"A'right Rick, I've had just about enough of yer shite!
Y'know, just cause you grew up in yet fascist clubhouse, with your fancy arse education and yet shitehawk uniforms, don't mean you can talk down to me, like I'm common muck!
Yer feckin' hoigh and moighty attitude didn't save yer from the Brotherhood of Steel and it sure as fuck won't get yer anythin' here!
If you were a good man, the kind of man who wouldn't have to think about who's hand is on his wee dick, whilst masturbatin', recoilin' in horror, ye might've died, fightin' with yer black cap friends butche didn't! Yer ran away and put a baby in me girl! Ye didn't have the courtesy to fire blanks, because yer nothin' more than a craven, pile of shoite!"
Jerry left a vacuum in the room, that made it impossible to even breathe, let alone state the obvious.
All four of them, sat around their table in the dimly lit shack that they called a home and stared at their meals in shame.
"He asked you for a fork, dad." Tiffany corrected him.
Jerry finished Tiffany's stew, enjoying the awkward silence that his ranting had caused before removing himself.
No real man would waste a good meal, that his daughter cooked for him, after all.
To be fair, Rick did only ask for a fork but feck, if telling him how it was wasn't cathartic.
Of all the people in the Wasteland, why'd she pick him? Could've shacked up with the Brotherhood’s soldiers, or even one of those child killing Talon wankers but the Enclave?
She clearly has her Father's brains...
Well, it would be a few days before he was allowed back in the house and before then, he'll have to buy Cathleen a present to say sorry for calling her an accident at the dinner table again.
Whilst that girl is half demon, she honestly is the best thing that Rick gave to the family. He knows, because he thought he would grow up hating the wee lass but fate had other plans.
It was a long walk to Adam's and he was out of buddies to go with him. Not that he needed them but they made the journey tolerable.
It wasn't exactly dangerous anymore, not after Callaghan went through but it was still quite the trek.
Of course, his favourite companion was his flask but Tiff couldn't see him drinking again, not at his age.
He swore off of it, when Cathleen was born. Y'know, to set a good example. No more ciggies, no more booze and no swearing until she was thirteen. He could respect that, he supposed. Mostly because Tiffany suggested it and not Rick.
The airforce base was but a few hour’s walk from their home city of Megaton. He had some reservations about moving here but he wasn't about to try and get into Tenpenny’s Tower. The only reason he'd ever step into that place would be to take a huge cleaveland steamer on the waxed floor.
That cunt lied to everyone. Said America would be better, he did. Said there would be opportunities and then he ditched his labourers and hired the local flavour.
Da must've been stupid, pissed or desperate to trust an Englishman. They can't help it, most of 'em. Something's in their blood, something of Satan.
Not like the Alcohol content of his blood but something darker, supernatural. The urge to be a prick.
Well, whatever, his Da and the boys made the best of it as they always do. From what he heard, most of them boys did alright for themselves.
His well-oiled lantern lit up the night well, the walk was mostly a game of avoid the bullshit, a popular game among Megaton settlers and those who share a house, with an Enclave deserter.
Honestly, why couldn't they just put their animals in a Penn, what was this, Calcutta?
In one of the dilapidated hangars at the far end of the airforce base lived the most beautiful girl to ever grace the Capital Wasteland.
Painted a dark green and sporting the green, white and orange flag of his Homeland. Kerry, the first of many long haul vertibirds stood proudly under the moonlight.
She was a big girl but had the nimble and agile movement capabilities of a ballet dancer.
Jerry was quick to board the copter, feeling truly safe and alive, inside the cockpit. He would say that it was a love of flying, though it was mostly the hooch that he kept under the throttle.
He figured drinking this far from home wouldn't count or at least he hoped it wouldn't or else Tiffany would break every last bottle over his head.
He turned his radio on, sat back and enjoyed a bit of Billie Holiday under the moonlight.
Jerry found himself awoken by the creak of hangar doors. He'd hoped he would be lucky enough to be dreaming about receive a lapdance from one of them gals on the recruitment posters.
Sadly, his brain never granted him such interesting fantasies and instead gave him the worst thing he could conceivably imagine.
Fuckin' Rick, slowly shuffling in, thinking he's all sneaky-like. He did wonder, given how dark it was...
Was it too late to shoot the gobshite and pretend it was an accident? Jerry's eyes weren't what they used to be and it is dark...
"Jerry!" Rick called, waving him down.
What was that arsehole doing here? This wasn't none of his affair and yet here he was, sticking his perfect, Nazi Roman nose through the feckin' door.
Jerry, begrudgingly, hit the button on the door, lowering it down for him and allowing him to climb aboard.
Rick ducked his way in and had a glance around, wincing at the smell.
"Jesus, Jerry! It smells like someone lit a brewery alight!"
"Oh! Real feckin' noice of ye, that. Feckin' inviting yerself into my house and insulting the air you help yourself to?
Go and fuck yerself, ya jumped up yankie prick!"
"You told Tiffany that you quit!" Rick pointed out, getting an irritable sigh from his father-in-law as he leant back.
"In her house, sure but what happens in Kerry stays in Kerry. This is moiy place, Rick and I set the rules."
Rick couldn't argue with that, it wasn't like Jerry came home drunk. This was the first time anyone had seen him, holding anything glass in fifteen years.
"Fair enough, I guess." Rick sighed, taking a seat.
"Could I get some?"
Rick took a seat in the cockpit, sighing heavily as he took some deep breaths, feeling the skin crawling tension overwhelm him.
"Foine, just don't drink et loike a fish." Jerry finally groaned, handing the bottle.
"Why doen't it surprise met?" Rick shrugged taking another sip of the stingy bastard's booze.
"You were named after this fellah”?"
"In a sense." Jerry said, knowing fully well that his name was spelled different but maybe Da wasn't too smart.
"Oh! The besht shoireh, roight. The one I louved as a wee one." Jerry grinned as he leant forward.
"There's this funeral roight, neutral ground. That was until this arsehole roles up and shtarts shooten intea crowd!
Crazy bastard gets up, shouts 'everybody down!' and out of therteh people, only two are left! Him and the shooter. Toe teh toe. Twenty eight mortal men, cower in the dirt, at the feet of two giants."
Rick paused, finding himself taken aback by the image. This prewar terrorist sounded like a legend.
"That's what Da's book seys anyway. Could just be bullshit." Jerry added, taking a swig.
"I loike to thenk I'm named after teh legend, rather than teh man."
Rick rolled his eyes. Of course Jerry would say that.
"I don't know where my name came from." Rick shrugged, looking out of the window.
"Your parents probably wanted to name you 'prick' but couldn't get away with it." Jerry suggested, with a shrug.
"I pictured your name being short for geriatric, if I'm honest." Rick admitted, taking another swig of the old man's hooch before he got it taken off him. To his surprise, Jerry merely laughed it off.
"Y'know what Rick?" Jerry started as he leant up.
"I think you've drank enough, that your arsehole's finally loosened up and the stick fell out."
"I think I've drank enough,to the point that you're actually tolerable." Rick corrected him as he noticed Jerry start up the engine.
"The fuck jerr-!"
"It's foine, I've flown her absolutely shit face once and it did no harm!"
Rick considered jumping ship before his dickhead father-in-law threw him out. However, he decided to stay. Just to try and stop the old coot from taking it too far.
Kerry quickly took off, into the night's sky. She did an impressive leap, rising up as if ascending to the heavens.
Within seconds, the two of them could see the Capital Wasteland in a light that few had experienced before. A thousand lights, down below.
Megaton, Rivet City and the Kingdom of Tom could be seen from this high up. Even with the dark, the powerful lights illuminated them, revealing them to be great bastions of humanity.
Eventually, Jerry managed to stabilize her, with barely any swaying as he took in the view.
"Foist time I came up here, you could only see the big three. Nowhere near as broight."
Jerry's hand extended as he slowly painted a picture, with his finger.
"Then them lights appeared, then them... Not sure when t'ey showed up but they didn't used to be here."
"You ever visited other places?" Rick found himself asking, studying the lights.
"That's the foist thing I did. Went out to Point Lookout, then to Pitt... Course, given this thing's fuel resoives, I could probably make it coast to coast."
"You think so?" Rick asked, seeming genuinely impressed by that.
"Aye. I do.
Oi've left the state a few toimes and the fuel gauge wasn't even down ten percent. Tellin' ye."
Rick didn't doubt that. Part of their design was fuel efficiency, given the climate around that time but they were also designed for a number of important tasks, including cross country flying, if it came to it.
"Y'know, oi've been thenken, about what we could foind out there. Supplies and crap, y'know? Could bring 'em back, sell 'em and eat more than stew."
"We could fly away and start some place else." Rick suggested.
"Could be somewhere better for Cathleen."
"Rick, look down there and tell me what'che see."
"A nightmare." Rick said, rather quickly.
"Roight, y'see. Everywhere oi've ben has ben 'xactly teh same. The only difference bein' the shape of the land Bellow.
This is as good as it gets, Rick."
Rick wasn't sure he liked that answer but in truth, he couldn't fault it. What's out there, really? Other than more violence and death.
"Best thing we could do is make our lives here great. Go on raids, across the coast. Get supplies, that'll bolster up the town's defences."
"Be the change." Rick nodded, finally agreeing to something with his Father-in-law for the first time in ten years.
"'xactly! Ya see, ya gettin' it now." Jerry finished off his bottle and dropped it to his side, sighing heavily. As they both fell into silence.
"Hey, Jerry." Rick began, sitting upright.
"Since we're sharing secrets... I've got one of mine."
"Just a little further." Rick assured him, staring down at the ground and doing his best to see it. He was pretty sure that he could, given that the morning was almost upon them and they could see the ground much clearer.
"Jesus Rick, oi thought you were tellin' me you were gay or somethin', not flying me all the way to fort whothefuck!"
"Oh trust me, this is much better!" Rick insisted, giving a faint grin. It was a look that Jerry hadn't been privy to before.
Was that... Excitement?
Kerry touched down, just outside of Fort Constantine's main entrance. She effortlessly crushed the remains of a trashed robots, beneath her mighty feet.
Rick wasted no time and got up as soon as they touched down. His Father-in-law looked far less excited, he was pretty hungover and tired and planned to be passed out by now.
"Rick, y'arsehole, hold up a sec!" He found himself calling after him, pocketing the keys as he went.
In spite of his desire to hurry, Rick went ahead, to the small house, opposite. It would seem that the fort hadn't been touched in over ten years. Hopefully it was still safe and nothing had come back to nest here.
From what Rick had been told, the most they had to worry about were a few trashed robots but things could have changed a lot at some point or another.
He kept a lookout as Jerry stumbled through the dark, cursing as his foot hit a rock. Rick probably could use his flashlight to guide the old fart but he got a great bit of catharsis out of watching him struggle.
"Roight, whatcha got down t'ere t'at's werth breakin' me neck over!?"
Rick gave him a knowing smirk as he stepped inside the CO's office. This little house was kind of nice and homey. One could make a home out of it, if they wanted.
That was a pretty big 'if' though. Given where it was and the vibe of the place, no decent folk would want to stay here.
Rick had taken Jerry on a rather long trek, down to the lower basement of the complex. It legitimately impressed Jerry, seeing all of this prewar army stuff up close, especially the deepest portions, that were like a science fiction lab, with stasis fields and everything.
However, all of it would seem paltry, compared to Rick's 'surprise.'
Amidst the darkness, of this tomb, stood a lone figure. An electronically pulsing piece of power armour, that stood strong in the ruins. Though slightly rustic, this suit was beyond impressive. It was tall, dark and imposing, much like the Enclave itself.
Rick hopped down and released the armour's chassis, stepping into its shoes and relaxing into its frame. Power armour was like a loving parent. It guided your hands for you, effortlessly and kept you safe. Restricted but safe.
The ultimate form of security.
"Here it is Jerry!" Rick declared through the voice filter, that was set to a dark and rather imposing tint, with a flavour of static, to make Rick seem almost robotic.
"A power guzzling, bullet stopping force to be reckoned with."
"Whoi does it look like a rabbit?" Jerry asked, eyeing it up and down and looking rather puzzled.
"It's a devil."
"Ya look loike y'ere to pester me about the woirld enden."
"Jesus Jerry, could you at least pretend to be impressed?" Rick sighed, he'd barely got away from the Enclave to have this thing.
"Is that voice an Enclave theng? Did'y 'ave that on to compensate for your lack of balls?"
"I put it on, so I wouldn't be recognized by my voice. How else do you think I left?"
"Oi'd assumed that t'Enclave threw you out."
Rick finally sighed, tempted to punch one of the many nukes in this place, set it off and end his suffering but he decided to go the diplomatic route.
"I was thinking... With Kerry and this suit. Maybe that idea of yours could be possible. Maybe we could finally explore new territory and take some supplies.
Could even go into irradiated territory as this also acts as an environment suit. This thing deflects bullets, shields from explosives and even acts as a muscle suit. With my training on the ground and your piloting skills, we could do anything."
"Loike get ahead of ourselves? Oi'm not lettin' ye on Kerry in that theng. Chugging her juices, like a vampire."
"I can turn it off, on the Vertibird. However, it does mean that this thing never runs out of juice.
You said it yourself, the girls and even Megaton itself could benefit from this."
"So yer askin' me to floi us out to fuck knows where and for me to sit around fer an hour, while ye go lootin'? That's assuming, you don't die, instantly, like the useless prick that y'are." Jerry shook his head, however, his look if dismissal quickly turned to a look of contemplation.
"Moind you, if we had a crew... A gooden, we could manage it just fine."
"I know some people..." Rick thought, aloud.
"None of your dickhead Enclave palls." Jerry insisted.
"I wasn't... Well, while we're setting ground rules. I don't want any of your asshole buddies. I don't wanna be dragging a bunch of drunk, old bastards back with me."
Jerry scoffed at that. It wasn't that it was a bad point, it was just that it was Rick who made it.
"I have a list." Rick finally said, breaking through the old man's rumblings.
"Contacts of the Enclave, who pay attention to prominent Wasteland figures. I have another list of the Enclave's enemies. People like Denis Callaghan."
Jerry paused. In truth, he liked this idea... Hell, if he was partnering up with anyone but Rick, he'd approve of this whole operation.
"I also have a list of Enclave out posts... We could hit those, if we got good enough." Rick suggested, getting Jerry as enthusiastic as possible.
It wasn't like he was betraying the order, they were likely remnants or deserters. Not much better than raiders, for the most part.
Even if he was betraying them, the dream was dead at this point, so it hardly mattered.
"Think ye moight be onte somethin' there, Rick." Jerry thought, rubbing his stubbly beard.
"Y'know, them bases'll 'ave more bases listed in 'em. Scoutin' reports and shoite."
Rick thought on it a little more, imagining what he could bring back for Tiffany and Cathleen. Even if it was just stuff to sell, they could really use the money.
They would just need to be careful about it. The worst thing imagine able was getting shot down and the two of them never finding out what happened to them.
"There's one thing that bothers me..." Rick began as he slowly lead Jerry away.
"What will we be called? As a crew?"
Jerry gave him a faint smirk.
"Oi was thenken 'Jerry and friends' (and Rick.)"
Rick found that a little funny as he thought of a serious one.
"What about 'the luck of the Irish?'"
"Argh, fuck no Rick. Only gobshoites, who know shit 'bout history say the Oirish are lucky.
No feckin' four leaf clovers or any of that shite."
Rick shrugged, agreeing on that one. He was mostly suggesting it to appease Jerry.
Moody old bastard.
However, now he had to think on it a little more...
"Oh! How about-"