Unlikely Valentine PT 1

"You have got to be kidding." Cobra said as he and the others of the group listened to Ashley about this Valentine character.

"Nope, I have the location but he's at a vault which as we know is not a good place for a fight. We need to go into a small group to get him." Ash said as she sipped a nuka cola.

"I agree given the tight spaces of a vault, we may be better suited for a raid like that. Plus I think it would be best if we split up for now." Danse said. "I need to return to Cambridge to report to my superiors."

"I need to check on a few things." Preston said.

Ash nodded. "Ok then who can accompany me?"

Cobra and Ada were the only ones who raised their hands but Preston pulled Ada's hand down. "Sorry but I need you for something." he said and she nodded.

"Ok then." Ash sighed. "Once you are done we meet back here, in three days, does that sound good?"

Everyone nodded.


Piper was buzzy writing down something for her next paper. To her this was her life, the truth must be told to everyone, no matter how bad it may seem. It had to be told to anyone who would listen and given that Diamond city was the only place where people could read a bit. Writing a bit more she then heard a knock on the door, getting up she walked over to it and opened it to see the blue and yellow of a vault dweller jumpsuit.

"Hi." she said with a wary smile. "I don't believe we're introduced, I'm Ashley Winter."

"Piper Wright, please to meet you." the reporter said as the two shook hands. "Ok take a seat and I'll be right with you."

Ash nodded and Piper walked away to get something allowing her to look around. The place was well decorated, at least for a house like this. This was slightly better then the building she was in when she was in the army but worse then pre-war. She sighed and sat down on the sofa and rested her head in her hands and began to think. Things would be better if she was just dead, not alive but then who would look after her son? She had to make sure that he was still alive, if he was alive. Shaking her head she looked down as Piper walked in with two nuka-cola's in hand and handed one to her.

"Thanks." Ash said popping the cap and taking a drink from it.

"No problem blue." Piper said as she placed her bottle on the floor and taking out her notepad and pen.


"Look, I'm just gonna say it. You're a Vault Dweller. The jumpsuit's a dead giveaway."

Ash looked down and smiled. "Ok fair point, so how's this interview meant to work?"

"I ask who you are, get your opinion on life out there, and maybe load up a few hard questions to keep it interesting."

"Sounds good shoot."

"Good. Let's get down to business." the reporter said as she readied herself. "So, I know you're from a Vault. How would you describe your time on the inside?"

"I would give a smart-ass remark but I feel that maybe inappropriate. So I'll give it to you straight, my family and I were frozen. I didn't spend much time in the Vault."

"Wait. They boxed you up in a fridge? The whole time? Are you saying you were alive before the War?"

"Yes. I'm over 200 years old."

"You're telling me you saw everything before they blasted it into pieces?"

"Yep, there's no other way to say it. I was around before the bombs."

"Oh my god. "The Woman Out of Time.""

"That'll make a good headline." Ash said making the reporter laugh. "Behold! I am immortal!"

"You know, I guess you kind of are, aren't you? Anyway, you've seen the Commonwealth. How does it compare to your old life?"

Ash leaned back for a moment before leaning forward. "You know I… it gives me hope. Rebuilding the world, surviving….. how could it not?"

"That's surprisingly inspired Blue. We're definitely quoting that. Now the big question, you came here looking for someone who is it?"

"My baby Shaun, he… he was kidnapped. He's not even a year old."

"The parent after a missing child 'sigh' as heartbreaking today as it ever was. But I do remember something similar happening up north, but with a father and son. Tell me do you thing the institute is involved?"

"I keep hearing that name, what is the Institute?"

"That, Blue, is the biggest mystery in the Commonwealth. No one really knows who or where they are, but their handiwork is all over. Synths. Synthetic people. Sent from their hidden labs to do the Institute's dirty work. Sometimes they even replace a person with a Synth double. A little covert agent no one would ever suspect. Now, not everything that goes wrong has the Institute behind it, but there's always a chance. That's why I'm asking."

Ashley fell silent for a moment mulling it over in her head. "Sure sounds like they might be."

"Not even a babe is safe. And people wonder why I cannot just let them look the other way. For the last part of our interview, I'd like to do something different. I want you to make a statement to Diamond City directly. The threat of kidnapping is all but ignored in the Commonwealth. Everyone wants to pretend it doesn't happen. What would you say to someone out there who's lost a loved one, but might be too scared, or too numb to the world, to look for them?"

"No matter how much you want to give up, don't. You have to have hope. That you'll see them again. Or at least, that you'll know the truth."

Smiling Piper looked up. "That's everything. It's going to take some time but I think that your story is going to give Diamond city something to talk about. Anyway if you just wait a moment I'd like to come with. Keep you alive with that sword star merc."

"I can take all the help I can get." Ash said with a smile.


Ash was brushing her teeth as there was a knock on the door. Exited she exited the bedroom ran into the main living room. Entering the house there two men. The first was was an old man with balding hair but with the uniform of a general, the second was younger but with slightly greying hair and wore a commanders uniform. As soon as she saw them she ran up to them.

"Granddad, Uncle." she yelled getting their attention.

"Ahh there's our little angel." her uncle said as he picked her up and hugged her.

"A little terror are we?" her grandfather said as he pinched her cheek.

"Ok now Ashley bed." her father said.

"Yes dad." Ash moaned before moving off but then hit behind the door and listened in.

"Jim you ok?" her uncle asked.

"No I'm not this lawsuit," he fell back into a chair and sighed. "She's doing what she can to take Ash from me."

Ashley's grandfather and uncle took seats and looked at their closest bloodline.

"Jim this must be painful for you." his brother said. "But I have a few friends in law, hopefully I can get them in on this."

"I cannot do much however, but I think my pull with some people may help." their dad said.

"I doubt it will do much, we are talking about someone who works the higher parts of General atomics. They likely have an army of lawyers behind her." Jim said in a sombre tone.

"Not true, GA is having financial trouble recently. She may not have the resources to get Ashley, at least not legally." his brother said with hope in his voice. "She may take you to court but that's all she can do, we have a lot more options to play with but she may not."

"Not to mention that's she's never been apart of her life, that can be used against her regardless. Even a judge would not allow for that unless she can prove that you have been abusive to her. Which is there is no evidence of, she may have fabricated evidence but if we play it right we can disprove it." Jim smiled at his father's suggestion as he continued. "But off topic, there is one thing that I need to say to both of you. When she gets older, I want her to stay out of the army. Yes it's a family tradition but with her, I don't want her apart of that kind of bloodshed. But if she does find herself in war make sure you look after her otherwise I'll haunt you."


Getting close to the place where the vault was Cobra, Dogmeat, Piper and Ash walked along the dirty pool to place. It was dirty to say the least and a few of the swan boats where still in the water but decay and settled in and they were sinking for the most part. But they ignored them as Dogmeat found the metro entrance.

"Here we go." Cobra said as he moved up and looked down the entrance in case of traps. "All clear."

The others then came up and looked where he was looking. This was going to be close quarters, they looked at each other before Ash took the lead and moved down the stairs and opened the door. Crouching down she then pinned herself to the wall and moved up slowly so as not to make a sound. Looking through she could see people dressed in fine clothing and welding Tommy guns.

"What is this?" she asked silently. "The 1920's?"

"You ok blue?" Piper asked.

"Yeah, just taken back by their choice of clothing. What are they meant to be gangsters? I had enough of that when I was alive."

"Why?" Cobra asked.

"There was a mob boss named Eddie Winter, and with my last name being Winter, you can see the connection. But there was no blood ties to me or him due to DNA testing. Didn't stop people from accusing me of being related."

Piper and Cobra just looked at each other and shrugged. "So what's the plan?" Piper asked.

Ash said nothing as she pulled out a grenade from her webbing. She pulled the pin before rolling the explosive to the largest group before moving to better cover with the together two doing the same and Dogmeat following his new master. The device then exploded and killed the group alerting everyone to their presence.

Dogmeat was the first to attack and practically ripped a man's leg off then went for the neck. Cobra used his weapon like a spear and swung it around severing a man's arm and disarming another before he took out his pistol and finished them off. Piper however hung back and used her shortened 10mm pistol to take the gangsters on. She managed to take three down before she had to reload. These guys were tougher then the regular Raiders out in the Commonwealth.

Ash grabbed the handle of her tesla rifle and pulled the trigger. Electric bolts came out and hit several of the gangsters literally cooking them to a crisp. They fell down dead, smoking and charred so much that it scared the others and they ran deeper into the metro. Ash looked at the weapon before looking at the other two.

"That weapon," Piper muttered.

"That weapon is very useful." Cobra said as he looked at it. "And dangerous."

"From what I've seen out here, dangerous just means that you live." Ash said as she looked at the weapon. "But I think I may need to use this sparingly, this weapon could be more dangerous then I can even handle." she slung it over her back and grabbed the handle of her Chinese assault rifle. "Come on, we have a detective to find."