August 22, 2277:
Despite the conditions, we managed to sleep decently enough – staying in bed until well after ten in the morning. It was good to give the stress of the previous day – both mental and physical – a chance to heal a bit.
After getting up, we had breakfast and lamented the lack of bathing amenities.
Once that was out of the way, we un-barred the second floor door, and used the skyway to get a peek outside. No new Raiders had moved in, though a couple of yesterday’s corpses appeared to be missing. Carried off by local fauna, we figured. The local carnivorous wildlife could certainly eat well following us around.
Since it appeared safe, we packed up our gear and headed out the front door, immediately tracking due south towards the ruins of DC proper.
We changed direction midway, to stay outside the ruins and head back towards the bridge that would lead towards home.
On reaching the bridge, we stopped; hearing gunfire in the distance. Lots of gunfire. Someone was having one hell of a shootout to the south.
We crept as far as one of the pylons for a destroyed second bridge. Further south, we could clearly see Raiders on one side of the river, engaged in a firefight with…
…Well, I’m not sure what they were, exactly. Were this a fantasy novel, I’d have sworn to you they were some form of ogre. Eight odd feet tall, green skin, heavily muscled, and extremely violent by the look of it.
The ogres were on the opposite side of the river, and were clearly beating the Raiders.
We moved further south, staying as low and quiet as possible; stopping again at an entrance to the metro system.
We could hear the remaining Raiders yelling from here. Something about “muties”. The rest was too difficult to make out with anything resembling certainty.
Whatever they were, the green things were hostile, and good at it.
I quickly improvised a rest, and took aim across the river – hoping to use the still-living Raiders’ fire as cover so that the things wouldn’t notice me surreptitiously helping the other humans out.
The big things were damnably tough. Chest shots barely fazed them, but head shots seemed to be every bit as effective on the ogres as they were on humans.
Unfortunately, the ogres were more skilled at killing than the Raiders were at surviving. I ran out of Raiders to use as cover before I ran out of monsters to shoot in the face. When the last Raider fell, there were still two of the green things standing – though both were bleeding, they didn’t seem to be perturbed by it.
Object of their rage gone, the ogres simply stood there, seemingly unsure what to do now.
I took the initiative, and used a trick I learned from the great Sergeant Alvin York; who said that when shooting at a line of turkeys, you always start at the rear so that the front birds didn’t know their friends were dying. The trick, it turned out, also worked on Germans.
I had to assume that if it was good enough for the Kaiser’s men, it was good enough for putting down these monsters.
My first round went into the monster in the rear, who of course was not being paid attention to by the one in the front. Putting both down had only taken a few seconds.
No more movement was visible on either side, so we moved in to loot the dead like any self-respecting vultures would.
These Raiders had been much the same as the ones Ria and I had been dealing with – armed primarily with light arms, generally in poor condition and with small amounts of ammunition.
I was surprised to find that my Pip-Boy informed me that the GNR signal was now coming in strong and clear. Before re-crossing the river to retrieve the ogres’ equipment, we stopped and listened.
I was disappointed to find that the station was not all Guns ‘n Roses. Rather, the station was named Galaxy News Radio; a sad coincidence. Sadder still, because the DJ had a screw loose. This Three Dog was a self-indulgent, pretentious twit. Something about a “good fight”, trees in the wasteland… Mention of a Brotherhood of Steel fighting said good fight. Still no detail of what exactly this Brotherhood was.
Heard an interesting warning of a place to the west, name of Evergreen Mills that was supposed to be a major Raider encampment. I filed that bit of info away for later as a place to pick up even more weapons.
We were on track to becoming veritable wasteland gun-runners.
When the prattle stopped, and the music started, we killed the broadcast and crossed the river to retrieve the other loot.
The ogres had had considerably better arms than the Raiders. We picked up several assault rifles of various flavor, and a couple more shotguns.
Now loaded down with enough arms to equip a few complete fireteams, we decided to call it good and make for home.
The trip home was thankfully uneventful. We stopped off in Megaton first; unloaded our excess arms and ammunition, and got the reward from Moira for the little jaunt through mine country.
That done, we headed directly back home.
As a faithful drone of Vault 101 maintenance, I’d had to make new keys for locks plenty of times, when the originals were lost or broken. Thankfully, this allowed me to make use of the workshop downstairs to get working keys for the doors to our new home. While not a security system worthy of the name, it would at least deter casual interlopers, or at the very least allow us to know when the place had been entered by the kicked in door or broken lock.
Unlocked and inside, we stowed the weapons we had decided to keep for later inspection and/or maintenance, dumped our armor, and declared that nothing more productive would be done during the day.
After all, there was a shower and a bed and a fridge full of food that all had our names on them.