, the way she...”
“Maybe if you listened to me, back then, you’d have seen the same.”
The former Overseer fell quiet, kind of a depressing reality. In truth, the little turd scared the bejesus out of him. He had the psyche profile of a school shooter, he just used to stare at people all day or read those old trite novels.
Alphonse slowly slid out of the booth, propping himself up, with his arm and faltering a little as he did so. In truth, he was quite relieved with how it went. Nobody even got killed or anything...
His hands slid into the grooves made on the table, probably Butch with that damnable switchblade of his as it slid along the dulling service of the dining table. In truth, he felt a little light headed from the shock of staring this cold-blooded killer down.
However, everything seemed to be okay, until...
“Who’s is she?”
At that point, the elderly overseer furrowed his brow, wondering what the devil the boy was on about. Was he just trying to get under his skin? Or did he know something?
“F-Freddy’s. She’s their daughter, Hamilton.”
The Cannibal’s lips formed a smile, one that would send shivers down the spine of anyone who knew how many people’s blood had stained them.
“I don’t believe you.”
Alphonse found himself wondering what he was on about, himself.
“Speculate all you want, Thomas Hamilton.”
“Oh, I will. I find it impossible to believe that the village idiot’s daughter contains none of his features and can cobble a sentence together.”
Alphonse furrowed his brow, his eyes shifted around the room. Hamilton struggled to read him but he knew one thing, he wasn’t sure how to proceed, which meant that a nerve had been hit touched.
“If I were you, I wouldn’t get too comfortable here. You’ll find that Amata’s hospitality is limited, when it comes to those like you.”
“Well, at least her hospitality has any form of limit.”
Alphonse had little to no intention of continuing this discussion, it was unlikely to end in a healthy place. He had made his position clear and it was unlikely he would get a direct result out of Hamilton today.
He left the Slaver alone, to finish building up the courage to eat his food and dwell on this enlightening conversation.
The way that Alphonse was acting was odd, cautious almost, like he didn’t know everything. That was very out of character for what Hamilton knew about the old dictator. He always knew everything or at least acted like it.
It would imply that he was being careful, because he knew something that Hamilton didn’t or at least something that he may not know. Something that he didn’t want to assume that his enemy would know...
This just got interesting.
Hamilton thought for a while, to find out about the Alvador family. Whether it was through the Overseer’s office or the Clinic. Clinic would be easier to break into, inferior security, both cyber and physical. If he could go routing around in the Dr’s office, he could potentially dig up some of Alphonse’s dirty little secrets.
In truth, he didn’t expect this to be important but he figured it would be more fun than trying to sleep. That and there’s no knowledge that isn’t power, right?
He knelt down before the large shutter, to the empty clinic, the lights were dimmed down to a night time simmer, to keep the path ahead visible, without blinding any tired eyes. It was kind of like a sun that never set.
He examined the shutter and noticed that there wasn’t even a lock on it, it looked like someone had busted it years ago, scratched the outer rim to hell and then cracked it open, with a bobby pin. The mechanism probably got damaged in the process.
The shutter slowly lifted to reveal the dark, empty surgery ahead. It was eerily reminiscent of an old horror film, a vacuum of life in this otherwise buzzing colony. He figured that he would be safer turning on his flash light, rather than the light switch as the engineering department could potentially see the light being used.
He approached the back room. James’ room. To think that he once spent a summer with the father of his mortal enemy and didn’t even realise it. To think that he thought that the whole world was just this place, a bleak, gun metal grey, dimly lit hole in the ground.
How he pitied his younger self...
As James’ door slid open, he observed that there was a terminal on the desk, up ahead. It was probably the same one, from when he used to do counselling visits, back in the day. It hadn’t changed much, though there was a motivational poster on the wall, due to Vault-Tec regulations going down the toilet.
Best place for them really.
He took a seat, opposite the terminal and got to work, cracking it open. It was quite an easy security system to bypass, not that he expected more out of this place.
A four character password was hardly what he’d expect for the Doctor’s terminal, given the sensitivity of the data on it. But this was Vault 101, he was looking at, so maybe he deserved the disappointment.
This thing was about as organized as the morgue, back at Paradise Falls. At least with Paradise Falls’ Morgue, it was just a pit, where they dumped bodies, whereas this was meant to be an actual hospital.
There were all kinds of files in there, medical check ups, autopsies and everything else were all just floating around for anyone to read. This thing was a nightmare, a bombardment of meaningless names and dates!
There was a lot of scrolling involved, which was tedious as all hell, given the length of the list and the fact that he could only go down one item at a time. He was tempted to go out and kill this Doctor for wasting so much of his goddamn time.
After half an hour of gut wrenching boredom, he finally reached one of the earliest entries on this thing.
He decided to take the plunge and look into it, seeing a rather rambley imail from Amata about her kid.
What I write to you is in the strictest confidence, it goes beyond Doctor/Patient confidentiality but it’s vital for the safety of little Maeve that I divulge this information.
Though her birth certificate states that Freddy is her Biological Father, he is not. He knows that he isn’t as I have made this clear to him, my father and now you. We are the only ones to ever know this.
Her Father is the Vault Exile, Denis Callaghan. I met him outside, around two years after his exile and our encounter resulted in the conception of Maeve. Given that the Vault was still in its isolatory phase at the time, you can probably understand my need to be discrete about this. That and Callaghan and his Father are still blamed for so many of the Vault’s problems, I don’t wish for my little girl to be judged for her Father’s mistakes.
We don’t plan to tell her or anyone besides you. You only need to know for medical reasons, not that we could keep it from you for long, given the disastrous result of the gene projection. I’m sure that Denis could explain what changed his DNA, were he here but sadly, I will just have to speculate that its a result of radiation.
Keep an eye out for any abnormalities and inform me of them on the Overseer’s terminal. Please only talk about issues related to this imail on there as I am the only one with access to it. Do not tell anyone about what I have disclosed to you, not even your staff. Nobody needs to know and if there’s any possibility that they will need to, then I will decide if it is to be disclosed.
Thank you for being so supportive.
“Well...” Hamilton sighed, leaning back in the Doctor’s chair and propping up his head.
"And what is there to strive for?" Tanner said, sitting back and nodding for Denis to do his work.
"I did, yes." Miller replied, in his paperwork.
Josey reloaded his revolver quickly. As with drawing and firing, it was a series of practiced movements and the action was done within only a few seconds.
Kicking the lever of the launcher several times, he released six clays into the air. The ceramics arced away, and started to fall. Josey set his hand on his revolver.
The pigeons dropped towards the ground in unisen, having followed a similar trajectory, fell at the same speed. Josey drew his weapon to his hip and fired otwice, and not one of the clays hit the ground whole, seeming to shatter instantaneously.
He pushed his duster back and stuck the revolver in its holster, not seeming pleased or surprised by his marksmanship.
Willy kept standing, since Miller hadn't offered him a seat or anything. He looked like a boy who would be holding a flatcap over his chest or crotch and nervously fiddle with it would he have been possession of one. Instead, the man stood rather awkwardly, not sure where to put or leave his hands.
"I, I'm vey thankful for all the food and hospitality you've shown me.... But..."
"W-well... I was wondering if I could maybe go back home?"
SkyrimsShillelagh wrote: "And what is there to strive for?" Tanner said, sitting back and nodding for Denis to do his work.
Evangeline winced as Denis began to do his surgery while she was still conscious. She did her best to focus on Tanner instead, and ignore for a fact that she was operated on live.
This wasn't exactly how she had imagined her evening to turn out, but she was nevertheless happy that the wound would be treated. She had just hoped that it wouldn't be under these sorts of circumstances that she would get to have a moment or two with Tanner.
"I could think of plenty of things", she said. "I know you like philosophy for an instance. It didn't escape me back at the World's Fair that you were quite passionate about the subject. Maybe you could spread and teach those learnings to those who lack that sort of aspect in their lives once this is done?"
She flinched as she felt cold steel graze against her insides. "If not..." she began slowly, her eyes wandered over to Denis for a moment, almost as if she wished that the doctor could've momentarily disappeared out of existance for what she was about to say, but she found herself halted once more by her own confidence and so fell silent.
"You... you are not worthless to me", she finished vaguely.
"Speaking of which", Shanks grinned and flipped his bottle over, demonstrating that it was empty. "I am dry. Want me to fetch you another?"
"You get half a bottle then", he teased, grabbing four more for himself in one hand, each neck between the fingers.
He sat down next to her with a pleased smile. He really didn't have any expectations as to where this was going, but it was nice to see a woman once in a while who could tolerate his presence without turning the other way.
DB Baxter wrote: Tyrus looked on with an amused yet surprised look on his face. "Alright... my turn," He stepped up.
"This ain't about proving shit." Josey said, wondering what was up with this guy. "Reckon everyone here can tool a pistol just fine. The point's that I don't need no eastcoaster telling me my business."
He gestured to the revolver. "This is my solution. Ain't anything more to me than this, ain't anymore I can do beyond this. It begins and ends," he tapped the revolver with his hand, "here. For bettah or worse. Ain't no shooting contest gonna suddenly lift my spirits and see all's right with the world and the only thing I've been missing is a smile."
SkyrimsShillelagh wrote: Tanner knew people didn't think he was worthless. That didn't really change how he felt, however. That was sort of the thing about depression, he guessed. It defied rationalization.
"Thanks." He said, trying to sound like he meant it.
She recognised that tone in his voice all too well. Being yet another lonely, insufficient soul in a bleak and indifferent world somehow made it all the more easier to see through and spot other people that were like that. Almost like they had some kind of glow around them. Maybe that was another reason she had found herself drawn to him in the first place? They were too similar, albeit she had wished that the similarity between them hadn't been feeling of the world expecting the two to carry its burdens.
She wanted to give him a hug, but with Denis still poking around inside the wound she wouldn't be moving an inch in his direction.
I am wearing a chain and ball...
"It's not nearly enough though, is it?" she said. "You ever feel as if there is nothing for you? No purpose? No meaning? Just dehumanized routine unless other people give you a purpose or meaning?"
Tyrus still looked amused by this. "I have plenty of reason to tell you your business. You and your own failure are the reason we all got called down here. Because you let Shrike run all over your city. So your business is my business."
He put his gun back into his holster. "I don't need you to smile or be happy. What I, and the rest of this group needs out of you, is focus. Killing 6 birds in two shots," He gestured. "If you can't do that, then run along and hide. We don't have time for emotion to get the better of us..."
With that, Tyrus turned to leave. Rick was on his way out there, and Tyrus bumped him on his way back to the facility, which made Rick give him a dirty look.
"Yes." Tanner said, somewhat miserably, thinking that was an accurate description of how he felt. Eva putting it so frankly made him feel, and sound, a bit pitiful, but it wasn't like he could help it.
Josey decided then and there that he hated Tyrus a great deal, and probably would've attacked him, had there not be greater reprecussions.
"Hope she kills him." Josey said to Rick as the ghoul walked up. "Honest words. Don't think I'd lose a minute of sleep. Probably smile."
Eva took notice that she had hit home. It wasn't a pleasant feeling, and she knew it, but nevertheless an important one. Self-awareness was a good way to cope when things were as darkest.
She did pity him, and if it hadn't been for the fact that she was lying there with her flesh opened, she would have thrown her arms around him in an embrace and told him that everything would be fine and that even things seemed grim, she would be there for him.
That was at least how she imagined it. The reality was again a painful truth. And with her lying there on the bed as useful as a wet blanket on a cold night, and with him sitting there; looking like the most miserable man in the world, there might as well have been a concrete wall between them.
"I wish I could be of more help to you now", she said. "More than just stating something that must come as obvious to you. But believe me when I tell you that I... know how you feel. At least I'd like to think so. I know how it feels to have your whole life planned out for you, only that it's not you who do the planning. You are just sort of the spectator and everything else happens around you whether you like it or not, but you still get that creeping feeling that this was all a part of that planning you weren't invited to."
She made a short pause. "And those few genuine things in life that we know of, those small delicate things that we know are our very own motivations, always seems to slip out of our grip though we struggle to catch it. I am not talking about something forced upon us. Not some make-believe fantasy that this was what we truly wanted. But something true and pure, grown in our very own hearts and thoughts." Her glowing lenses wandered over to look at him. "They always seem to be right in front of us, one step ahead, when we least expect it, yet they are always somehow out of reach..."
"Thinks he knows better." Josey muttered. "But he ain't even fought her. I got close. This fucking close." He pinched his fingers together. "But close ain't enough with Shrike. And all his tall about 'holding back your emotions...'" Josey said the words in a high, mocking voice, "bullshit. He ain't been through ehat I been through. Of he had been, he wouldn't walk so tsll."
"Eh... I dunno' about that one," Rick grimaced. "Tyrus has been in some dark fuckin' places. We'd sit around a campfire, and he'd tell stories that'd make my tales'a war look like fuckin' Disneyland..."
That hadn't at all been what Evangeline had implied, and the last thing she wanted was to instill the sense of despair and hopelessness in him, as he alredy seemed to be down as it was. Nevertheless, his attitude seemed to imply a will to sacrifice himself for a greater good, which she found rather commendable. But still it wasn't a positive or constructive way of thinking.
"I am glad that you find a resolve in helping others when you can't help yourself, Tanner, but don't let it cloud your way of one day pursuing your own plans. Instead of living by what other wants out of you, you should pursue a dream of your own. And if that dream should coincidentally be to aid those you hold dear, then there really isn't much else to it. Is there? If it brings you happiness to make others happy, I'd call that a fulfilling and rewarding life. Because happiness is rare, especially for people like us. And happiness weighs more than gold."
"Well, Tyrus used to be one of their best assassins. Mind was all programmed n' shit," Rick revealed. "He knew kill, he knew murder, and he knew to do it grotesquely or effeciently. Accordin' to Six, our Boss has a whole file of the shit he pulled with the institute. That fucker has done some stuff that I can't even repeat out loud."
He then took out a lighter and held it up to the cigar in his mouth. "He broke that progammin'. Ended up with us. Between you and me, I think he's tryin'a attone for everything... he just got a funny way of showin' it."
"Sounds like he never had a choice in it." Josey said. "The differnce between folk I guess. Some of 'em try to do better."
Tanner nodded, supposing that was true. But, as he'd said to Will all those years ago, he hadn't expected to make it this long. Once you were jn the revenge game, there wasn't usually a way out.
"I just don't know if its for me. Some people don't get happiness, I think. Its the way the universe is. I don't mean to mope... and I don't want you to pity me or feel sorry for me or look at me that way. Its my feelings on it, is why I say so."
"But I do pity you", she said. "Because I think you deserve to be happy, and yet I can see that you are not. And I wish that there was something I could do about it. But instead I am lying here: useless as ever; and only able to whisper advices into your ear."
"Denis'll change that." Tanner smiled, wrinkling the faint scar on the side of his face. Throughout the years it had faded. A few more and it would be gone entirely. "And then, maybe in Reno, we'll go gamble. Hire some hookers, do some jet. All things happy people do."
Evangeline smiled back, but it was a faint smile. She couldn't tell if he was being serious or disingenuous about his suggestion, but she reckoned it was just a vague disguise or his way to move on to another subject.
"Maybe that dance we never got in San Francisco?" she suggested.
"Thanks you." Tanner said with absolute sincerity, standing up. "I'll let you sleep, Eva. I have to check in with Cable, anyway."
Evangeline looked a bit distraught to see Tanner leave her. She wanted to say something, make him stay, but the anesthesia had begun to take its toll on her mind as well, making her feel dizzy and exhausted.
"Tanner... don't go... wait... I lov-... I'll lie here", she murmured in daze, eventually passing out on the bed.
"It didn't at the start." Harry admitted as she slid down the doorframe to sit on the floor. She hugged her knees. "It was great for ages. Really felt like it'd be perfect forever y'know? But...you live with one person so long, and there's bound to be some fighting. We always make up, but it is getting worse." She sighed.
"Just...dunno what to do about it. Everytime I try to talk he gets grumpy over it."
"I mean... Maybe you're both only focussing on the negative now."
"Hell, I don't blame you. If I was into women, I'd be all over her." Kayleigh shrugged, taking a swig.
"Yeah, the surgeon you went to got the shrapnel out but the cheap bastard didn't use any stimpaks. So... Now that everything is in the right place, it's just a matter of waiting for it to come back together." Denis assured him.
"Well, there's no alternative." Paul shrugged, bringing his hands together.
"Everyone around me died or went missing, after a while and I was the only one left. I went mad, went sane, went mad again and came back again in that time. Been so many people, walked so many roads..."
"I've been thinking about Shrike and Hamilton and Randall." Tanner said, leading them out of the room. "They've all got a flavor of superhuman to them. I was thinking that maybe we try to come up with counters for what they can do. Like flashbangs for Randall, maybe a really, really big magnet for Shrike or something."
"I don't know if it'll work, but you could try to synthesize something from my blood." Tanner said. "It cures most things, and might fix whatever gives him his super-cannibalism, or at least weaken it. Or at least, failing that, if he's got the wrong blood type, it'll give him an autoimmune disorder."
SkyrimsShillelagh wrote: "I don't know if it'll work, but you could try to synthesize something from my blood." Tanner said. "It cures most things, and might fix whatever gives him his super-cannibalism, or at least weaken it. Or at least, failing that, if he's got the wrong blood type, it'll give him an autoimmune disorder."
"That could work, yeah." Morgan nodded, thoughtfully.
"I don't know." Tanner shrugged. "I have a very much 'dive head first into things and see what happens' mentality. Planning's never been a strength of mine. I tried to fight an A.I using hardware supplies once. It didn't go well."
"My Dad used to make Meth, I used to help him. So... It always made me feel like I was at home. On my... Fifth, birthday? I think it was... I got a gas mask, like the one you're wearing and I've been mixin' ever since. It actually saved my life, when the bombs fell. Got me into Vault 76."
"Dart gun? I can make one, quite easily." Denis shrugged, indifferently.
"Though I'm not sure if the whole blood thing will work... I mean, he consumes raw human flesh, with no ill effects. I think his cells would just gobble yours up, making him stronger, if nothing else."
"Well, erm... I knew a lot about mixing and what elements did what. Kinda had to, so I didn't blow my trailer up or gas us. So I scored the highest in my class, in one of the tests. Then some feds show up and say that I scored the highest in the state. Got bumped up to the 'gifted and talented list' 'cause of it." The Resident explained.
"I was the right age for the program, since I was in my thirties, when I left and not say... my fifties."
"Hmm... Or we could get him to poison himself, in theory. By poisoning a nearby corpse." Denis shrugged.
"I mean, it's pretty situational but it's worth keeping in mind."