Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nos' Adventures, 8-19-77

August 19, 2277

It was nice to get some real sleep, again. Not quite as safe feeling as being back in the vault, but definitely more so than sleeping sitting up in a burned-out building.

We woke up just after four in the morning. Thankfully, all was quiet outside.

Not a creature was stirring. Not even a… come to think of it, are there still mice? Well, not a Radroach was stirring, at least.

Ria – as she usually is when we wake up in a private bed – was feeling frisky. I know it was a waste of calories we may not be able to replenish in a couple days… but it’s not like I was going to say no.

Afterward, we pulled on some clothing and settled in for a breakfast of Sugar Bombs and slightly irradiated water. We decided to split some kind of meat-on-a-stick we found in the refrigerator as well, to get at least some protein into our systems.

When breakfast was over, it was about fifteen to six. We killed the lights, and stepped outside. The sky way alight, but the sun hadn’t yet risen above the horizon; casting the world into an eerie sort of reverse-dusk.

Stepping back inside, we stowed the extra equipment and supplies we had found into various places, and loaded up with what weapons and ammunition we had.

We couldn’t lock the door behind us, but hoped that our meager store would be secure for the short-term at least. It wasn’t as though people were standing ten deep outside to move in.

That done, we moved on and explored some of the immediately surrounding area. There were a couple more burned out houses, one that was solid but boarded up so heavily that we couldn’t get in, and what looked to be an old school.

Passing by one of the burned out houses, I happened to look in one of the mailboxes… and found three grenades.

Yeah, surprised the hell out of me, too.

They looked like standard military fragmentation models. The M67, or “baseball” grenade. I wasn’t trained specifically to use them – the vault’s arsenal didn’t include grenades, as far as I know – but had seen them plenty of times in magazines and old movies. Pull the pin, throw the grenade, drop the pin, run like hell. As long as you don’t mix up steps two and three, everything should be fine, right?

Unsure of just how useful they’d be, I kept the grenades. I wasn’t going to ignore a resource like that, and if nothing else they’d be great to trade.

While wandering along the street, we were jumped by an apparently insane woman with a submachinegun. Fortunately for us, her being insane meant that she was either not smart enough, or too detached from reality to bother using the reflex sight that someone had gone to more than a bit of trouble to mount onto it.

I should note here that while our vault-suits were technically armored… that armor is not exactly what one would consider bullet proof, strictly speaking. Once upon a time, the vests had carried an NIJ rating of IIIA – proof against most common 44 Magnum rounds fired from a handgun. That, however, was more than two hundred years ago. One thing they don’t always tell you is that Kevlar decays, over time. I’d be surprised if the vests would have stopped even the pistol caliber bullets that the woman was throwing our way. It had never been much of an issue in the vault, as only security had firearms; and such things as assault were extremely rare – murder had never happened in the history of Vault 101.

…Well, at least before the Overseer had Jonas shot. I think that fucked up his perfect record a bit. The trail of corpses Ria and I left probably didn’t help, either.

Our aimed return fire prevailed over her wild spraying in short order.

She hadn’t been armored at all, as far as we could tell. The woman had been using a STEN MKIII – a weapon originally issued by the British during WWII. How in the hell one ended up in the DC area was beyond me. An even better question was how someone managed to get a red-dot mounted to the receiver.

Pointless questions aside, we found two full magazines, and a third in the weapon that had eight rounds left in it. 9x19 ball – old, corroded crap that wouldn’t have been considered viable defensive ammunition even when it was new. Still, it beat harsh language, and several hundred of them a minute were bound to up the lethality index.

The woman had also been carrying some drugs of some sort. Again, I didn’t recognize the names; but the injectors were all empty, so she must’ve been fond of the stuff. This body we left lay, and moved on. If she had friends about, we didn’t need to be seen toting a body around…

Moving closer to the school, we began to hear voices. Not the happy-go-lucky “kill everyone!” psychosis voices, either. These were real, although I think the psychosis voices would be less troubling.

We managed to get up to the wall underneath some open windows without being noticed, and listened in.

Time and again we heard references to “caps”; what a share of them would be spent on, speculations as to the group’s total haul, and so forth. It looked like Ria had been right in her sarcastic prediction. They really did use the fucking things as money.

The men and women we overheard were probably cohorts to the one we had just killed, and were apparently exactly the type of insane barbarians we had been expecting to run into. A few nearest the windows began to idly discuss a recent raid on a merchant caravan. Apparently they had made off with little enough in the way of sellable swag, but had managed to wound and capture one of the guards – a young woman.

The things they mentioned doing to her are best left unrepeated here, but I’ll say that the festivities ended in eating her… and not in the way that women traditionally enjoy being eaten.

Great. Not just psychotics, but cannibals, as well.

There were also bitter complaints about the nearby town of “Megaton”; complaints about not being able to go near the place. That seemed to signal that the place might be safe for us to try and pick up some supplies.

This knowledge secured, we retreated back the way we came, and took up position behind the boarded-up house.

“Leaving this many, this close to our place isn’t a good idea.” Ria noted.

She’s never been one to take the subtle path.

“I don’t think we’re armed well enough.” I contended. “We don’t have even a firm idea of their numbers, or armaments. If we had a couple of rifles at least, maybe…”

“I agree.” She nodded. “Still… how long do you think it’ll be before someone notices us – provided they haven’t already? That dead whore may have had some sort of arrangement, but we damn sure don’t, and I’m not keen on doing anything that would be required to forge an accord.”

“You’re not exactly disagreeing with me, here…”

“It’ll be simple. From that ridge…” She pointed to an overlook, on the other side of the house. “You can see right into the windows. It can’t be what, fifty meters? You can make that with a pistol, can’t you?”

“It’s not out of the question…”

“Down two or three; then we pick off the others as they come out to see who’s shooting at them.”

“And if they have a rifle in there?”

“We retreat.” She shrugged lightly. “Pull back; haul ass for Megaton. By the sound of it, they’ll be loathe to pursue us too close. As long as we don’t go near our place, they won’t have any idea where we came from.”

I mused on the idea a few moments. It relied heavily on our ability to place accurate fire against untrained psychopaths who in all likelihood would move like a herd of cats.

I didn’t like the idea of so much hinging on my personal skills… but I also didn’t like the idea of having to sleep with one eye open; perpetually wondering if this would be the moment six or eight of them decided to come calling.

Neither option was good. We’d have to clean out the outpost sooner or later, and we did need the supplies…

“You’re insane, you know.” I finally replied.

“I thought you liked my insanity?” Ria asked, smiling sweetly.

I recognized that smile. I saw her give it to Butch, once. He had recognized it, too, and had paled and retreated within seconds of its display. I had always assumed it was the same smile Ria gave just before she broke his jaw.

If I knew my girl’s tells well enough, her blood lust was in full swing, and would only get harder to control. I knew she’d never hurt me because of it, but I also knew that repressing those instincts frustrated her greatly.

At the bottom line, what difference did it make? These weren’t my people. Hell, my people had tried to kill me…

Why cut these cannibals any slack? The worst we had to risk was blowing through some ammunition, and having to lay low a day or two until they got bored and went back to the school…

“Fine. You win.” I finally conceded.

Ria looked happy. If you have to die, it may as well be in the cause of giving some joy to the one you love.

We moved over to the edge of the hill, where we could look directly into a few of the windows.

I could see two of them, wandering back and forth in front of the windows.

Ria had situated herself at my ten o’clock, just past the crest of the hill, and slightly below me in elevation.

I sat back, braced my left wrist on my knee, and took careful aim. I got lucky; my first shot was a solid upper torso hit, and the cannibal fell to the floor. We waited for retaliation.

None came.

After a few minutes, the other one wandered into view again; and didn’t seem alarmed.

I could only assume that these people were either stone deaf, or drugged out of their minds. Either way…

I fired on the second, but had to outlay three shots to put him down. Still, no yelling; no rushing to defense; no counter attack.

As we watched, another psychopath appeared suddenly from the ruins – apparently having decided to charge us. We both fired, and both placed solid hits, but the man didn’t go down. Whatever these people were on, it was one hell of a pain blocker.

Heart holed through, the man was already dead; his brain simply hadn’t gotten the message yet. Unfortunately, this breakdown of communication gave him time to pull the pin on a grenade and throw it our way before collapsing.

We both dove over the crest of the hill, and slid and/or rolled as far down the slope as possible. Amazingly, we managed to get below the grenade’s blast radius in time, and came through unscathed – aside from Ria’s scuffed palm from sliding down the rocky hillside.

We moved closer to the building, no longer hearing anyone talking.

As we neared the gap in the wall to move in, another made his appearance. This poor bastard was armed only with a knife, and quickly found out why smart people don’t bring knives to a gun fight.

Before looting the dead, we swept through the ruin, making sure there were no more stragglers.

Ria went up to the second level to check the bodies in the windows, while I looted through some desks. She came back down some minutes later, holding a revolver in both hands, examining it.

When we met, she handed it to me. I recognized it immediately. I had spent nearly all of my formative years reading pre-war copies of firearms periodicals, after all. The revolver was a six-shot, single action job chambered in .22 Magnum. They were made in Germany, and imported into the US in truly massive numbers for several decades. The quality was abysmal by normal standards, but apparently they still shot.

I should’ve expected this to be the sort of thing that would have survived the war. No, it couldn’t be something useful like a stockpile of USP Elites or Gold Cups… it had to be the damned rimfire SAA-knockoffs.

Ria and I drug all the corpses inside the walls, and stashed them down in the basement, just incase someone should wander by.

The basement, it turned out, was at one point the locker room. Unfortunately now lacking in showering facilities.

Shame, we could’ve used one – slightly irradiated water or not.

We sorted through the dead cannibals’ possessions, and through any containers we could find around the room. We found precious little of actual value. Another of the cheap revolvers, thirty odd rounds of ammo for them. The heavily-worn submachinegun with its remaining magazine and a half of ammo rounded out the “arsenal”. Several crude implements of melee violence were among the pile of spoils, but most were rusted almost to uselessness. One was what appeared to be a pool cue.

Nearly all the dead cannibals had been carrying several empty auto-injectors apiece, and dozens more were scattered around the room. I still didn’t recognize any of the trade-names, but it was pretty clear to us that they were whacked out on something. Multiple somethings at once, in many cases.

We took any full injectors we found. After all, practically any drug has a legitimate medical use; and if not for us, then someone in the nearby Megaton might be interested. Whatever these people were on, it was pretty good shit, as they say – and such shit would have to make the day-to-day wasteland life more bearable…

I have no intention of becoming a drug dealer, but it wouldn’t necessarily be a terrible supplementary income.

We were still on the bottom level, discussing what to do next, when the nearby door into the building opened.

Ria threw the most beautiful kick I’ve ever seen, and pinned the unfortunate man to the wall by his throat. Judging by the lack of noise he managed to make, I had to conclude she cut off his windpipe cleanly.

I took position in the doorway with my STEN, and waited. He was apparently alone, though, as no one else appeared.

After several seconds the man went limp. Ria eased him to the ground, and quickly slashed his throat with a knife she had liberated from one of the others. She was even careful enough to aim his throat away before opening it up.

It’s so rare to meet someone who always keeps the details in mind.

We threw his corpse with the others, and left the door open.

“We need to clean it out, too.” She declared.

Inside? Out here we at least had somewhere to fall back to… In there we’ll be against a wall.”

“Put on some of their armor. These bastards can’t have an IQ of even room temperature… I doubt they’ll notice we’re not friends until we’re already in the process of killing them. Besides, they’re going to come looking as soon as someone else comes out to find this group.”

Ria knelt over one of the corpses, and began pulling pieces of armor off.

Realization struck me.

“You’re enjoying this.” I noted.

“I am.” She confirmed, softly. “So many years, Boy. So many years I’ve had to hold it back. Keep it locked up. No hurting… no killing… Now, we’re free! Look around this place! There are no governments! No police! As long as we’re better than the other guys, we can do anything.”

I’ll confess I had always known Arianrhod possessed certain… anti-social tendencies. Okay, she’s actually a card-carrying sadist.

Still, lack of civil authority or not, this had the potential to cause problems.

I bent over, and grabbed her around the waist, pulling Ria up into an embrace from behind.

“I’ll do it, if you really want; but I want you to remember that it wasn’t your cute ass that won my heart. I’m not going to be happy if you end up a raving psychopath.”

Ria laughed softly, and laid her head back against mine.

“I won’t. Promise. I just have lots of pent-up frustration to release.”

Accepting her word, I let Ria go; and we changed clothes – leaving our vault-marked jumpsuits behind, and wearing instead mismatched, piecemeal “armor” collected from the dead cannibals.

I didn’t think the idea would work too well. For one, neither of us could be smelled from ten feet away. It would probably throw them off balance for a few seconds, at best.

As a concession to survivability, we pulled the armored vests on over the other pieces. Better a bit more potential protection than a known nothing at all.

Now at least more suitably attired, we moved to the nearby door to the interior. There were three, all in all. One on the ground floor, one below in the basement, and one on a second level above. They say, that given the option you should always clear a building from the top; that working down stairs is preferable to up. I like to think that every rule has its exceptions, and this fell under one of those times.

The fact was, we had no idea what sort of shape the load-bearing structures of the building were in, and what we could see in the ruined and now open area we were in did not inspire confidence in that regard.

We opted instead to start at the bottom. The floors would be solid, if nothing else.

Inside, we found ourselves in what looked like utility rooms. Shelving on one wall, what appeared to be a backup generator on another. Lighting was low, and the air was heavy and stank more than a bit. Hard to tell exactly what the prevailing scent was – but after two hundred years, the list of what it wasn’t would probably be shorter.

Judging by the exterior’s intact size, and the condition that what we could see appeared to be in, it looked like it would take hours to fully inspect, possibly days – and that was assuming there were few enough cannibals inside to be taken care of by the two of us and our limited armaments.

Ria had swapped her 10mm to a secondary position, and had her new revolver placed into a ready location in a make-shift holster at her waist.

That girl loves revolvers. I’ve never been able to understand why… but she does. Back in the vault, she had a pull-out picture from an old gun periodical – one of those centerfold type things. It was of a truly massive Smith and Wesson: one of their at-the-time new “X-Frame” revolvers. Ten inch fluted target barrel, bipod, and a telescope – the fucking thing was a rifle without a buttstock, I swear. I forget what the chambering was, now.

She kept that two-page spread like a teenage boy keeps a pull-out of a topless cheerleader. I used to tease her about it being a masturbatory aid.

This cheap piece of Deutsche pot-metal was sure as hell no X-Frame, but it was still a wheelgun; and I suppose that was enough.

We were only inside a couple minutes, and had barely begun to look around before we met one of the cannibals: a large, unkempt man in simply filthy piecemeal armor similar to what we had scavenged from the ones outside.

He rounded a corner, and immediately demanded to know who we were; who had sent us. It took me only a moment to realize our mistake. I was wearing glasses, and Ria’s lovely red hair was still mostly clean, and had been combed.

We may as well have stuck with our Vault suits, and not risked picking up body lice.

Again, Ria displayed a grace and speed (and unhesitating willingness to brutality) that I could never hope to match. She sprang forward, quickly closing the two odd meters before clamping one gloved hand over the man’s mouth, and slashing his throat with the other.

The man fell without a sound. Judging by the way his head lolled on the floor, it looked to my admittedly non-expert medical senses like she had cut clean through his trachea, and at least to the spinal cord – if not into it. The impressive spurting suggested a cleanly severed artery, to boot.

Ria used her boot to twist the fallen man’s head; also twisting what was left of his neck and aiming the intermittently spurting blood away from her. She knelt, and took his revolver – another of the cheap little rimfire magnums. She quickly checked that all its chambers were loaded, and slid her new acquisition into the left side of her belt – pocketing all the extra ammunition.

“Remind me never to piss you off.” I noted, coming to stand behind Ria.

“I thought you already knew that was a bad idea?”

“I did, but the idea seems to be getting worse by the second, of late…”

“We obviously don’t pass for them.” She mused softly. “No point with the pretense, then. Come on.”

Ria stood, drew one of her revolvers with each hand, and led off down the hall the now dead man had come from.

I double-checked my STEN to make sure the bolt was locked back in the ready position, and followed.

It wasn’t long before we met another cannibal. Ria simply raised both hands, and shot him once with each.

Interestingly enough, while the 22 magnum in singles is pretty week, when moved up to doubles it was surprisingly effective. Ria had effectively given herself the 19th century equivalent of a two-round burst selector. One hundred percent ambidexterity certainly had its advantages.

The gunshots brought others. Another cannibal – a woman, this time, came up from behind us.

I wheeled on her and fired, but this STEN was a less than impressive specimen. The trigger pull must’ve been near twenty pounds, and the barrel had to have been shot out – provided it was even rifled in the first place. I began to suspect that exceedingly poor marksmanship wasn’t the only reason the woman who attacked us with it had failed to land any hits.

Fortunately, this woman was armed only with a switchblade, and so my couple of false starts didn’t cost me my life. The third time, as they say, is the charm – and that was when I managed to work out how to use the trigger to get the thrice-damned thing to fire a decent three round burst. Two of the three managed to even hit her – though landed nearly ten inches apart, even across the scant ten meters down the hallway.

I know beggars can’t be choosers, but I’d really have killed – if you’ll excuse the morbid pun – for a real rifle. Seriously, even a damned single-shot, as long as it shot straight!

As I muddled along, covering our rear with my rapidly dwindling supply of Parabellum ball, Ria pushed ahead; continuing to put down cannibals left and right in a manner that was quite frankly frightening to watch.

For their sakes, I hoped that these people were truly whacked out of their minds on drugs, and had no idea what was being done to them.

After the third cannibal, I ran dry. I slung the STEN, and switched to the thirty-two caliber revolver. I had a partial magazine for my 10mm left, but wanted to save that in case we should happen to end up in a legitimate gunfight.

The thirty-two was marginally more accurate than the STEN had been, but was of considerably lower power – and considering the STEN fired 9x19mm ball, that’s saying something.

Nonetheless, it was accurate enough for me to reliably place upper-torso hits, and so worked fairly well. Better still if I’d had access to some hollowpoints, or even a drill press to make some of my own.

The one up side was that as old and filthy as the lead-roundnose ammunition I did have was, even if I didn’t place a good kill shot and someone got away, they’d drop dead of a secondary infection a day or two after the fact.

We kept moving, always moving – seeking the enemy out, rather than letting them come to us and potentially pin us into a corner, where sheer weight of numbers could carry their victory.

We left the corpses where they lay, save for picking up glaringly obvious firearms and ammunition they may have been carrying. We also left containers be, for the moment; opting to completely clear the building before trying to loot anything.

On the bottom level, we ran into a locked door. No sign to detail where exactly it led to. It, too, we left for the time being. We had no lockpicks or other means of breaching doors save for our grenades. Not only did I not want to waste them, but touching off an M67 in a hallway less than six feet wide was tantamount to suicide. If we’d had time to improvise some kind of shaped charge, maybe; but we didn’t.

Instead, we pressed on, clearing the ground floor, and then eventually the top floor.

On the top floor, we ran into our first opponent worthy of pause. The apparent leader of the band, this woman had not only a firearm, but a bed and a desk with a computer on it.

Unfortunately, the fearless leader had armed herself with a double-barrel shotgun that had been cut down into a pistol. While it doubtless scared the hell out of her underlings, it was not terribly well suited to fighting armored opponents down the length of a hallway.

Past the leader, we found the hall blocked off by rubble. Not small amounts, either; but enough that it was effectively impassable without heavy tools or carefully applied explosives.

The leader’s deeply seated sanctuary had been the last room to be cleared; aside from the locked door in the basement, we’d found no other areas where someone might be hiding.

Feeling at least reasonably secure for the moment, Ria and I decided to spend a few minutes relaxing.

We took the opportunity to eat and drink something, and tend to our minor wounds. Scrapes, bruises and such. I had a smattering of what appeared to be hits from bird shot on my right arm. They didn’t even break the skin. Such are the joys of a shotgun made into a handgun, firing ammunition made for killing quail.

Had we been at conversational distances, it would’ve been different… but from thirty plus feet away? I think the wad was more dangerous than the shot.

On closer inspection, I had one pellet embedded in the skin; the rest would just be bruises. We opted to leave it, until we could get someplace better to work – it was hardly life threatening, and we had more than enough high-proof alcohol back at the house to sterilize a knife before digging it out.

After a rest of the odd half hour, we started our looting. The dead leader had had a key on her that I was willing to bet good money would open the door in the basement. She also had a half dozen shells for the shotgun, and a hunk of some kind of meat that smelled like it had been left in the sun for a week.

A couple of nearby cans had some ammo in them. All rimfire: a couple dozen magnums for Ria’s revolvers, and about the same amount of plain 22 long rifle – hardly an inspiring find.

The computer held precious little of worth. Some logs about an excavation – they were apparently trying to find a way to tunnel into Vault 101.

That would have surprised the Overseer. The cannibals, too, when they met the Vault’s security force.

There was a reference to some ants. Didn’t think colonies got big enough to get in the way of excavation work.

Moving back down through the building, we began cleaning out containers, and rifling through the possessions of the dead.

We found mostly junk. Some old electronic components, scrap metal, cleaning supplies. The nurse’s office held a few useful supplies, but nothing incredible by any stretch. There was food and water in what appeared to be a teacher’s lounge; some of the water was even clean.

We came across little in the way of new weapons and ammunition. A couple of old Ruger 22LR pistols – one of which had what appeared to be an integral sound suppressor. I decided to definitely hang on to that one, in case we should ever need to surreptitiously remove a sentry or guard dog. Beyond that, little. A third rimfire magnum for Ria, a few clubs, knives, and some brass knuckles. No real rifles, and no more ammo for my STEN. No more grenades, either.

The computer log had made references to a stash of explosives used for the excavation, but we didn’t find any of them.

We did find what appeared to be a few makeshift cages. Areas that had been walled-off into detention cells. These were filled with skeletal remains. Judging by the size, they looked to be pre-pubescent children.

I’m not sure what happened in this school after the war; and quite frankly, I don’t want to know.

While on the ground floor, we happened across a Nuka machine that was apparently still functional. Inside were a few bottles, which we took. Glancing over, I noticed another bottle of Nuka, this one glowing. I had no idea why it was glowing, but my curiosity got the better of me. I jumped the gap onto the top of the cage, and threw the bottle back across to Ria before returning, myself.

The label declared it to be Nuka “Quantum”. I had no idea what that meant, but glow-y things tend to sell pretty well to barbarians, so it was worth carting back home for later trading use, if nothing else.

It was probably two more hours before we had fully swept and looted the building fully, save for the locked door in the basement. We had lashed several pieces of clothing together to form makeshift bags to carry our loot in, and decided to leave them outside the locked room.

Door unlocked, we moved inside the room. The floor had been breached, leading into a tunnel down into the earth below.

Moving along, we began to hear odd scraping sounds. Readying weapons, we pushed ahead. After turning the next bend in the passage, we saw them.

Ants. Massive ones. These things must have weighed thirty pounds or more each… and they were hostile.

While their mandibles looked to be large enough to sever a limb, their carapaces weren’t thick enough to stop bullets, it turned out. After killing the first two, I put away my thirty-two, and switched to my 10mm – knowing that the extra penetration would be a serious boon, here.

The ants went down easily to single head-shots. We pressed on, feeling more than a bit silly for being as unnerved as we had been, at first.

I guess all those years of movies about giant radioactive bugs do have an effect on you, after all. After some time, and some more ants, we eventually reached a dead end. A larger, more open chamber that appeared to be the ant colony the logs had referred to.

There were a pair of corpses, nearby – along with several clusters of what looked suspiciously like eggs.

My only hope at this point was that these ants were too large to exist in colonies of thousands upon thousands, like their smaller cousins.

The dead people here weren’t dressed like the cannibals above. One wore a set of leathers, the other an almost normal outfit consisting of overalls and a shirt underneath. Under one of the bodies I found an old military issue assault rifle, and a couple extra magazines.

It was in seriously rough shape, but looked to be salvageable.

Suddenly, we heard more of the scraping sounds that we had learned portended ants. Many of them.

They ended up coming at us from two directions at once. Ria continued displaying amazing prowess with her revolvers, putting a pair of the little full metal jacketed bullets into each ant’s brain. I, being a mere mortal, decided to instead be a pragmatist, and used my new rifle to discourage the ants’ interest with considerable prejudice.

All told, we killed nearly two dozen before they stopped coming. Whether that was the end of the colony, or simply all the guards they had had handy to throw at us at once, I wasn’t sure – but I didn’t plan on hanging around to find out.

We quickly stripped the two dead humans of anything that looked even remotely useful or valuable, and hastily returned to the school; locking the door behind us.

We stowed the newest loot into our makeshift carryalls, and left the school.

It was nearly dark outside. I hadn’t realized we had been inside the entire day, but in retrospect, it does take quite awhile to kill twenty people, then search and loot three floors and a mining tunnel.

Once we reached the house, I happened to turn back…

It may not be the vault I grew up in… but there is certainly something to be said for the view out here.

We dropped our bags inside, and stood outside awhile, watching the moon. Two hundred years without civilization to speak of had certainly done wonders for clearing up the DC pollution. As we stood, Ria laid her head on my shoulder softly – the bloodthirsty killer who had ravaged the school was nowhere to be seen, now. We traded some pointless but heartwarming romantic comments while we stood that way.

Maybe… this exile to the wasteland won’t be so bad, after all…


  1. Great story so far. Glad "Ria" is working out for you.

  2. I wasn't embellishing.

    She really did do most of the killing with one of those little revolvers. Took out the top floor solo. I stopped to check a couple containers, and by the time I noticed she was gone and went looking... they were all dead.

    I really think I might have overdone her combat style just a tad...