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About Literature / Hobbyist Brady SheaMale/United States Recent Activity
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You can see it here.

I tried uploading the word document to deviantart with little success. I also haven't been able to figure out how to post it on the mirror.

See, the problem is that I kept everything in the timeline organized with a really big table and separated by different colors, as it was a whole bunch of different groups all doing stuff over an extended period of time. Not to mention, I wanted there to be a clear distinction between what is officially canon, and what I've come up with for my story. But deviantart doesn't like .doc files, and doesn't allow different colors. Pretty sure deviantart doesn't allow different colors in the html text editor, either. So, with a bit of luck, people will be able to see this.

Maybe if I'm feeling up to it, I'll try and rewrite this gigantic mess so it's just as easily understood if printed out in black and white.

But not tonight.


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Brady Shea
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States


Chapter 161: Evil Empire’s End


The Enclave have always been resilient. We toil, while the mutants polluting our great nation do nothing but bicker and complain and fight among themselves like the rabid animals they are! We persevere when all others give up! And when evil stares us in the eyes: we stare right back! THAT is who we are! Our fathers fought and died for the Enclave - for America! - and we can do no less! We are the Enclave! It is a name that strikes fear into the hearts of all who would oppose us! We are not the monsters that they claim, but to all those who dare trespass on our beloved America, we will be more frightful than even their worst nightmares!


“Do you really think this plan of yours is going to work?” Chris asked. I actually busted up laughing hysterically, earning me a strange look from Cass as the three of us ran down this latest corridor.

“What, are you kiddin’? Fuck, I’m amazed we’ve even got this far!”

Every muscle in my body was screaming at me. It had been several hours since our arrival on the Moon (I’m pretty sure, at least...), and we had barely stopped in all that time. I thought things might get easier with Chris now helping us out, but the fighting seemed even more intense now. Every time we turned a corner, there would be more power armored troops, more robots... even a few of those huge combat walkers from the tank proving ground had found their way down here and were chasing us. That, at least, explained why the corridors we were running down were so broad and the ceilings so high.

I’d say things were starting to look bleak, but they’d been looking that way for a while.

At least Cass seemed to be doing well. She’d gotten pretty good at handling the Jury Rigger and was blowing away Enclave troops left and right. She was certainly doing better than me. You see, we’d been slicing through the troops so effectively up to now, that I’d started thinking the Enclave was using tin foil and duct tape to make their power armor. That, it turns out, was a mistake that I only discovered when I tried to use some of my other weapons in the interest of conserving ammunition for the Alien Blaster.

Roscoe (for obvious reasons) was comparable to blowing spit wads, but even That Gun and the Ranger Sequoia were less than useless. I’d loaded both with armor piercing ammunition before we left, but that didn’t seem to matter: the bullets were either bouncing off or they hit the armor straight-on and came to a dead stop. The sawed-off I kept on my hip was doing alright because it was loaded with pulse slugs (and the power armor was thankfully still vulnerable to EMP weapons) but I only had four of those shells left. I had to use the Alien Blaster to thin their ranks at all, and that meant I was now down to 25 shots for that thing. Worst of all, I had no grenades.

Chris, meanwhile, was pulling weapons literally out of nowhere; every time I looked back at him, he was using something different. The big fucking gun, some kind of huge plasma cannon, the gatling laser he called ‘Vengeance,’ a big fuck-off minigun, some damn thing that looked like it fired shurikens and lightning... where the fuck was he keeping all this shit? I would’ve asked him to share, but every one of his guns looked too heavy for me to even lift.

And Tuera... I had no idea where she was. I had no idea if she was even alive or dead. I couldn’t even raise her on comms. Whenever I tried to contact her between firefights, all I got was a load of static in my ear.

Shea! GO!

The three of us kept running, trying desperately to keep ahead of the latest patrol that I knew was right on our heels. The last words I’d heard Tuera say to me kept echoing around the inside of my skull, and I couldn’t get them to go away. All I wanted to do was throw up. Or collapse. Or both.

“In there!” Chris yelled, pulling me out of my thoughts. He was pointing at a large blast door at the end of the hall, closing slowly like the jaws of a giant metal beast. “Quick! Before it closes! We’re gonna have to jump –”

There was a fizzle of electricity both in front and behind us. We suddenly found ourselves locked off by a pair of force fields boxing us in. Chris couldn’t stop in time, and ended up slamming face-first into the energy barrier with a sound not unlike a rubber mallet hitting a large bass drum. The sound of the heavy power armor crashing to the ground was almost enough to drown out the speakers above our heads crackling to life.

“Foolish, prideful children,” Eden’s voice growled menacingly right above us. “There is no place to hide, and nowhere to run.”

“Cass?” I asked with a sigh, grabbing Chris with my cybernetic arm and doing my best to help the colossus back on his feet. “If you don’t mind?”

“Gladly!” she nodded at me with a smirk, leveling the Jury Rigger.


The energy shield fizzled into nothing, and the three of us set off running again while Eden howled in frustration. I only hoped we could escape before he activated any more force fields. Chris sped off ahead of us, practically diving for the door before it closed. He grabbed the upper door just in the nick of time with both hands, wedged his foot against the bottom, and forced the door open with obvious effort.

“C’MON!” he hissed at us through gritted teeth. Cass and I ducked through the door, acutely aware of the noisy hydraulics trying to keep it shut strained against his muscle. When we were safely hidden behind him, he let go of the door and quickly rolled away. The door slammed shut with a cacophony of metal against metal that echoed in this new chamber.

“There,” Chris said, punching a panel on the wall next to the door as he spoke. Sparks flew everywhere as the metal buckled and the electronics within exploded. “That should keep them busy... for a while, at least...” I could be wrong, but it almost sounded like he was out of breath. Was this place starting to get to him too?

“I certainly hope so...” I gripped the Alien Blaster tight, and looked around, trying to figure out where the fuck we were now. At first it looked like an absurdly high-ceilinged warehouse, filled to the brim with row after row of metal boxes. But then I looked closer and realized: we were surrounded by computer terminals and server mainframes. I guess the map really was accurate, after all. No wonder they’d been so desperate to keep us from coming this way.

The lights above us flickered, and speakers all around us came to life in a short burst of static and feedback.

“Why must you be so recalcitrant, mutant?” Eden’s voice echoed off every surface. Every single monitor and screen in view switched to the image of a flat color with a line that moved as he spoke; I was suddenly reminded of the screen of the AI under the Big Empty, only blue instead of yellow. “Your fate is already sealed! Your efforts are in vain! There is nowhere you can run where we cannot find you! So why? Tell me why you must continue this pointless struggle, even knowing what you know?!” He was definitely getting angry, no doubt about it.

“You don’t get it? Of course we struggle!” I yelled back. “We’re not just fighting for ourselves – we’re fighting for the sake of the planet! We’re fighting to save everyone on Earth from your plans of genocide! We’ll fight to the bitter end, no matter what, and do whatever it takes to stop you!” I sneakily motioned to Chris and Cass behind me, hoping that they’d get the message as I cautiously made my way to the nearest server. With luck, Eden wouldn’t notice what I was doing until it was too late. The best way to make sure he didn’t notice?

Make him even madder.

“That’s right!” Cass backed me up, pointing at one of the screens above us. “We –” she paused briefly, interrupted by the violent shaking of the blast door behind us. “We’ll never stop fightin, ya digital cunt! No matter what you throw at us, we’ll just keep swingin! No matter what tries to stop us, we won’t slow down! Even if th’ whole UNIVERSE tells us t’fuck off, we’ll just kick ‘em in th’ nuts and keep right on goin!”

“You best face facts, Eden!” Chris bellowed, joining in the fun of taunting the bad guy. The door behind us shook again. “We’re more human than any of those meat-puppets out there you’ve cloned! You’ll never understand the true strength and resolve of the human race!” The door shook yet again, and it definitely sounded like we didn’t have much time.

“We do not need to understand, mutant,” Eden growled out, not even bothering to hide his anger and frustration anymore. “We only need to know.”

“Y’know, I’m getting’ awful tired of you callin’ me mutant, you useless collection of ones and zeroes!” I yelled, furtively loading the holotape I’d been hiding in my duster. “I have a name, and you best start usin’ it!”

“Your name – just like your very existence – is utterly irrelevant!” Eden bellowed angrily. The door shook once more, and both Chris and Cass wheeled around with guns drawn, ready for when the army burst through. Meanwhile, the screen in front of me flashed a message, asking if I wished to proceed. Yes, please!

“Oh, I think it’s pretty damn relevant alright!” I yelled back, my hand hovering over the ‘enter’ key. “Because I’m the motherfuckin’ Courier, bitch! And I’ve got a message for you!”


“What are you – ” Eden began, but he suddenly stopped as every monitor in view flickered; line after line of code started scrolling by at break-neck speed. “Wait, but this... I... don’t... cake?” For the first time since we’d arrived, Eden sounded legitimately confused. Right before he stopped sounding like anything at all. “What i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-”

His voice glitched out loudly, threatening to blow out our eardrums. The blue monitors all around us flashed yellow several times, and started switching off, one by one. The servers followed suit, the lights going dark accompanied by a series of audible thunks, until only the one in front of me remained. There were no more words – just the loud repetitive clicking noise of a damaged hard drive. The screen finally froze in the middle of generating a cluster of digital artifacts, creating an asymmetrical quilt of multicolored squares on the screen.

“And that’s why you don’t fuck with a mailman!” I backhanded the screen with my cybernetic hand, causing the glass to crack.

“Holy shit!” Cass let out a single nervous laugh. “I think it actually worked!”

“Only one way to make sure,” I said. I took the Alien Blaster out of the improvised holster in my duster, leveled it at the frozen screen, and fired. Sadly, the server didn’t disintegrate; there was just a perfectly round hole where the plasma bolt entered... and the entire back of the server exploded in a shower of sparks, shards of circuits, and molten metal.

I didn’t have time to feel smug, however. The blast door shook again, and when I looked, I could almost swear the metal had started warping inward from all the impacts...

“We’re not clear yet!” Chris said, big gun still trained on the door, but backing up swiftly. “We’ve still got to blow this place and go home!”

“What are we waiting for, then?” I turned on my heel, running for the other end of the server farm. “Let’s go!” The door shook again, but didn’t break, so Chris and Cass started running behind me.

Hell, we might actually make it through this...

- - -

The Enclave patrols had become uncoordinated and sporadic.

It wasn’t obvious at first. But the further away we got from the server farm where we’d trapped Eden, the more it became clear just how reliant they were on his guidance and coordination. Whenever a patrol found us, they certainly gave chase, but they were no longer coming at us from every other corner, and it seemed much easier to give them the slip. It definitely felt like we’d given ourselves some breathing room. Just. On the borderline, really.

“How much further?” Cass asked.

“We should be right on top of it...” I said, looking at the map on my Pip Boy. I glanced up, looking around, and didn’t see anything even remotely resembling an entrance to a reactor.

Clunk. Crunch. Bang.

“Well, you’re certainly right about that...” Cass and I turned to the sound, and saw Chris pulling open a large hatch in the floor that I hadn’t noticed earlier. He pulled the hatch free, ripping it clear of the hinges, and tossed it aside with a crash. All three of us leaned over to get a look straight down; it was a huge, wide pit that seemed to go on forever. Cass let out a long whistle.

“Quite th’ fall,” she nodded to no one in particular. Chris, meanwhile, sighed and shook his head.

“Damn. I was hoping there would be a ladder or something...” He shrugged, the metal plates of his power armor clattering against each other heavily. “Ah well. Needs must when the Devil drives, eh?”

“What are you –” I started, not really understanding.

Chris stepped forward and dropped like a rock, feet-first into the pit.

“Did... did he just...” Cass stammered out with a confused look on her face, pointing down after him.

“Of course he did,” I said with a sigh, pulling out the grapnel gun. “Well, shall we?” Cass continued to look confused for a few seconds, replaced briefly by a look of horrified realization. Finally she shrugged with resigned acceptance.

“Might as well...” she shouldered the Jury Rigger and clung to me tightly; I grabbed hold of her around the waist with one hand and aimed the grapnel at the ceiling. “Just don’ let go’a me, alright?”

“Trust me.”


I jumped down after the power armored idiot and immediately Cass wrapped her legs around me, clinging to me even tighter. I had my finger on the button to make the cable unspool at a steady rate, and the two of us swiftly descended. It was probably only a few seconds, but it felt a lot longer. By the time I touched down (in the middle of a surprisingly substantial impact crater) Chris was waiting for us.

“Why didn’t you just use the rocket boots to get down here?” he asked while Cass detached herself from me. I hit the button on the grapnel and the cable retracted back with a snap.

“They got wrecked earlier...” I said, looking around. Just like everything else in this fucking base, this place was massive: high ceilings, catwalks, enormous machinery that looked like gigantic metal beer cans wrapped in pipes, cables, and who knew what else. Nearly every structure in this complex (at least, the ones I could see) was a gigantic metal cylinder. If it wasn’t so fucking hot in here, it would’ve almost been like the inside of a gigantic fridge, complete with enormous beer cans. “Alright, so how do we blow this thing?”

“Well, if it’s like the reactor I found in Minot, then it’s gonna have some rather large cooling turbines. If we wreck those, the heat and energy will build up, feed back in on itself, and then...” Chris made an exploding motion with his hands. “To be honest, I still have no idea why the Enclave keep using reactors that are made entirely of Explodium...”

“You don’t really care, do you?” I deadpanned. Chris shrugged.

“Well, I kinda do this time!” he said with a laugh. “What with us being on the Moon and all, I can’t exactly walk away calmly from this one while putting on sunglasses, like I -” Before he could finish, I snapped my fingers, pointed at Chris, and turned to Cass.

“HA! I knew I wasn’t the only one who did that!” Cass slowly shook her head and sighed, burying her face in her hand.

“I hate you both,” she muttered softly... before starting to laugh. And I’m gonna be honest, I think the utter insanity and ridiculousness of our situation had finally gotten to us, because Chris and I joined in. “Al-alright...” she said finally, catching her breath as the two of us leaned against Chris for support. “Enough fuckin’ around, let’s –”


Something above our heads exploded, and any sense of humor evaporated. The three of us had our guns drawn immediately, and were treated to a view of one of the walls a good three or four stories above us breaking apart in a shower of debris, smoke, sparks, and shrapnel. Time seemed to slow down, and VATS kicked in unexpectedly. The IFF spotter in my helmet picked out a shape inside the smoke and debris, and my blood ran ice cold at the outline.

It was the silhouette of an impossibly huge, mountain of a man. A gigantic tower shield was strapped to one arm... and massive warhammer was held in the other.

“RUN!” I yelled, already turning on my heel. Above me, I could hear Panzer falling amid the debris, with a sound like an incoming artillery strike. It was fitting, because the impact knocked me clear off my feet, and sent me tumbling forward, head over heels.

Next thing I knew I was slamming against the metal floor, flat on my back. All I could do at first was watch in horror as a slow motion Panzer emerged from the cloud of smoke and fire, charging upside-down and coming straight for me. Thankfully, VATS was still with me, so I pulled out the Alien Blaster with one hand, and the grapnel gun with other. I fired three shots – which is a lot harder than it sounds when you’re used to seeing targets the right way up – and aimed the grapnel gun at the ceiling. The plasma bolts from the Alien Blaster struck him (twice in the chest, once in the head) and set his armor on fire, but didn’t slow him down in the slightest.


The warhammer came down at the same time I was propelled up at the ceiling. For a split second, I didn’t think I was going to make it. But the warhammer missed crushing me by inches, I was sure... and then the shockwave from the enormous maul striking the ground hit me. I was thrown off course and turned into a flailing mass of screaming limbs hurtling through the air.

“Hey! PANSY!” Chris’ voice cut through the noise, even as I slammed into a pillar and came crashing back to the ground. By the time I looked up, nearly everything in view was consumed in green. Chris must have fired the BFG... but it wasn’t as effective as I would’ve liked. By the time I got back on my feet, the green energy had started to dissipate, and Panzer was still there: pushed back from where he’d been standing earlier, clearly stunned, with a mixture of smoke and green fire curling off him, but still alive! He bellowed incoherently and got to his feet, swinging his tower shield in a wide arc in front of him. The ground was chewed up as the bottom of the shield dug in.

Chris started running at Panzer. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Cass: she had pulled her AA-12 and the Jury Rigger off her back, and was dual wielding them, aiming at Panzer. I took the hint and leveled the Alien Blaster. I only managed to fire once before the power cell ran dry, but it seemed to do the trick. One side of Panzer’s face was consumed in blue fire, while the other side was hit with a pair of exploding shotgun shells and a trio of LAER bursts. It stunned him long enough for Chris to shoulder check the massive super soldier.

My name –” he bellowed, pushing against Chris with his entire bulk; the bone white T-51b was shoved backward several paces. “ – is PANZER!” The warhammer came swinging down, aimed squarely at Chris. The Lone Wanderer reached up and – somehow – managed to grab the edges of the gigantic mallet before it flattened him. The ground under his feet cracked and buckled; Chris was pushed down at least a foot by the impact. The two of them struggled like that for several seconds, until:

You can’t WIN!” Panzer yelled, shifting his weight. Chris was blindsided by the edge of the tower shield, and went flying. While all this was happening, I’d managed to run to the opposite end of the reactor room, reloading the Alien Blaster as I went. Chris crashed into one of the giant metal cylinders, and the side of it exploded, releasing a huge cloud of yellow steam and a waterfall of viscous bright blue fluid.

I knew that I couldn’t bring him down by myself. The alien plasma bolts might not have enough kick on its own, but the fire meant it was doing something, and he was definitely stunned when hit with the BFG. If I was right about my hunch, then we would need to concentrate our fire to bring him down.

That won’t work, little girl!” Panzer shouted as he ran, warhammer held high while LAER bursts deflected uselessly off the front of his shield. Cass was backing up, but had nowhere to go.


Cass dove for cover. The warhammer came down. I flew through the air, propelled by the grapnel gun and aimed myself squarely at Panzer’s head. The ground burst apart like it was hit with a bomb. I couldn’t see where Cass had ended up amid the shrapnel and debris. But I landed on top of Panzer’s shoulders, grabbed one of the horns on his head to keep me steady, and started hitting the top of his helmet with my metal fist, over and over and over again.

It was like holding onto the bucking brahmin machine in The Broken Spoke. I was yelling incoherently, just hitting him as hard as I could while he tried throwing me off. After the sixth or seventh punch, the metal actually started to dent and warp... but I didn’t get a chance to see if I could get further. I finally lost my grip and he threw me off, sending me tumbling through the air yet again.


“Shea!” Cass’ voice buzzed in my ear, and my heart skipped a beat. She was alive! I tried to right myself before slamming into the wall I’d grappled onto. “I’m... I’m banged up, but... I’m okay! Sue’s got me hidden!” I landed against the wall feet-first and detached, dropping onto the top of one of the other cylinders in the room. “Where’re you?”

“I’m...” I began, looking down and realizing for the first time what these were: I was standing on top of a metal grate, separating me from a large spinning fan. Heat, light, and steam were surging up in torrents from the inside. These must be the cooling towers Chris had mentioned earlier! “I’ve got an idea.”

There you are!” Panzer bellowed, and I realized that he was talking to me: he had the top end of his warhammer aimed in my direction. The end of it exploded, which could only mean...


I zipped away from the spot just as the edge of the cooling tower burst into flames. Twisted metal and shrapnel flew everywhere, aided by the giant fan ripping itself apart. I took aim with the Alien Blaster while flying directly over Panzer and hit him with a trio of plasma bolts. I did my best to use VATS to aim at the spot on his helmet I’d been punching earlier... but I was going too fast to say for sure if I’d succeeded. I just know that the top of his helmet was consumed in blue fire and sparks.

Stop buzzing, insect!” he bellowed just as I came to a stop... directly in front of him. His head was still on fire from the Alien Blaster shots, so I just kept going. Off to my left, Cass reappeared with a shimmer, and hit him with a cluster of LAER bursts. But nothing seemed to be doing the trick. He raised the warhammer again... but stopped when a large chunk of metal flew through the air, hitting him in the back of his head. He stumbled, giving me just enough time to get out of the way before he brought the hammer down.

“Cass!” I yelled, running away from the buckling ground. “Catch! Trip him up!” I held up the grapnel gun, and tossed it over to her before switching directions again. Panzer was coming at me from behind, chasing me with his hammer held high; Chris was coming around from the other side.


The grapnel cable sliced through the air around waist height – or knee height for Panzer. Either he didn’t notice, or he didn’t care, because he plowed directly into it. And that was just enough to knock him off balance.

What the –” he stumbled, losing momentum and tumbling forward.

“High now, Chris!” I tossed the Alien Blaster to my fleshy hand and reached back with my cybernetic fist. “Go high!” Chris skidded to a stop next to me, pulling back with his own robotic arm. Panzer toppled toward us in slow motion; Chris and I slammed our fists at the same time as hard as we could right into his face.

AUGH!” Panzer bellowed, reeling backward from the hit. I almost didn’t notice the blue shimmer around Chris’ hands; Vengeance materialized out of thin air, and he started pelting Panzer with dozens of lasers. I took the hint, and took aim with the Alien Blaster, emptying the last little bit I had in the energy cell. Cass ran up beside me, leveling the Jury Rigger and started hitting him with LAER blasts.

“Concentrate fire!” I yelled, popping out the energy cell and grabbing the last one. Panzer kept backing up, while his entire front was consumed in plasma fire and explosions. He actually dropped the hammer, and chunks of superheated metal started falling through the fire and smoke. He tried to stop himself, digging the bottom of the shield into the ground, but it wasn’t enough. The force of all the energy blasts just kept pummeling him, and it wasn’t until he was backed into the last of the cooling towers that we stopped.

Cass had stopped firing, because the Jury Rigger was beeping, telling her it needed to recharge. I’d stopped firing, because I had no more ammunition left. Chris, on the other hand, had stopped firing... because he was advancing on Panzer, with his hand held out to keep us from following.

“Go,” I heard him say through my earpiece, as Vengeance disappeared with a blue shimmer. After a brief pause, the BFG was teleported into his hands. “I’ll finish him.”

This...” Panzer grunted out, doubled over. “This... changes... nothing!” The smoke billowing off his front started to clear, and the front of his armor was shredded and melting. It wasn’t much, but it was definitely no longer pristine, and he was clearly hurting. Chris walked up to him with the BFG in hand, and Panzer tried punching him away. Chris ducked under the swung fist, and shoved the end of the BFG right into Panzer’s damaged gut, pinning him to the cooling tower.

“Go!” Chris yelled. I was already grabbing hold of Cass, and the two of us started running for the exit. Panzer howled incoherently for a few seconds... and then he was drowned out by the unmistakable explosion of the BFG going off.

Cass and I were knocked off our feet by the shockwave, and the two of us crashed to the ground. Everything around us was bathed in bright green light, and a wave of heat washed over us. I clutched her as tightly as I could and scrambled back to my feet. Explosions started ripping up the room behind us, and alarm bells sounded over and over again.

“C’MON!” I shouted. “We’ve gotta GO!”

The two of us started running.

- - -

I had no idea where we could go. All around us, everything was exploding. The alarm bells got louder and louder. I checked the map on my Pip Boy, and tried to see if I could find some kind of hangar – maybe we could hijack some kind of craft capable of reaching orbit.

My insides seized up in terror. The closest hangar on this map was a mile above us and four miles away.

“Oh shit!” Cass grabbed the back of my head. “DUCK!” She shoved the two of us to the ground, and I heard her fire the Jury Rigger again. More plasma bolts sizzled through the air above us. We scrambled to our feet, and another wall near us exploded.

“This place is coming down around us!” I yelled, trying to figure out where we could go.

“They got any space sh– AUGH!” Cass yelled, tumbling to the ground.

“CASS!” I yelled. More plasma bolts sizzled through the air, and I ducked, grabbing the Jury Rigger. There was a pair of robots at the end of the hall, and after I hit them with a pair of LAER beams, there weren’t. The end of the hall exploded, and I knelt down, feverishly grabbing at Cass to pick her up. “Cass! Speak to me!”

“I’m...” she gasped, coughing and clutching her side. “M’fine... jus’ got th’ wind knocked outta me, s’all...” I looked her over, and couldn’t see any plasma burns, but that didn’t necessarily mean shit. “We gotta go... Where’s th’ exit?”

“Too far...” I muttered, looking around us. Everything was either exploding or collapsing. There was no longer a ceiling over my head, and I could see dozens of levels above us, all breaking apart and blowing up. Holy shit, that reactor explosion was working a hell of a lot faster than I was expecting.

“Sally, can you hear me?” I said, cycling through the radio channels. “Chris? Yes Man? Tuera? Anyone! Is anyone out there?!”

All I got was static.

“Sheas’n...” Cass was out of breath, laying against the ground and grabbing at me. Explosions were ripping up the place, all around us. I had to get her out. I had to get us out, now.

“Cass...” I pulled the metal half-sphere from the holding spot behind my belt. Cass looked at it quizzically, and I pulled her in close, pressing it against her armor. “Grab hold of this. And me.” She looked confused, and we held each other close as everything around us disintegrated in fire.

The symbols on the device lit up brightly as I moved my thumb to the button. A high pitched whine screamed, drowning out the sounds of madness and chaos all around us. Lightning arced off every surface, surrounding us.

And then everything disappeared in a bright blue flash.

- - -

The world came into focus with a violent tremor, and the electricity died down. I could see Cass nearby, flailing her limbs and shouting. The teleport device Chris had given me was also in the vicinity – burnt out and spewing smoke. But that wasn’t the only odd thing.

Neither of us was on the ground. We were floating in the air at least ten or fifteen feet above it.

“Cass!” I reached out to her, trying to catch her, but it was useless. Gravity kicked in, and we started tumbling. Within seconds, the two of us smashed into the pavement. It hurt, and every part of me was sore; it felt like a side effect of the teleporter more than anything else. But I shut out the pain as best I could and shoved myself up off the ground. There were several chunks of smoking metal surrounding us, some of them still on fire. Some of the Moon base must have come with us.

Cass was lying motionless against the pavement, no more than a few feet away from me. I scrambled over to her as quickly as I could, pulling my helmet off and tossing it aside, picking her up. She coughed several times, and a splash of bloody vomit splattered against the ground.

“Oh, God... augh, f-f-fuck me...” she wheezed out, reaching up with a trembling hand to wipe the sick away from her mouth. I grabbed hold of her, trying to help her sit up. She looked around with dazed and unfocused eyes, until she finally saw me holding onto her. She reached out with both hands, grabbing at me and pulling herself up, drawing me into a tight embrace. “Holy... holy shit... where th’ fuck’re we now?”

I didn’t say anything at first. I just tried to catch my breath, holding onto her as tightly as I could. The ringing in my ears started to fade... and that’s about the time I heard muttered, hushed voices all around us.

I looked up, and saw faces of people, keeping their distance, but curious as to what was going on. They looked like... tourists? Both Cass and I looked up in confusion, trying to make sense of this... until we saw the tower of the Lucky 38 looming over us. We’d landed right smack-dab in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard. I started laughing softly to myself, and kept looking up. Beyond the 38’s tower, the sky was full of scattered clouds. It was mostly dark now, and the brightest stars in the night sky were starting to filter through the dissolving cloud cover... along with the half-Moon.

Suddenly, an imperfection appeared on the dark side of the Moon. A twinkle of light, shining bright... like a tiny supernova. I wanted to keep laughing, but I was too damn tired. So Cass and I leaned against each other, holding on tight as we could and keeping the other from falling.

“We’re home.”
You can see it here.

I tried uploading the word document to deviantart with little success. I also haven't been able to figure out how to post it on the mirror.

See, the problem is that I kept everything in the timeline organized with a really big table and separated by different colors, as it was a whole bunch of different groups all doing stuff over an extended period of time. Not to mention, I wanted there to be a clear distinction between what is officially canon, and what I've come up with for my story. But deviantart doesn't like .doc files, and doesn't allow different colors. Pretty sure deviantart doesn't allow different colors in the html text editor, either. So, with a bit of luck, people will be able to see this.

Maybe if I'm feeling up to it, I'll try and rewrite this gigantic mess so it's just as easily understood if printed out in black and white.

But not tonight.

Chapter 160: Cut Off One Head


We stand now at the dawn of a new era - at the very precipice of destiny! The Enclave built America up from nothing, and our sweat and blood is as much a part of the United States as the air we breathe! And yet, despite all our efforts, our once great nation is still polluted, my brothers and sisters! Tainted by foul mutants, murderers, and deviants without number! They trespass on our beloved American soil, and they think they can do so without consequence? They are either fools or madmen! That is why, my brothers and sisters, we shall soon fight with renewed strength, and reclaim our sacred ground! We shall wipe the slate clean! And once the filth has been washed away, we shall return our beloved America into its rightful place as the greatest nation on Earth!


“I think we lost them...” I said, the visor of my helmet pressed up against the metal grate. “For now, at least.”

It had been maybe an hour since we saw Prime and the Patriot trading blows and used them to cover our escape. I honestly wasn’t sure, because it was surprisingly difficult to keep track of time on the Moon. However long it was, the time had been quite harrowing. Every time an Enclave patrol found us, we’d fight them off briefly, escape, and just when I thought we’d given them the slip, another patrol would appear.

The only reason our current surroundings seemed relatively safe was because it was physically too small for them to get inside. Thanks to Sue’s therm-optic camouflage, Cass and I had managed to duck into... well, quite frankly, I’m not sure where we were. Part of me – the part that had seen too many action holotapes – wanted to say it was an air duct, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that. It was probably something like a maintenance hallway; a way to service systems on this Moon base between decks.

Whatever it was, there was barely room to crouch, much less stand up, but on the plus side at least three patrols had passed us by so far without any of them pausing to check. We’d been making so much noise and causing so many explosions, I don’t think they expected us to try a sneaky approach.

We couldn’t stay here forever. We still had a job to do, and we had maybe five minutes before they wised up and figured out where we’d gone.

But that was five minutes the two of us desperately needed.

“Fuckin’ hell...” Cass muttered, slumped against the wall with her AA-12 in her lap “These fucks just don’t give up, do they?”

“Well, it is their home turf,” I said, still keeping watch through the access grate. “I think I’d be insulted if they didn’t at least put some effort in.”

“Jesus Christ, dude!” Cass finally muttered with her head in her hands. “Would you fuckin’ sit down for a minute? You’ve gotta be fuckin’ exhausted!”

“I’m fine,” I lied. Cass shook her head and chuckled grimly.

“Fuck sake, man. How th’ fuck’re you even still standin’?” she asked.

“Because there’s still a job to do...” I said. “And there’s no one else.” Cass grumbled again, and reached behind her for something.

“You crazy sumbitch, I swear...” I looked down and realized she was unscrewing the cap on... oh fuck.

“You brought your flask?” I asked, a bit needlessly. It was obviously her flask; even in the dim light, I could see the indentations from the rose picture engraved on the metal. She shrugged, pausing just before bringing it to her lips.

“Yeah, well...” Cass let out a single weak laugh, and lowered the flask. “I’ve kept this filled since ah gave up whisky. Y’know... just in case things ever got bad ‘nuff. An’... well... we’re fightin’ space Nazis on th’ Moon, with no hope’ve gettin’ back t’Earth. At this point, who really gives a fuck, right?” She chuckled again, and raised her flask at me in a toast. “Cheers.” Cautiously, I reached out and grabbed her hand softly before she got the chance to drink; she looked up at me with a curious eyebrow.

“Tell you what,” I said, kneeling down in front of her. “I’ll sit down for a drink with you, if there’s enough in that to share.” Cass smiled and nodded, setting the flask down to help me with my helmet.

“Fuck yeah, now yer talkin’!” I unclipped my helmet, and she grabbed it on either side to pull my helmet free. I let out a sigh of relief as the cool air hit my face like a splash of ice water... but the really shocking thing came when I opened my eyes, and saw Cass looking at me in horror.

“Holy shit! Yer bleedin’ man!” She reached out to grab my face in concern, while I just sat there like a lemon, utterly bewildered.

“I am?” I asked honestly. “Hadn’t noticed. Here.” I reached behind me and pulled out my medkit, handing it to Cass. The leather pouch I’d gotten from Doc Mitchell was certainly starting to look a little care-worn from all its use. She opened it up, grabbed some gauze... and then picked up her flask. She looked at it mournfully for a second before letting out a sigh and dousing the gauze in alcohol.

Shit, this was gonna hurt, wasn’t it?

“Ah, fuck,” Cass said, dabbing the side of my face with the booze-soaked gaAAUGH FUCK! Yep, I was right, that really stings. But I just grit my teeth and kept quiet. “I think y’broke open that same cut y’got from that rooftop fight with Tuera a week ago. You sure there’s not somethin’ sharp inside yer helmet?”

I didn’t answer, because a horrible realization had just hit me like a .45 slug to the back of my skull. I hadn’t had a chance to stop and think about it, since the two of us had been running for our lives for the last hour. But now that we had finally stopped?

“Shea! GO!”

Tuera’s words echoed in my head. Immediately, there was a part of my brain that was trying to rationalize leaving Tuera behind. At the time, all I’d been thinking about was just getting the fuck away. Nothing in my arsenal even seemed to faze Panzer; hell, the Alien Blaster had disintegrated people, and he didn’t even seem to notice. Even the tank had done fuck-all. What the fuck could I have done if I’d stayed? He would have just turned me into a bloody smear.

But ever since our chat under the 38, Tuera had been looking for a way to die on her feet. And I’d just left her behind.

“Shea! GO!”

A sharp pain shot through my chest and wouldn’t go away... and at the same time, I felt completely numb. It was like my insides were being eaten from the inside out, and it didn’t take long for me to feel... hollow. I just sat there, stupefied, while Cass saw to mending the wound on my head. I saw her mouth move, but I couldn’t hear what she was saying. Everything was muffled.

“... what?” I asked softly, trying to compose myself.

Focus. Compartmentalize. You’re not done with the job yet. Work now, guilt later.

“Y’alright?” Cass’ voice finally snapped into focus.

“Shea! GO!”

“Earlier... you said...” I coughed out, trying to will my brain to focus more than anything else. “Do you really think we’re not gonna make it back?” Cass grimaced, continuing to treat the wound on my head.

“Yeah, well...  S’not lookin’ good. Ah did an ammo count b’fore we ducked in here...”


“I’m down to two,” she admitted. I was hoping she didn’t mean what I thought she meant.

“Mags?” I asked, hopefully. She shook her head.

“Nope. Shells.” She finished tending to my head wound, and slumped back down against the opposite wall. “Ah tell ya, I love this thing,” she grabbed her shotgun by the barrel, giving it a shake. “But it burns through ammo like a motherfucker. And with no ammo, I’m kinda fucked, y’know?”

“No,” I grunted, shifting my weight. “You’re not.” I shrugged the Jury Rigger into my hands, and then handed it to Cass. “Here. It’ll need to charge up if you use it too often, but this’ll never run out of ammo.” Cass looked at the weapon – and me – curiously.

“Y’sure?” I nodded back at her, urging her to take the rifle. She grabbed hold of it gingerly, and I pulled out the Alien Blaster, checking to make sure it was loaded.

“I got plenty of weapons, don’t worry about me. Just be careful when you fire that thing. The LAER setting overpenetrates like nobody’s business – so just make sure I’m not behind whatever you’re shooting, alright?” Cass nodded. “The holorifle setting is probably the most like a shotgun. Pulse will fry anything electronic, especially power armor.”

“An’ sonic?” she asked, hefting up the rifle and looking down the sights.

“That one disables force fields. Haven’t seen any yet, but I wouldn’t put it past that digital fuckhead, so keep on the lookout.” I holstered the Alien Blaster and grabbed the flask that Cass had set down on the floor. “We’re not licked yet. I promise. We’re gonna make it through this.”

“Shea! GO!”

The words echoed in my head again, and I paused, suddenly wracked by a dizzying wave of guilt. Next thing I knew, I had the flask to my lips and was pouring the burning amber liquid down my gullet. I gulped hard, and when I pulled the flask away I realized that my hand was shaking. I chuckled grimly, and offered the rest to Cass.

Cass paused, looking down at the flask, and then up at me. Without a word, she pushed the flask away, took my face in her hands, leaned in to me, and pressed her lips to mine. The two of us lingered there for a few seconds, just... holding each other in that darkened, dusty maintenance tunnel. Reluctantly, she pulled away, her hot breath caressing my cheek.

“We’ll get through this,” I whispered, holding her close.

“Whatever you say,” she replied; the next thing I knew, she was shoving my helmet in my stomach. “C’mon. We’ve gotta go...” I gave her one last smirk before putting my helmet back on and buckling it back in place. The lenses of my helmet flashed, and the heads-up display returned.

“Whatever you say...” I repeated.

- - -

About fifteen minutes later, Cass and I were hiding in the shadows, near some kind of service elevator. At least, that’s what I assumed “turbolift” meant. Cass was holding the Jury Rigger tightly, and I had my Alien Blaster drawn and at the ready, but so far we’d been able to avoid any confrontations and keep out of sight.

If I was reading the map on my Pip Boy right, we needed to use that elevator to get into the lower levels of the base to find the reactor – and a terminal close to Eden’s mainframe. But for the moment, we couldn’t get at it. Several Enclave soldiers and at least a dozen robots were milling around, keeping watch.

“Think we can take ‘em?” Cass whispered; I tapped a finger to my helmet’s respirator, and tried to keep her quiet. We could probably fight them off for a while, sure, but that would only draw more attention. And I didn’t think we could afford to have them lock down this elevator... so I hoped we could pull off a stealthy approach. The closest soldier had his back to us, and a pair of fingers pressed to the side of his helmet. He was definitely talking to someone through his helmet radio.

“Yes sir,” the Enclave trooper said aloud. “Yes, we think they may be splitting up. We think they’re on levels five and six, now.” He paused. “Yes sir, I understand, sir.” He grabbed his rifle with both hands and then bellowed: “FIRST SQUAD! On your feet! Tactical column, double time it! C’mon, ladies! They ain’t payin’ us by the hour, MOVE!”

With thunderous military precision, the troops formed up, and started marching away: the power armored infantry in the middle, and the robots guarding the flanks. The column of infantry disappeared around a corner, and the heavy thuds of their footfalls got softer and softer, until we couldn’t hear them at all.

“C’mon,” I half-whispered, half-grunted, making my way to the elevator. “Now’s our chance! Go!” I scanned the area, and checked the motion tracker on my HUD. So far, it looked like we were the only things moving nearby. I hit the call button, and immediately a hiss of pressurized gas signaled the doors opening. The inside was a nondescript metal cylinder, and thankfully no one was in it. So Cass and I both backed inside – but with our guns drawn, pointing out the door. Just in case. As soon as we were inside, the doors slid shut.

“The fuck?” Cass asked aloud, inspecting the buttons next to the door. “The fuck is this?”

I checked around her shoulder to try and find out what she was talking about. And sure enough, at first glance, the panel looked confusing. It wasn’t set up in symmetrical rows of buttons, arranged in a box like I would’ve expected from an elevator. The two rows of buttons were arranged on either side of a schematic, connected to various points by lines that made it look more like a circuit board than anything else.

“... I think it’s a cut-away map of the base,” I said, tracing a finger across the diagram... and then the bottom of my stomach fell out. If I was reading the scale on this right, then this base was several miles deep, as well as several miles wide, and that was all manner of unsettling. I cleared my throat and tried to focus on what was immediately relevant before speaking again. “If these are all destinations, then this thing must be able to travel horizontal as well as vertical.”

“What, like a pneumatic tube?” she asked curiously. I shrugged.

“Maybe. Sure as hell isn’t gonna be a counterweight with a hoist.” I tapped a point at the bottom of the map. “I think... that’s where we need to go.” I followed the line with my finger, and hit the button; immediately, the whole thing shook.

“Well, we’re off...” Cass leaned against the wall, drumming her fingers against the outside of the Jury Rigger. She furrowed her brow, and pointed behind me. “Hang on. S’that a window?”

I turned around to look at the curved wall behind me. Sure enough, it was made of glass, and the wall was moving behind it; every second or so, a light would go by, from the bottom to the top. At least we were going in the right direction.

And then we weren’t.

There was a heavy clunk, and the whole elevator shook violently. The lights in the ceiling flickered, and I realized with a mounting sense of disquiet that we were no longer moving. Cass and I looked around, positioning ourselves back-to-back, both of us with our guns drawn trying to figure out what was going on...

“You have already lost, mutant,” a calm voice spoke through a speaker in the ceiling. “You know that, don’t you?” The venom in his words was almost palpable.

Eden...” Cass growled unnecessarily. Suddenly, the elevator shook again, and we were moving – but it didn’t feel like the same direction as before.

Where was he taking us?

“Big talk from the man whose soldiers I’ve been slaughtering all morning!” I said at the ceiling, with a confidence I didn’t actually feel. But there was no need to let him know that. “It’s not even lunch, and I’ve already lost track!”

He chuckled menacingly. The sound was like ice water dumped on my head, but I stood firm, and gripped my Alien Blaster tighter.

“An insignificant loss, shouldered by those who are expendable,” Eden said. “You tear into an army of slaves, nothing more. Their lives only gain meaning in death, and they know it. They will gladly throw themselves upon you to enact my will. For every one of them who falls, ten more will take his place.”

“Then I guess we better find ten more, asshole!” Cass shouted. For a few seconds, Eden didn’t say anything. And then the silence was broken... by a heavy sigh.

“How long do you really think you can keep on fighting?” he asked, voicing a concern I’d asked myself earlier. “Eventually, you will make a mistake. Or you will run out of ammunition.” Next to me, I felt Cass stiffen up. “Or you will succumb to exhaustion. It makes little difference to me how you meet your end. So go ahead. Kill as many of my soldiers as you like. There is –”

The speaker above our heads exploded in a shower of sparks. Smoke curled from the barrel of That Gun, and I lowered it slowly.

“Fuck sake!” Cass lowered her arms away from her head. “Warn me when yer gonna...”

“Amusing,” Eden’s cut her off, in a voice that betrayed his lack of amusement. “But pointless.” The sound seemed to surround us, coming from all directions; I couldn’t pinpoint where it was coming from, or even see any of the speakers this time.

The lights flickered again, momentarily plunging us into darkness. It felt like the elevator altered its course, and the view outside the window changed yet again.

“What is...” Cass trailed off as she moved to the window and looked out. I couldn’t help but follow. This place kept throwing curveballs, and the view outside the curved elevator window was no exception.

The space beyond was vast, like the pseudo-cityscape in the levels above us. I couldn’t see the end of it; it just seemed to go on and on forever, receding off into the darkness. Filling this cavernous chamber were row after row, shelf after shelf of some kind of strange cylindrical glass tubes. Each one of the vat-like tubes was filled with a glowing green liquid and... oh shit, there were bodies inside each one! There were so many of them, I couldn’t possibly hope to count them all. Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands? Like the room they occupied, they just seemed to go on forever. Machinery and people buzzed around everything, like insects tending to the inner workings of an enormous hive.

“Holy shit...” Cass muttered, pressing a hand against the glass. She looked as worried as I felt.

“This... this must be where they grow the clones...” I said aloud.

“Only one of ten gestation facilities we have within Lunar Station Enclave,” Eden corrected. My eyes went wide and the bottom of my stomach fell out again. But he wasn’t finished. “Now do you understand? Do you now see the futility of rising up against me, and the utter foolishness of trying to defeat America?”

“There’s just... so many...” Cass’ voice was starting to waver. Frankly, I couldn’t blame her.

“Do you feel it, mutant? Do you feel that sensation, taking hold of you now?” Eden kept on gloating. But while he talked, I was busy trying to figure out an exit. “That is your only reward, and the fate of all who dare stand against the might of America: absolute despair. The silent chill of the grave is all that awaits you. We shall cleanse the world of your filth, and your pathetic resistance shall be forgotten. Your deaths will be for nothing!”

I pressed the barrel of the Alien Blaster against the glass; Cass noticed what I was doing, and (very sensibly) stepped away and took cover behind me.

“You talk too much.”

There was a bright flash, a belch of ozone, and the glass exploded outward in a shower of superheated vapor. I grabbed Cass by the waist and held her close, whispering to her: “Grab hold of me.” In a single motion, I holstered the Alien Blaster and pulled out the grapnel gun.


Cass and I sailed through the air, away from the elevator. All around us, sirens and warning klaxons sounded. In the background I could still hear Eden’s voice, booming now as it echoed throughout the cavernous chamber.

“You only delay the inevitable.”

- - -

“This is all your fault!” Cass yelled, sending a trio of LAER bursts down the corridor. The beams sliced into several robots each and bits of shredded metal went tumbling off in every direction.

My fault?!” I had to duck as a cluster of blue plasma streaked through the air just over my head. I returned fire with a pair of energy bolts from the Alien Blaster, and the two power armored soldiers closest to us exploded into a cloud of vapor. “How could it be my fault?”

“We were almost clear, and y’just had t’drop that grenade on our way out th’ clone chambers, didn’t ya?” She yelled. A pair of robots started running at our cover; I heard a heavy clunk and suddenly a cluster of blue holographic cubes hit them like a wall, sending them flying.

“They were on top of us anyway!” I yelled, sending another pair of energy bolts down the hall. “And all those exploding clone tanks would’ve covered our escape, if you had just kept quiet!”

“Don’t you dare try pinnin’ this on me!” There was another clunk, and one of the robots suddenly found itself without a head after being hit by a particularly large cube. It tumbled end over end into the other soldiers at the end of the hall. I pulled out a plasma grenade – my very last one – primed it, and tossed it. The entire end of the hall erupted in green fire. When the dust settled, everything was quiet. Convinced that no one else was going to shoot at me, I stepped out of cover.

“Look, let’s not get bogged down with who did what to who...” I began.

“Well, no, cuz you did all’ve it,” Cass stood up, with a laugh and a smile to let me know she didn’t mean it. Hopefully.

“Never mind that. We’ve gotta get out of here before more troops arrive.” As if on cue, I heard more stomping of heavy boots off in the distance, getting closer. “Oh yeah, it’s time to go! C’mon!”

And with that, the two of us set off running. I had a... vague idea of where we were going. I think. To be honest, it was really hard to double check a map while under fire.

As we ran, I tried to figure out how much ammo I had left for the Alien Blaster. I’d already used 3 power cells, and the one still loaded had about two shots left. Subtracting that from the ammo Chris gave me, which meant... 62 shots left. My first thought was that I could make that work. And then an image of numberless rows of clones sank into my brain, hammered home by the swiftly approaching sound of boots behind us...

Fuck it. At least my arm will never run out of ammo.

“There they are!” A voice yelled out to our left. “Stop th –” He exploded into a cloud of blue vapor, as did the soldier next to him.

“GO!” I yelled, urging Cass forward while I popped out the spent energy cell. By the time it clattered to the floor, we were already turning the next corner. Maybe I was hearing things, but I could swear I heard the glass crack when it was stomped on by so many boots giving chase.

“Damnit, where did they come from!?” Cass turned as she ran, snapping off a few shots behind her.

“Where do you think?” I fired again, but didn’t bother to check if I’d hit anything. That would’ve taken too much time. The two of us kept running, making our way through the twisting, winding corridors, until suddenly:

“Ah, FUCK!” Cass shouted. The two of us came to a stop as we realized where we were: a dead end. It seemed like a storage room of some kind, just without any storage. No way out of this empty room except the way we came, and we definitely couldn’t go that way, because who knows how many soldiers were bearing down on us right now? “I blame you fer this!”

“What?!” I asked indignantly, leveling the Alien Blaster back the way we came and pulling out That Gun as well. “How is this my fault?”

“Yer th’ one with th’ fuckin’ map!” Cass shot back, leveling the Jury Rigger at the entrance as well. The stomping sound of boots was getting closer, but also seemed to slow down; they must have figured out they had us boxed in, and could take their time.

I didn’t know if that made it better or worse, but as it happened? We didn’t find out either way.

The wall behind us exploded unexpectedly, pelting the two of us with debris; neither of us had time to react, but none of the chunks seemed to cause any kind of harm. Hell, it seemed to do more damage to the lighting than us, because most of the ceiling bulbs flickered and exploded, showering us with phosphor.

“What the –” I had both my guns instantly trained on the new opening, but soon brought myself to a halt. The massive figure silhouetted against the new, rough opening was definitely wearing power armor, but it wasn’t the horned-sort with ominously glowing eyes like the Enclave was wearing. And when I saw the green glow from the big fucking gun he was carrying, I realized we might actually make it out of this.

“Get down.” Chris said simply, leveling his huge weapon.

“What is –” Cass didn’t finish, because I was diving for the floor, grabbing her on the way down and doing my best to shield her with myself. For some reason I was reminded of The Divide, and how I’d grabbed hold of ED-E before taking cover from the nuclear blast. Chris stomped forward twice so he could stand directly over us, the gun whined as it charged up, and then...

There was noise, heat, and a small earthquake all at once. It only took a second, but a second was all it needed to feel like a bomb just went off.

“Are you two okay?” Chris asked, genuine concern seeping into his voice. I rolled off Cass, and helped her up; Chris was already offering one of his mechanical power armor hands, and Cass took it gladly, getting back on her feet. I pushed off the ground and followed suit.

“Fine,” I said, surveying the carnage and dusting myself off. Cass, meanwhile, let out a long low whistle as she looked back. “Never better.” Chris’ big fucking gun had blown quite the hole in the wall. And the floor. And the ceiling. Almost everything beyond where we’d dove to the floor was either melting or completely gone, and the damage went on in a vaguely cone-like shape for... quite a while. It must have taken out the troops giving us chase, because I couldn’t hear any more of them following us.

That said, how would they be able to? Most of the floor was reduced to molten, melted slag.

“Thanks fer th’ save,” she said, patting Chris on the side of his armor. Now that the dust had settled, I could see that it was no longer purely bone-white. Most of it looked like ours: dirty, dusty, marred, and occasionally flecked with splattered blood and intermittent plasma flash burns.

“Don’t mention it!” he said completely casual, like he was being complimented about a softball pitch. “I’m just glad I got here before things got too exciting. If you’ll pardon the pun.”

Cass and I both stared at him curiously for a few seconds. The only sound any of us heard was the slowly creaking embers of the rapidly cooling metal behind us.

“What pun?” I finally asked. Chris cocked his head to the side.

“Oh, wasn’t there one? I’m sorry.” He lifted up his big fucking gun again, motioned with his head for us to follow, and turned on his heel to go back through the crumbling wall. “C’mon, I think I’ve found a way to the reactor.”

And then there were three.
New Vegas: Sheason's Story (Chapter 160)
Gotta love a bit of Casual Danger Dialog.

Also: Eden won't admit it, but he's starting to get annoyed by the 'mutants' running rampant throughout the base. He expected them to be dead by now, and while he genuinely believes he's already won, he'd rather it happens sooner rather than later.
Presenting another episode of "Things I Didn't Know I Needed In My Life But Yeah I Totally Needed This"

This is almost as good as that G1 style War for Cybertron trailer :iconavenger09: linked a while back.

In other news, I just finished the chapter. It's a hairs-width shorter than I was expecting, but it hit every plot point I wanted for this chapter.

It's gonna get posted tomorrow.

Er. Today.


Chapter 159: Panzerschreck


Brothers and sisters of the Enclave! Today, you are the hands that bludgeon! The teeth that bite and tear! You are the beating heart of this great nation – the vital organ that keeps America alive! With your blood, you nourish us all! In truth, I envy you. To fight the enemy of our nation, to face the mutants that infect our land like a disease... it is an honor we all aspire to! Our flag means nothing if not held aloft in the hands of the mighty. And today, it is you who now carry it!


“You strapped in back there?” I called out over my shoulder. My voice seemed strangely muffled by the metal cocoon surrounding me. I was expecting more of an echo.

“Cocked, locked, and ready to fuck shit up!” Cass yelled back at me from the gunner chair. “So, d’ya really know how to drive one of these things?”

“Oh, yeah!” I said, settling back into the driver seat, and grabbing hold of the two levers sticking out of the floor between my legs. “I mean, it’s not a Corvega in here, but it’ll be like driving a bulldozer!”

“... You know how t’drive a bulldozer?”

“Absolutey!” I yelled back. “I had a job in construction, ‘bout ten years ago! This’ll be a cinch!”

I hoped, I didn’t say aloud. Truth be told, it did seem quite a bit more high-tech and complicated than the last bulldozer I drove. There were a whole lot more screens and buttons than a bulldozer, certainly. And the only actual window looking outside was a periscope roughly the size and shape of a mail slot. But if I was reading all these labels correctly, then these screens in front of me were connected to cameras mounted on the hull. There also appeared to be a dedicated tactical map, complete with radar – like the motion tracker on my helmets HUD, only better – and... was that some kind of radio?

Wait a minute, I know what that is!

“You know, I just thought of something,” Cass had to shout, since I’d just fired up the tank, and everything started to shake. The engine sounded like amplified thunder in here! “Tuera’s out there in that giant robot suit, fucking shit up, right?”

“I believe so, yes!” I shouted back, turning on the cameras, one by one. The screens winked on, giving me a panoramic – and, surprisingly enough, full color – view of the garage. Tactical readouts winked into life, showing outlines of soldiers just behind the wall – like the IFF spotter display in my helmet, only vastly more powerful. I turned to the communication panel, and started tracking the signals that appeared on the radar, trying to find the one I wanted.

“How will she know not to fuck US up?” she yelled at me.

“Way ahead of you on that one!” I said with a thumbs-up. I found the signal I was looking for, and the radio screen started flashing the words CONNECTING... “Tuera! You readin’ me?” As if on cue, Tuera’s face appeared (also in full color), and I couldn’t help but blanch slightly; a long trail of blood was splattered on the left side of her face, leaking out from a deep gash on her forehead. She did a double take, and stared at the screen with surprise and confusion.

Sheason?” There was a flash from somewhere that lit up her face, and she ducked slightly before dividing her attention between the monitor and piloting the mech. “What are you... how did you get on this frequency? How’d you find it?!”

“We found a tank!” I yelled back at her, and she looked even more confused. “Lock onto this signal, and don’t kill us!” I looked back over my shoulder. “Hey, Cass? You wanna know something? I don’t like the way that wall is lookin’ at us!”

“GO FOR KILL!” Cass shouted back with a laugh. I settled back in the chair, put the tank in gear, made sure the levers were pulled back fully, and revved the engine. The whole tank rumbled violently, like a wild animal in a cage... snarling and ready to pounce.

That’s about when Cass fired the main gun.

Even muffled by the armor of the tank, it threatened to blow out my eardrums. It sounded like a smaller version of the plasma cannon blast the Mega-Patriot fired earlier. The image on the monitors in front of me flickered and distorted from the shockwave. Within seconds the door was reduced to rubble, fire, and a massive cloud of smoke. And if the disappearing red outlines were any indication, quite a few troops were taken out in that blast as well.

“LET’S GO!” I shouted, leaning forward on the two control levers; immediately, I was thrown back into the chair by the tank lurching forward, up and over the rubble, and straight through the fire like it was nothing. The speed itself wasn’t really all that fast, like in my Corvega... it was just immediate.

And speaking of immediate: once we cleared the smoke and fire, I could see a cluster of power armored soldiers in front of us, accompanied by more robots. Some of them were backing up, firing their weapons at us, and I could hear the soft plinks and ptangs of plasma weapons bouncing harmlessly off the hull. But there was at least one cluster of infantry, right in front of us, trying in vain to run away.

I want to say they were arranged like bowling pins, but maybe that was just a trick of the light.

Thuump. Ta-thump-thmp. Thum-ump. Thump.

The tank didn’t even slow down, and the only impacts I felt from the bulky power-armored soldiers I was running over barely seemed to register as speed bumps.

“The fuck was that?” Cass yelled at me.

“Seven-ten split!” I called back. Ahead of us, I could see the rolling hills and ruined buildings of the tank Proving Ground. Moving amid the ruined concrete frames of bombed-out structure used as target practice, I could see... “Eyes front! Infantry on the way!” As I spoke, several of the robots turned their weapons on us, sending a volley of plasma bolts our way. It sounded like we were being hit by pebbles.

“Got it!” Behind me, I could hear the heavy grind of metal on metal as the turret moved. It looked like the ‘infantry’ was mostly robots, but they still tried to scatter. A beam of bright blue energy lanced out from the top of the screen, shaking the tank with the recoil. The beam hit the base of the structure; the ground exploded, sending robots and bits of flaming concrete a good twenty or thirty feet into the air. It was like the whole hill had been covered in C4!

“FUCKIN’ HELL!” Cass laughed raucously, angling the turret again. “I have gotta get me one’a THESE! Ha-haa!”

I looked down at the tactical map, and saw several markings off to our right. A couple of triangles, and at least two squares... The dozens of small dots were infantry, I’d figured out that much already. But I couldn’t tell what the others were, because there was no key. Only one way to find out...

“Hang on to something!” I yelled. I pulled back on the right lever, and the whole tank lurched to the right. Although, ‘pivot’ is probably a more accurate word for what happened. This thing could turn on a fuckin’ cap! I could probably get this thing to tap-dance if I really wanted.

Right, focus, you idiot. I pushed forward on the stick just as soon as the enemy vehicles came into view, and the tank heaved forward again. There were at least four tanks and two of those combat walkers. That meant triangles were tanks, squares were mechs. The tanks seemed smaller than the one we were in, but only just. The walker on the left made a charge for the walker on the right, using one of its arms to deflect the hail of incoming mingun fire.

“There’s Tuera!” I shouted. She shoulder checked her big robot straight into the other mech, knocking it over with a crash... but that left her open to attack from one of the other tanks. “Cover the rear! Hit that son of a bitch behind her!”

“Firing!” Cass shouted. The tank behind Tuera was stationary, angling its turret to get the best shot... and then it was hit by a giant beam of light. The blast hit the side of the hull, right under the turret, sending up a shower of sparks and superheated plasma. Impressive, but I couldn’t tell if we’d killed it or not.

“Hit him again!” I shouted, slowing us down to give Cass a better shot. Smoke and fire was pouring from the side of the tank where we’d hit it, but the turret was definitely still moving...

“Take it!” Cass shouted back. Another streak of white lightning hit the tank dead-on. The turret was engulfed in plasma fire; the next thing I knew, the whole damn turret popped off, crashing off to the side in a shower of molten metal and fire. Every orifice on the tank was belching green fire and smoke. “Fuck yeah! Smoked ‘im!”

Meanwhile, Tuera seemed to be having an easier time of it than us: after knocking over the other walker, she maneuvered her mech over to one of the tanks, grabbed the front of it, and flipped the bitch! It teetered unsteadily on its back armor for a few seconds, treads spinning furiously, before it toppled upside down – straight onto the other tank.

“You need to keep moving,” I heard Tuera’s voice through the radio, as she turned around and approached us in her mech. She certainly looked awfully exposed, sitting in that thing with no harness or seatbelt, no cockpit canopy, and nothing to stop anyone from taking any pot shots at her. “Go straight up the middle, through the proving ground. I’ll cover your flanks.”

“Got it,” I nodded, glanced at the radar, and turned back to Cass. “Get ready! More infantry behind us!” I yanked back on the left stick, and we pivoted again, spinning the tank a full 180-degrees before pushing both levers forward and setting off again. The plinking sounds of plasma fire echoed off the hull as we turned around, and didn’t stop when the soldiers finally came into view.

“Eat this!” The tank shuddered from Cass firing the big gun while I kept us on the straight and narrow. The energy beam reduced a pair of Enclave troops that didn’t get out of the way fast enough into a fine mist, and took out several more when it hit the wall of a ruined building and sent white-hot plasma raining down everywhere. The wall in front of us started to crumble, and I gunned the engine. The tank smashed headfirst through the rubble, but it turned out there was a huge drop I hadn’t been expecting on the other side.

“Oh, fuck! BRACE!” I yelled, trying desperately to follow my own advice. Given that we were in a tank that must have weighed about 170 bazillion tons, I was expecting the whole thing to just go ‘clunk’ and drop off the edge immediately in a huge crash of twisting metal. But instead, we kept going straight and level, long after I thought we should have dropped. And then: CRASH! The tank smashed against the side of the cliff, like we were attached to a hinge, and the next thing I knew, the tank was driving straight down a nearly vertical incline.

“Jesus, man!” Cass yelled at me when the tank leveled out with another crash. “Take it easy!”

“No time!” I glanced back down at the radar. “Two more tanks, coming in from the right!”

“On it!” She called back. I could hear the turret moving – and firing – again, and I desperately tried to get my bearings. But before I could, the ground ahead of us exploded.

“SON OF A –” I tried to go around, but I was too late. The tank plowed straight through the expanding ball of plasma and debris. A few warnings on the monitors started blinking and yelling at me, but we did manage to come out the other side. I think. The dust and smoke had become very thick.

And still the tank charged forward.

“On the left!” Tuera’s voice barked in my headset. Sure enough, I checked the map and saw the icon for Tuera’s mech, moving behind us, heading straight for another tank coming for us from the left. I couldn’t see the markers for the other two tanks on our right, which probably meant Cass got them. Hopefully.

“Eyes up!” I yelled, trying to maneuver us into a better firing position. Enough of the smoke cleared, and the tank ahead of us seemed to materialize out of thin air. The barrel didn’t need to move. It was aimed squarely at us. “FUCK!” I slammed us in reverse, trying to get out of the way. Behind me, I could hear the mechanical grind of the turret straining to move into position...

The whole tank shook, almost as much as it had from falling down the cliff. More warning klaxons screeched, and a wireframe of the tank appeared at the edge of the rightmost screen, showing a large chunk of the right side of the tank covered in red dots. And as bad as it was, when I looked up I realized: it could’ve been a lot worse. Tuera’s mech was holding onto the barrel of the enemy tank in front of us with its gigantic metal hands, and I realized that she had shoved the barrel off target.

“Hit him!” Tuera yelled at me through the radio. “Hit him now!” While she spoke, she grabbed the front of the tank with the mech’s free hand, and tilted it up like the other tank from before – exposing the soft, lightly armored underbelly. She held it in place with the right hand and turned away, shooting at another target with the minigun under the left hand.

“FUCK YOU!” Cass shouted, and the tank shook again. A white flash of plasma hit the enemy tank in a blast of molten metal that blasted it out of Tuera’s hands. The enemy tank must have flown at least ten or twenty feet away from us, before collapsing onto its turret in a flaming wreck.

How much longer could we keep this up? I thought to myself, slamming the tank back into drive and gunning the engine. Despite the warnings, the tank was still running. But there were tons of blips on the radar: hordes of infantry, more tanks, and even a few more walkers, all of them closing in on us. And, if I was reading the map right, we were only halfway through the hilly, broken terrain of this tank proving ground.

“They’re backin’ off!” Cass yelled at me, before firing the big gun again; it felt like she was aiming behind us.

“Wait, what?” I asked, looking at the map again. “How can you tell?”

“Well, that’s what it looks like...”

The tank came to a screeching, shuddering, grinding halt. All the lights in the interior switched off at once, and the engine cut out with a cough. Apart from the minimal light coming from the periscopes, we were doused pretty much in pitch darkness. The sounds from outside were muffled, and everything inside the tank was unexpectedly still.

“The fuck?” Cass asked, still yelling; her voice echoed in the suddenly still tank.

“What happened?” I asked aloud, the bottom of my gut falling out. I tried flipping some of the switches, but... everything was dead. “I didn’t...”

The radio switched on with a burst of static.

“You didn’t think it would be that easy, did you?” Eden’s voice sent chills up my spine.

“What the fuck?!” Cass yelled. Clearly, she’d heard him, too. “The fuck is he doin’ in here?!”

A series of clunks reverberated through the tank, and the engine fired up again. The monitors were flickering, but weren’t showing me anything except a loading progress bar... and that was very worrying, since I heard (and felt) a very loud boom somewhere ahead of us. What was that, an explosion? I could feel the sweat beading on my forehead underneath my helmet as I grabbed the periscope and looked through the tiny mail slot.

There was a cloud of dust ahead of us with a vaguely humanoid shape somewhere inside, looking out with a pair of yellow eyes, glowing menacingly. I couldn’t make out any details through the dust, but I didn’t need to: it was the silhouette of a walking mountain of a man, wearing a set of huge power armor. In one hand was a ridiculous tower shield, and in the other was an enormous warhammer.

“FUCK!” I shouted, trying to get the tank to move again. “CASS! TWELVE O’CLOCK!” I hit reverse, and the tank started to go backward, just as Panzer emerged, charging at the tank and closing the gap.

“Firing!” Cass yelled. The tank shook, and my tiny field of view was filled with a white hot light. I tried to squint away the blinding flash... and watched in horror as the energy hit his tower shield, and he knocked it away! The beam ricocheted off the shield and speared off to the right, exploding a piece of scenery just out of view. Panzer just kept on charging us without even breaking stride.

What the fuck?

“AGAIN!” I yelled with my foot jammed against the throttle. Fuck sake, why doesn’t this thing have a faster reverse gear?! “HIT HIM AGAIN!”

The whole world shook... and at the same time, everything stopped. My helmet banged against the metal wall next to me, and I was practically thrown out of the driver seat. When I finally managed to pull myself up to look through the periscope again, I saw the end of the big gun’s barrel bounce past; it had been sheared completely off. Panzer’s gigantic armored mitts were clamped down hard on either side of the tank. I could feel the vibrations of the treads still spinning, trying desperately to move us, but we weren’t moving.

“Fuck!” Cass shouted. “What the fucking fuck!”

The whole tank shook again. I was thrown around the inside of the cabin, and suddenly realized just how much like a coffin this driver’s seat was... Fucking hell, he was picking up the tank, and tossing us around like it didn’t weigh anything! Panzer’s deep, bellowing laughter started echoing through the tank. I caught another glimpse outside – those were definitely pieces of the treads that Panzer had ripped off.

You can’t get away, mutant!” Panzer yelled, amid the screech of wrenching metal. I tried to move, but was tossed back into the driver seat again. The metal echoed with impacts, one after another... was he punching the tank or...

“OUT THE BACK!” I yelled back at Cass, finally figuring out what Panzer was doing. “GO! WE’VE GOTTA BAIL!” I tried getting out of the seat, but the whole tank lurched, and I was thrown back in. The sound of wrenching metal right above my head got worse. I reached behind me, trying to pull the Jury Rigger out of the spot behind me.

“Shea!” Cass yelled. “What are –”

“FUCK SAKE! JUST GO!” I shouted, scrambling out of the drivers seat. The metal roof above me started to cave in from the impacts. Sparks rained down on my head, and the turret... oh, fuck me! The whole turret was at an angle! He was ripping the fucking thing off the tank!

Come on out, mutie...” Panzer snarled. There was one last sound of wrenching, twisting metal, and the whole turret above my head came free. Shards of metal and sparks rained down on my head, and suddenly there was nothing separating me from that gigantic metal bastard. He tossed aside the turret, and picked up his warhammer again.

I didn’t say anything. I had nowhere to go. I didn’t even know if Cass had gotten clear, or what. I just took aim with the Jury Rigger and aimed for Panzer’s face, firing LAER bursts at his helmet again and again. It barely even seemed to stagger him. In desperation, I let go of the end of the Jury-Rigger, grabbed the Alien Blaster with my now-free hand, and fired them both. The bolts from the alien weapon exploded against the side of his face, showering me with sparks and plasma, but...

That won’t work!” he boomed, tearing open a bigger hole in the tank while half his helmet was still on fire. “Time to die!” He lifted his warhammer high over his head, and even though I was still trying desperately to scramble out of the way, I knew that I was completely and entirely fucked.

And then, astoundingly, I wasn’t.

Several explosions hit Panzer in the back. Fire came raining down in torrents all around him. On reflex, I brought up my arms to try and protect myself from the fire and shrapnel. Panzer seemed just as confused as I felt. He turned around, and I used the opportunity while he was distracted to try and get the hell out of this fucking deathtrap. As I tried desperately to escape, I caught a glimpse around Panzer’s massive frame:

Off in the distance I could see Tuera’s mech, smoke pouring from the now empty shoulder-mounted missile pods.

YOU TRAITOR!” Panzer yelled, smashing his warhammer against his shield with a deafening bang. “YOU FILTH!” With that last outburst, he started stomping away, charging forward at Tuera’s walker while she charged at him.

“Fuck fuck fuck fuck...” I muttered frantically, desperately scrambling up and out of the twisted metal salad that used to be a tank. I couldn't stay here. I had no idea where Cass had disappeared to. I just watched in dumbstruck horror as the two giants behind me started beating the shit out of each other. Then, while Tuera's mech slammed a fist straight into Panzer's face, sending him hurtling to the ground, I heard a voice through my headset:

"Shea!" Tuera yelled at me, her transmission intercut with bursts of static. "GO!"

So I ran.

I couldn't think about what I was doing. I just ran as fast as I could across the pock-marked and broken ground, away from the wrecked tank. The rumble of more tanks and the thuds of dozens – maybe hundreds – of boots behind me kept getting closer. Ahead of me I could see a series of bombed out concrete structures, that looked like they’d been used for target practice. It wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing.

“There he is!” I head a voice yell behind me. “All units, engage!”

“FUCK!” I dove through a window frame just as the air was filled with flying plasma. Broken pieces of concrete rained down on my back. I rolled onto my hands and knees, keeping as low as I could while I tried to crawl away.

A high pitched whistling from high above my head grew louder and louder. At first, I didn’t want to believe what I was hearing: the last time I’d heard a sound like that was from the first time I tried to enter Nellis.

Within seconds, I was back on my feet, activating the jets in my rocket boots. If the Enclave had my position targeted with artillery, then I needed to be someplace else as quick as I could. I careened through the air just as the first of the massive explosions tore up the ground behind me. Plasma bursts were streaking through the sky all around and –

There was a sudden bang next to my foot that threw me off balance. The next thing I knew, I was spinning through the air, wildly out of control. I couldn’t see where I was headed or what the fuck was going on; I just heard the explosions from more artillery ripping up the place, the sizzle of plasma streaking through sky all around me, and the rush of wind blasting past my helmet.

I slammed back-first into the ground, tumbling end over end across the rutted landscape several times before collapsing in a heap of aching, screaming body parts. The armor I was wearing must have taken the worst of it, since it didn’t feel like I had any broken bones... but it was still a hell of an impact. My head was spinning, and I could barely see. I groaned and strained, pushing up off the ground to try and figure out where I was and what the fuck had just happened...

Off in the distance I could still see the explosions from artillery chewing up the scenery, and intermittent bursts of bright blue plasma were streaking through the sky. The rocket boot on my left foot was sparking violently and belching smoke. One of those assholes must have clipped me while I was flying through the air, desperately trying to get away from the big fuck-off artillery strikes.

“Shiiiiit...” I wheezed out through gritted teeth, reaching down to unhook the rocket boots. “Sonuva bitch...” I tossed aside the useless, melted metal, and tried scrambling to my feet... but my knees gave out, and I collapsed against the side of the concrete wall I’d landed next to. “Fer fuck sake...” The ground shook from another round of artillery, and I could see figures appear over the other side of the ridge. I gripped the Jury Rigger tightly, taking aim...

A hand came out of nowhere, grabbing me from behind, and pulled me onto the other side of the concrete wall. I felt – rather than saw – a pair of arms and legs wrap around me. I yelped in confusion, and an unseen figure shushed me seconds before a rainbow miasma enveloped my body.

“Shut up fer a minute...” a voice hissed at me, and I unexpectedly disappeared.

“Cass?” I asked in confusion. Of course it was Cass. I must have hit my head harder than I thought.

“Don’t worry!” Sue squeaked from somewhere near my ear. “We’ll keep you hidden!”

I nodded (uselessly) and tried to catch my breath. The ground shook from heavy footfalls, and the shadows from several power armored soldiers moved past us on the other side of the broken concrete wall.

“He can’t have gone far!” one of them barked. “Spread out and find him!” The boots just kept stomping, and the soldiers just kept coming. One of them looked on this side of the wall, plasma rifle at the ready. Cass and I kept deathly still; he was practically close enough to trip over us... but after scanning the area, he turned on his heel, and moved off, apparently satisfied that nothing was here.

“We’ve gotta keep movin’...” Cass whispered at me as soon as the footfalls became more and more distant.

“That’s my line,” I grunted back softly. There was a rainbow shimmer, and the two of us appeared. “Thanks for the save.”

“C’mon,” Cass grabbed me by the shoulder, urging me forward. “There are some trenches over here. I think we can use ‘em to escape.”

The two of us kept low, trying to keep out of sight. To be honest, it wasn’t really a trench so much as a deep ditch that we were moving through. On the plus side, we didn’t have to keep that quiet anymore, because a column of tanks was rolling past, causing all sorts of racket. But on the downside, that meant the fucking tanks were here.

“Fuckin’ hell...” I muttered, following Cass. “Where to?”

“Th’ fuck y’askin’ me fer?” Cass snapped. “You’ve got th’ fuckin’ map!”

I cursed under my breath, and the two of us ducked further down out of sight. Another squad of infantry was passing close by, marching in the tracks left by the tank they were following.

“We should be close,” I whispered, checking the map on my Pip Boy. “If we keep moving, I think we’ll make it. Just so long as there aren’t any more surp –”

A building on the edge of the proving ground to the left of us exploded. Cass and I both dropped to the ground immediately, and I cursed my big fat mouth for tempting fate the way I did. Was it more artillery? It didn’t sound like it. I hadn’t heard any whistling beforehand. I looked up, and realized that the wall wasn’t really exploding; it was collapsing, thanks to something extraordinarily huge smashing through it. Because both the wall and whatever was crashing through it were so huge and so far distant, it was almost like everything was happening in slow motion

“Oh, fuck!” I rasped out. “It’s Liberty Prime!” I hadn’t expected to see him again. But there he was, in the middle of the rapidly disintegrating wall, tumbling out in a shower of shredded metal, fire, giant limbs, and sparks. Unfortunately, he was crashing through the wall both headfirst and sideways.

That wasn’t a good sign.

“C’mon!” I growled at Cass as she looked up, grabbing her by the shoulder to try and get her moving. “C’mon, we can use the distraction to cover our escape!”

The giant robot toppled into the proving ground with an almighty crash, shaking everything around with the force of an earthquake. It was hard to tell through all the fire and smoke, but I was certain Prime had seen better days. One side of his head had been ripped open, his left leg looked torn up below the knee, and almost every panel that I could see was either dented, scratched, or missing. The broken remnant of the sword was sticking out of his left arm in pieces.

And then the laughter started.

YOU’RE A RELIC, PRIME!” The voice of the Mega-Patriot bellowed from the darkness. The other giant robot emerged, and stood over Prime, gnashing a mouth full of sharp, metal teeth. He wasn’t nearly as beat up as Liberty Prime, but the plasma cannon was nowhere in sight, at least. “NOTHING MORE THAN AN OBSOLETE BUCKET OF BOLTS!” Prime tried to pick himself up off the ground, but was kicked back down by the Patriot’s massive metal foot; everything shook and rocked again, like a ship in stormy seas. “JUST MAKE IT EASY ON YOURSELF...” The Patriot reached back with a metal fist. “...AND SUBMIT!

The Patriot started laughing, and all four of its eyes started glowing a malevolent red. When the fist came down, aimed squarely at Liberty Prime’s head, the image of a meteor hurtling towards Earth seemed disturbingly appropriate.


That’s about when I realized Liberty Prime was down, but not out: he’d reached up and grabbed the Patriot’s fist mid-swing, bringing it to a dead stop. Prime pulled himself back up, amid a whirring of servos and a shower of sparks, while the Patriot looked on in anger and confusion.


With a single punch, Prime sent the Mega-Patriot flying into another building. The other robot howled and snarled, while Prime just stood there shakily, both fists raised and at the ready.

WHY THROW AWAY YOUR LIFE SO RECKLESSLY, PRIME?!” The Patriot bellowed, pushing off against the halfway collapsed building, destroying it further. He threw another punch at Liberty Prime, but Prime sidestepped the swing (amid a hail of sparks from every one of his joints), and countered with an uppercut. I half expected the Patriot’s head to pop off, but it just sent him crashing to the ground.

THAT’S A QUESTION YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF!” Prime tried to follow up with another blow, but the Mega-Patriot roared and lunged at Prime, wrapping itself around Prime’s midsection. There was a flurry of flailing metal limbs, and the two robots disappeared back the way they came, into the darkness of the rest of the facility. Hurriedly, the infantry and tanks all seemed to follow suit, chasing after the two giant robots as they tried to rip each other to pieces.

And while the army was distracted, Cass and I slipped away undetected.
New Vegas: Sheason's Story (Chapter 159)
Panzerschreck: a German word that literally means either "tank fight," "tank's fright," or "tank's bane," and is also the name of the anti-tank bazooka developed by Nazi Germany after capturing and reverse engineering American bazookas.

I thought the name appropriate, both as a description for what happens halfway through the chapter, and also to further drive home the similarities between the Enclave and Nazi Germany.

Edit: Changed the manner of Sheason's escape, because it needed to be different. I forgot something crucially, critically important.

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avenger09 Featured By Owner Edited Oct 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
This reminds me of the Talking heads we saw in 1 and 2.…
So it's kind of gone full circle. 
The announcement trailer was also something.…
Voltron64 Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2016
I just wanna say, I can't help but visualize Chris as being danza-ed by a certain Mr. Hemsworth. ;)
Sheason Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I'm picturing that shirtless scene of his in the first (and second) Thor movie, and... yeah, I can see that. He would fit the role of Muscles McMuscles quite well.
Voltron64 Featured By Owner Edited Sep 24, 2016
Not to mention he kinda looks like a real-life Vault Boy.

Which I imagine was your reference for Chris?
Sheason Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, the reason I made Chris look the way he did was because I thought it was funny if he looked like the Vault Boy. That's also why Chris does it, from an in universe perspective.

He doesn't actually have blonde hair, though. He get's Butch to help him dye it, because he wants to keep up the Vault Boy image, just for comedy. His natural hair color is brown.
Voltron64 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2016
Quick questions, you're probably not going to write an adaption of James' adventures as the Chosen One back in Fallout 2, but is possible you could respond to the following?

1. Is it possible to give us a quick summary of the specifics of James' journey?

2. Is the material from the Fallout 2 Restoration Project mod canon here?
Sheason Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
1) Here is the gist of James' adventures: he was a mostly good karma, Jinxed/kamikaze build character with maxed out luck. I can't give you anything more specific than that, because the last time I played Fallout 2 was long before I got Steam. I haven't actually seriously played it in years.

2) See above. I haven't played the Fallout 2 restoration project mod, so I honestly don't know if it would be canon or not.
Voltron64 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2016
1. Informative.

2. Well I recommend you play it, it's pretty good mod and adds a lot.
cbootz Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2016
I'm guessing you don't have any plans for playing Nuka World any time soon?
Sheason Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Not really. I'm trying to get inspired enough to write something for the chapter which most likely will STILL not be done by tomorrow.

I don't know what the fuck is wrong with me.
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