26

AN: to celebrate the release of Fallout 4. I have written this story for Fallout New Vegas; this takes place near the end of the main campaign after the events of the Longsome Road DLC but before the battle for Hoover Dam. However this story is mainly a standalone.

I have created a number of my own creatures to be added to this story to hopefully flesh out the story a little bit more.

Amleow: The Amleow is a mutation of horses, taller and leaner than modern day horses. It's more like deer or antelope, with longer legs and a slimmer torso. Thanks this new frame the Amleow can cover the vast broken terrain of the wasteland with ease. Often used with get cargo over terrain Brahmin won't or can't go. A good multipurpose animal, I don't see why Bethesda hasn't included some like them yet. I mean if cows survived why not horses? And I don't know about you lot but it's about time we got some kind of mount in Fallout outside of mods.

Jumper: The Jumper is a mutation of rabbits/hare's. They typical have very little fur with leathery skin not unlike the naked mole rats we all already love to hate. They can be aggressive if starved as they have evolved into omnivores. Most offend used as a food animal, especially in the denser populated areas of the waste land but like everything else you can use them for pelts and leather.

Since ED-D is a main character in this story and he communicates with beeps, whistles and other computer/robot noises. His dialog will be indicated with () instead of "" to reflect the defiance. Also for the purposes of this flic Ed-d will have both the upgraded plasma gun thing the FOTA give him and the enhanced armour and systems the BOFS give him, it never made sense to me how you couldn't give them both a copy of ED-D's flies, I mean their like computer files right? You should be able to copy them.

For the purpose of this fiction I have added a number of OC companions but they won't be relevant beyond name drops. I have also decided to add the companions, from dead money to the courier's standing team. I always felt that you should be able to add the companions from the DLC's to the main cast but like the OC's they won't have much relevance to the overall plot.

The Fallout series owned by Bethesda, I own nothing with the exception of my own creations. If you lot wont to use them in your own Fan flics please PM me or at least give my flic a mention in your own.

Blood and fuel

Somewhere along Highway 95

A lonely howling wind swept through a broken and sunburnt landscape. Dust wiped though the dry desert air as the afternoon Sun's rays mercilessly beat down on the parched and ruined landscape. The Mojave Desert had always being a harsh unforgiving place long before the bombs fell and radiation poisoned the world. Now it was so much more so. Hard radiation still clung to the land in places, waiting for the unwary to stumble into their deaths; hell storms that could strip a man to the bone in seconds. Appeared and disappear in the blink of an eye. These and a thousand other horrific deaths were legacy of a generation that had long since being atomised by their own hubris.

Life however still clung to the land even in these conditions. Long spikey grasses, cacti and other hardy plants dotted the rocky land scape and tumble weed rattled across the sands. Lizards and other coldblooded animals basked in the afternoon sun making as much of the rays before as the whisper of the approaching of night started to sake its calm to the Desert. A carcass of a large Amleow lay on the baking soil most of its skin, muscles and organs ripped away. A pack of Night stalkers had taken their full the night before after slaying the beast. Leaving what little was left of the four legged beast for three large Bloat flies which swarmed over its pitiful remains.

Each of the mutated insects were a little larger than a human head, they were mostly black with splashes of dark grey marking their twisted bodies. Their huge soulless compound eyes glinted under the afternoon sun; their vein filled wings beat the dry air. One of the Bloat flies buzzed angrily at its two other kindred as they tried to take the last of the intestines for themselves. It rammed the slightly smaller of its two kin with it bulbous head. The smaller bloat fly responded with a slashing claw, racking across its kin's abdomen. Soon both flies were slashing and biting at each other their wings buzzed angrily as they fought.

While they were distracted the third Bloat fly dipped its quivering maw, into the flesh of the dead beast sucking up what little moisture was left inside. The Bloat fly was about to start lying a culch of eggs when a loud but distant rumble reverberated through the endless waste drawing its and its kin's attentions. Alerted by the unusual noise their compound eyes searched the land scape for a possible threat.

In the near distance a great blowing cloud of dust approached, moving against the genital wind the rumble of engines and sharp bangs of gunfire came from within. On pure instinct the three Bloat flies rose into the air buzzing angrily. None of the insects were willing to give up the only fresh bio martial they had found in days.

Fiery explosions blossomed bellowing out the edges of the dust cloud, a small flaming vehicle lurched out of the carnage. Its occupants screamed as fire consumed there bodies. An armoured jeep with a front mounted triangular ram blade plowed through the flaming wreckage like it was been chased by a demon from a bygone age.

It was driven by a tanned Caucasian man with thick messy dark brown hair and eyes. He wore a lengthy tanned leather duster over black riot armour and well-worn combat pants and boots. A large wide brim hat was strapped to his head and three bandolier's full of ammo ran the length of his chest from right shoulder to left hip. The duster had the number 38 emblazed on its back and flapped like the wings of a great raven. The man, Roy Grayson ducked his head as green ball of crackling plasma shot through the air only a few feet away from him.

He brought his head up and looked over his shoulder. "You have to do better than that you salt suckers", Roy taunted grinning with easy charm as he loaded a fresh clip into his 10 mil sub machine gun. A collection of ransacked vehicles driven by raiders chased after him.

"Gon-a to cut you up! Courier!" one of the raiders yelled.

A dark grin crossed Roys tanned face as he saw the raider who had called out to him in his rear-view mirror. The raider in question was reloading a shotgun having wasted a shot as his bike jumped about like a bighorn chased by a Cazador. He saw another raider close behind the first raider; this one was drawing a bead on him with a plasma rifle. If he timed this right he could take them both out. Roy quickly aimed his machine gun and let loss a short spray of bullets he deliberately missed. His bullets instead crewed into the ground spraying sand into the first raiders face. The raider swerved his bike and crashed into the raider levelling the plasma rifle. Raiders and vehicles mushed together in an orgy of blood and metal.

Roy's attention was drawn back to his own vehicle, as it jumped a hill of sand it was very nearly bogged down thanks to the ram blade mounted to the front. He gritted his teeth the ram blade offered great protection from the front and sides but it was heavy and unwieldy. Now that his vehicle had left the highway in favour of the desert it was slowing him down. He needed to ditch it. He checked behind him to make sure ED-D wasn't going to get hit by the ram blade.

The eye-bot appeared beside him, blaring old music from his speakers as he fired rounds of blue ionised plasma at the enemy. Roy couldn't help but smile at ED-D's antics.

To the unobservant ED-D looked little more than a metal sphere, little larger than an old fashioned globe of the world one might find in a school before the nukes fell. His body was silvery grey with a small rusted plate drilled into his armoured form denoting his name, ED-D. A grill covered most of his front and a multitude of antenna and other strange devices emerged from all over his body. Small gets protruded from his sides and back, they were more than able capable of carrying the robot at high speeds forwards or back words or in any detraction he choose. A long tube emerged from his underside; the tube had several bright blue rings a long its length that faintly hummed with power. It was an ion blaster a rare and powerful variation of a plasma gun.

A bullet pinged off his armour ED-D buzzed angrily before returning the raiders attack with his own. A bolt of blue energy shot through the air before hitting the engine of the offending raider's bike, igniting the fuel tank and consuming both bike and rider in a fire ball.

"ED-D… go high I'm going to ditch the ram blade so we can out run these buggers" Roy yelled his order over to his robot companion. The eye bot 'nodded' his understanding and rose a dozen or so meters into the sky. He glanced behind to judge how best to deploy the ram blade to do the most amount of damage to the remaining enemy forces.

There were twelve raiders dressed in drab mismatched clothing made from leather and hides kept together by hooks and loose stitching. They rode a collection of motorbikes in various degrees of disrepair. The bikes ranges from beaten up but still functional vehicles to ones that were little more than wheels strapped to engine with a bare metal frame holding them together. Among the motley collection of vehicles were two buggies. The smaller of the two, lead the motely band a killers.

The leader within was a man only known as Cutter, drove it with near reckless abandon, next to him sat a pink haired woman wore combat armour. The other vehicle was more a kin to an armoured car with, three occupants. The driver was a thick set bald man with crude cybernetics replacing much of his body making him more machine than man. Next to him sat a dark skinned woman dressed in little more than belts leaving little of her body to the imagination. She howled like a lunatic as she fired kind of bladed rifle wildly into the air. The third man sat in a crudely, turret armed with a heavy machine gun.

Roy silently thanked lady luck that the raider that sat inside the crude turret had yet to find his weapons range yet. It wouldn't take long for the raider to do so now that, he was on broken ground. Roy sharply turned the wheel of his jeep puting himself in front of the armoured car and pulled the emergency release for the hydraulic pistons that kept the ram blade in place. The pistons quickly lifted the ram above the chaise of the jeep and released. The ram blade went flying and smashed into the armoured car which crumpled under the impact killing the driver and the barely dressed woman instantly. The gunner was thrown from the vehicle as it swerved out of control and crashed into a ditch. The remaining raiders howled and sped forwarded firing their weapons wildly forcing him to hunker into his armoured chair as their shots rang of the hull of the jeep.

Cutter yelled his hate and fired his pistol at the Courier but he couldn't get a clean shot "You'll pay for that Courier, we're going split you right open" Cutter screamed as urged his buggy to greater speed. The spiker pink haired woman fired a round from her laser rifle at the Courier's jeep scoring the grey metal but doing little more than that.

The pink haired woman yelled her frustration as two more of her rounds sparked harmlessly against the jeeps side. "We need to get closer Cutter" the woman told her dark-skinned lover with a hiss in her gritty voice.

Cutter glared at her with a half feral gleam in his near black eyes. Everything about him spoke of a life dedicated to violence and hate, his face was a mess of scars, his teeth were rotten and black, his eyes were blood shot. His neck veins bulged under his ebony skin. His armour was thick and heavy, sharp metal spikes were wielded on to the plates of metal that served as his chest plate and shoulder plates. "I told you that fancy plaze-a, was waste of cap's" Cutter told his latest girl, unable to recalled her name. The jet he scored this morning must have being a bad batch.

He should have known better than buy a fiend now-a, days. Things had being so much better when the fiends had their leaders. That was before the Courier and his good for nothing friends had made it their personal mission to wipe out ever gang in the Mojave. Without their leaders fiends and every other gang had become scattered and disorganised becoming ease picking for both the NCR and New Vegas securitrons.

Cutter licked his dry lips and pressed his booted foot to the pedal as hard as he could, he hooted like a big horn in heat as the buggy raced forward. He was going to enjoy skinning the Courier alive. His gang had some petty sweat deals with at least half the gangs in Vegas but with them either wiped out or on the run they had to become lap dogs for some overdressed suit from Vegas just to make ends meet. The suit wanted them to harass the caravans the Courier and his pals had set up to supply a town off mutties up in the mountains. 'Hell he would have taken the job for free just for a chance to get his hands on the Courier or any of his friends but his employer didn't need to know that', Cutter thought as a malevolent smirk pulled at his ruined face. He turned the wheel of his buggy sharply ramming his vehicle into the side of the jeep drawing the Courier's attention away from one of the other raiders he was shooting at with his submachine gun.

The pink haired girl levelled her laser rifle drawing a bead of the Courier's head only to be distracted by a bloat fly. The huge mutant insect flew straight into her face latching on biting into her flesh. She tried using her laser rifle as a club to swat the mutant insect but it let go and flew just out of reach.

Roy had being busy unloading a clip of his machine gun into a biker that was trying to overtake him; the raider fell screaming from the bike. When he heard the raider woman yell in pain. He turned to see a bloat fly tearing chunks of skin from her face, never one to let an opportunity pass him by. He unhooked one of the two grenades from his belt and reached into one of the many pockets in his duster, retrieving a tube of fast dry glue. He quickly unscrewed the lid and sprayed its contents over to the explosive, 'not the easiest prospect when driving at high speeds over the rough terrain.' Roy thought to himself as he very nearly nit a large rock as the jeep jumped about.

At last the grenade was covered in glue; he ripped the pin from the explosive. He was about to throw it at the buggy. When another bloat fly smashed into the jeeps windscreen, the force of the impact promptly smashed the windscreen into a thousand little pieces. A third bloat fly swooped out of the sky and spat black goo into his eyes.

Roy gaged as some of it got into his mouth, it tasted like burnt leather and battery acid and stung like someone had poured salt into a fresh wound. Distracted by the black sticky goo, he dropped the grenade which bounced around the jeep before falling off and sticking to the ground. Roy managed to clear his eyes of the bloat flies spit in time to see the fly dive for him again only to be intercepted by ED-E.

He to flew straight into the oncoming insect his music played triumphantly as his metal bulk batted the fly aside. The mutant insect tried to bite into the robots body but its mandibles were unable to penetrate his armoured form. ED-D spun rapidly in a circle dislodging the fly. The fly hovered in the air for a moment before dived at him. ED-d quickly fired his ion blaster, the bright blue bolt of ionised energy hit the mutant insect square in the head vaporising the freakish insect into glowing dust which promptly blew away in the wind.

As Roy poured water in his face to clear away the last of the black goo, he realised he had let go of the explosive. He desperately looked around for the grenade before hearing a huge explosion come from somewhere behind him. He glanced over his shoulder and saw a plume of smoke and fire erupt from the desert incinerating one of the biker's in a massive ball of fire. "Frack me!" Roy swore as he saw the remnant of the bike and rider fall down to the earth with a load crash.

"Ash and piss what did Dean put into that one?" Roy exclaimed as ED-D returned the little robot observed the carnage with a long whistling beep. "ED-E, remind me to have a word with that ghoul when we get back to the lucky 38" he told the eye-bot. He noticed that few of his friend's long antennae were bent out of shape and the little robot also had a noticeable wobble in his flight.

Before ED-E could respond to his masters statement a laser round shored across his body making the round little robot lights blink in angry. He chirped and buzzed angrily targeting the one who shot him. It was the pink haired woman in the buggy, she had fought off the bloat fly but not without incident, her face was raw and bloody. He fired his ion blaster the ionised energy burned a hole though the woman's chest, she slumped dead in her chair.

As the buggy cleared another sand dune the woman's body fell out of the buggy. "That was my woman! I'll gut you for that Courier! And melt your robot into scape!" Cutter screamed as he pressed the crude pedal of his buggy to the floor. The buggy whined in protest, its engine started to belch thick black smoke as the vehicle sped forward. Cutter rammed his vehicle into the Courier's jeep again and again.

The jeep swerved wildly about, Roy tried desperately to get it back under control. It didn't help that manic, kept ramming him all the while shooting at ED-D with a small pistol making robot jerked about in the air as he tried to avoid getting hit. Roy felt the jeep shudder as it started spinning out of control. Cutter howled like a rabid animal as he drove his smoking wreck of a buggy towards the Courier with single minded determination.

Roy saw this and unblocked his seat belt, he wasn't looking forward to what came next but he looked forward to death even less. "ED-D" he yelled out as load as he could. The eye-bot turned in the air to 'look' at him taking a few hits from Cutters pistol as a result of his distraction. Roy didn't have time to feel sorry for his robotic friend. "Going to need a pick up!" he yelled as he put all his straight into a mighty jump just as Cutter and his buggy smashed into the jeep. The jeep tumbled end over end the supplies he was carrying. Boxes of food, water, cherms and ammo and other odds and ends were tossed across the landscape in every direction. As Cutter and his buggy smashed into the jeep, the abused vehicle's immediately burst into flames cooking the raider alive.

Roy didn't see much after that as ED-D swooped to catch him but ED-D had no hands or any other appendages the eye bot didn't catch as so much as smash into him. He grasped as the air was forced from his lungs, it was all he could do to latch on to ED-D's grill which covered most of the robots front and one of the bigger antennae that jutted from the eye-bots body.

ED-D whined as they tumbled through the air. His engines were unable to support both his and his masters' weight. Finally his engines coughed and gave out over heating, they both plunged the sandy ground. His master rolled down a slight dune of sand and he landed in soft sand and soon begin to sink. ED-E struggled for a moment diverted 35% of his power reserves to his engines but his air intake valves had clogged with sand. (Error!) ED-D biped (Master, I am unable to rise) he warbled as he continued to sink into the soft sand.

Roy heard ED-D's distressed warbling even as he struggled to stand upright. The sand heaved and shifted as if something was pushing its mass from underneath. Roy struggled to get a footing in the ever shifting sand. It seemed intent on drowning him. He finally stood up only to collapse in pain. A sharp twisting agony tore through him, making him vomit up his last meal. The contents of his stomach were tainted by splashes of blood. He clutched his ribs as pain washed over him. Having no time to waste he reached into one of the many pockets of his duster.

He pulled out two syringes, Psycho and a Stim pack along with a packet of Med-Z. He tore the packaging of the Med-Z and dry swallowed one of the small white pills. The effect was almost immediate as the pain in his side started to numb. He pulled off the syringe's plastic stoppers. He took a deep steadying breath and turned his attention to the pip boy 3000 strapped to his wrist.

The green display depicted the Vault Tech mascot, a broad chested man with ridiculous pointed hair. A pained expression had replaced 'his' normal grinning face representing his bio read. The read out told him, her had two broken ribs and some minor internal bleeding.

'Well that could have been worse.' He thought. The bio readout also interacted that his Phoenix monocyte breeder implant had activated and was already producing nano machine to treat the wounds but he knew from hard experience that it would take hours to heal him fully. He didn't have time for that and plunged the Psycho and the Stim into his body.

The Psycho's cocktail of adrenalin and other less wholesome chemicals, surged though his veins pushing the pain of his injures to the very back of his mind while the Stims own mix went to work coagulating his blood to put a stop to the internal bleeding, knitting the broken bones and tissue back together. The process was usually slow, working over several hours but mixing in the Psycho sped up the process. The unfortunate side effect of this was it made his heart fell like it was going too explode as the mix of chemicals burned through him. Roy knew he had about thirty minutes maybe an hour before the Psycho burned though him completely, once it had it would leave him drained and weak. He really hoped he wouldn't have to use the Turbo that would make the effects of the Psycho look like a walk through a park.

Roy shakily stood up and marched up the shifting dune, taking stock of items he had to hand. His 44 caliber revolver was still in its holster. He had lost his 10mil sub machine gun when he had being thrown from his jeep. He still had some basic supplies in his duster enough to last him a day maybe two. Two combat knives, one sheathed in his belt next to his remaining grenade, the other hidden within a sheath sown into the sleeve of his under shirt. He breathed a thankful sighed. His prized pro-type photon axe was still strapped to his back. It was one of a kind and it had cost him an arm and a leg to retrieve it, well at least an arm. He was drawn from his musings by roar of a throaty engine. He looked up and saw a raider bike racing towards him at high speed.

The raider wore a Brahmin skull as a make shift helmet and a collection of mismatched leather and other materials crudely stitched together. Roy took all this in a split second as the rider leveled a badly rusted rail rifle at him. His mind raced, rail rifles were accurate but slow to fire and slower still to reload. They had a tendency to misfire or jam if they weren't maintained, as they used compressed air to fire a ten inch metal spike. There was no way that his riot armour would hold up against that kind of attack. He had seen power armour brought down by a lucky rail rifle shot. He dropped low to the sandy ground as he heard the loud hiss of the rifle's air chamber emptying. The metal spick flew harmlessly through the air where he had just being standing.

"Stand still you fragging maggot so I can shoot you!" the raider screamed when he realized he had missed. He loaded in another spick and squeezed the rusted trigger. The air chamber hissed and sputtered as the air vented. The raider tried to remove the ruptured chamber only for the release mechanism to break. "Fine I'll gut you instead!" he howled as he unhooked a large spiked pole and speed his metal steed forward.

"Shit!" Roy exclaimed he sprang up from the dune, he un-holstered his revolver clicked back the hammer and braced himself for the kick of the gun as he pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. "Oh you have got to be kidding me!" he exclaimed as he rotated the revolver chamber but before he could pull the trigger the sand shifted forcing him to tumble down the dune he just claimed up. "Fracking ell… what in the waste is going on?" he cried out.

As if to answer him a massive black claw shot out of the sandy ground and grabbed the raider. The now driverless the raider's bike sped onwards until it crashed into sand dune. The raider screamed as he was crushed to bloody pulp as the claw squeezed. The whole earth seemed to tremble as a gigantic form started to emerge from the sand.

"Ash and piss" Roy swore falling back on his rear end before scrambling behind a dead brush, he knew what that claw belonged to or at least suspected. Those suspicions were confirmed moments later as a massive black tail twice as thick as a power pole with a huge stinger emerged from the earth. It could only be a Rad scorpion and it was the biggest he had ever seen even though most of its body was still buried under the dunes.

It was only then that he belatedly noticed that in between being attacked by the raider and the emergence of the giant Rad scorpion, he had lost track of ED-D. He quickly picked himself up and sprinted over as quietly as he to where he had last seen his friend but couldn't see the eye bot. He didn't want to risk of alerting the raiders or the Rad scorpion to his presence, though at least for the moment both were content to take on each other. The raiders though were doing little more than annoying the great beast as their bullets, laser fire or plasma rounds where either absorbed by the layers of sand that still hid most of the, monstrous arthropods bulk or were doing little more than scratch its thick black carapace.

Roy grimaced as he saw one of the raiders get snatched by one of the monsters claws and dragged screaming into its gapping maw. "ED-D where's you at? We need to bug out right quick!" Roy yelled out. He heard a muffled warble of beeps and other sounds that he knew could only be his cheerful robot companion. He kept low to ground trying to avoid attention. His heart pounded like a drum played by a madman. Sweat poured from him. He heard another warble and followed the noise until he came upon the top of the little robot poking out of the gritty sand. "Hold on buddy I got yar" He said, as he kneeled down and dug into the shifting sand. He got a hand hold of some of the sensors and other devices that covered the eye-bots back and pulled but ED-D was stuck fast.

His muscles started burned as if he had just out sprinted pack of death claws. He knew any moment know the drugs he plunged into his system would leave him high and dry. Roy finally got a better hand grip on ED-D's armored sides he pulled for all his might but the eye bot would nut budge. "Fracking hell, ED-D you need to lay off the lug nuts" he joking told the robot as spasms of pain flooded his system.

ED-D shock with the effect of specking (Master! Leave me! You must save yourself) ED-D beeped.

He heaved again but the robot would not budge "Not a hoppers chance in the divide, now give me and hand" Roy commanded

( I do not have hands) ED-D warbled.

Roy's heaved, but his strength was leaving him fast "It's a joke tin for brains" he said feeling drug addled bile rise in his throat. "Power your jets to full…. You oversized paper weight…. That's an order!" he hissed as pain flashed though him. Roy felt the engines inside ED-D thumb with power. Loosening the sand entombing the robot and with one final tug from Roy, he finally came free but since his jets were clogged with sand and he was unable to lift of the ground.

(Thank you master) ED-D's beeped appreciatively. (You need not have done that for me.)

Roy fell over panting; he waved his hand dismissing the eye bots appreciation. "..UG... It was nothing you wouldn't have done for me" he said with a dry chough. He reached down to the water flask clipped to his belt and took a deep sip. The water did little to quench his raging thrust. His vision blurred as pain flooded back into his system. Roy sat there for a spell trying to regain his equilibrium. He watched the raiders battle the giant rad scorpion that had now finally fully emerged from the sandy dunes it called home, it was massive.

A huge black abomination against nature, even against the twisted nature birthed from the nuclear Armageddon. It was easily the size of a pre-war tank, it had four long segmented legs connected to its long abdomen and eachwas the length of a street light pole and ended in horrific claws. A thick black tail emerged from it abdomen and curled above its body. Its thick black exoskeleton was old and scared tumor like growths, wrapped its ageing body. It was old very old, probably near to the end of its life. Its small black soulless eyes had long since withered with age. Two massive, arm like appendage connected to its head, ending in massive crab like claws. Its right clawed appendage was hideously warped by black tumor's growths that corrupted the rest of its body. The rad scorpion may have been on its last legs but it was by no means out of the fight. It had felled most of the raiders their broken body's littered the land scape; now only three remained.

Roy knew he and ED-D had to get out of this here before either side claimed victory. He reached inside his duster once again a brought out a syringe of Turbo. He grimaced; he wasn't looking forward to injecting himself with it. He removed the plastic stopper and braced himself. Turbo was one of must dangerous cherms in the wasteland. He had only taken it once before and it had not been pleasant. However it was the one thing that might get him out of here alive, whether or not he'd survive the withdrawal was something he would have to worry about later.

ED-D warped disapprovingly as he observed his master (Master you must not inject yourself with those chemicals they will put a great stain on your body)

Roy affectionately patted the cool metal of ED-D's left side "Ya, I know the, withdraw is going to be a bitch but I don't see a choice. I can barely move and it's only a matter of time before that rad scorpion finishes off those raiders or the other way round and I don't aim for either of us to be here when that happens"

The eye-bot shook and blinked in agitation (Even if the chemicals grant you the advantage you seek. You will not be able to travel far in your current condition before the chemicals run their course Master) ED-D chirped. (And you promised your mate Cass that you would try not rely on cherms as much as you have in the past) the eye-bot warbled.

He nodded gravely "When your right your right Cass is going to be pissed" he told the robot a slight grin filling his face despite the pain that flooded his body as he thought her. "But I…." Roy trailed of as something occurred to him. "That raider that tried to run me through had a bike." He said excitedly.

He scanned the landscape doing is best to ignore the screams of the raider that were felled by the scorpion. Thick black smoke billowed from wrecked vehicles, making it difficult to make out anything. Than finally he saw it the bike that very nearly run him over. It was lying on its side having lost balance; it's motor still running. His attention was drawn away from the bike as a scream filled the air. Roy looked in the direction of the scream the last of the raiders had being stuck by the rad scorpion's massive stinger which penetrated the poor buggers whole torso like a knife through a fancy lad snack cake. "Ok time to go!" he said stabbing the Turbo into his side.

The world around him burred as the new batch of cherms plumbed into his body. Roy couldn't think, only act. He picked up ED-D and keeping the eye-bot under one arm he ran for the bike. Time seamed to slow a crawl as the turbo took effect. It was almost like he was immune its ebb and flow like a calm island in the middle of a raging river.

The giant rad Scorpion felt more than saw the movement of more prey. Its eyes had failed long ago. On signal minded predatory impulse it surged forward its massive clawed legs churning the ground under its bulk.

Roy more felt than saw the massive mutant bug chase after him. He knew unless he was insanely lucky there was no way any of the weapons he still carried could possible kill the Scorpion. Before recalling the grenade still hooked on to his belt. He turned to see the giant rad scorpion only a few meters behind him its huge stinger poised, ready to take his life. "Oh please, please don't be a dud" Roy exampled as he ripped the pin from the grenade and tossed it into the path of the scorpion. The explosive sailed through the air, landing next to the rad scorpion. The seconds before detonation felt like the slow egos of the Earth as he put as much distance between himself and the grenade as he could.

Ten seconds to detonation: He needed to keep the scorpion his back he pulled revolver out of its holster.

Nine seconds to detonation: He aimed at the scuttling horror not that there was much chance he would miss; he pulled back the hammer of his gun back and the chamber rotated.

Eight seconds to detonation: Roy pulled the trigger; the revolver bucked in his hand firing as a bullet shot straight into the gaping maw of the monster.

Seven seconds to detonation: The rad scorpion shuddered with the force of the round which blew of one of its mandibles. It screeched in pain as a sensation like pain filled what passed for a brain.

Six seconds to detonation: The rad scorpion reached out grasp the fleeing prey with its sickly claw but it only managed to hook the fabric it wore. Roy heard a length of his duster rip as he twisted out of the monsters grasp and fell to the sand. The giant rad scorpion's raised its tail reading to strike.

Five seconds to detonation: Roy aimed for the stinger and pulled the trigger of his hand gun three more times, one round hit the scorpion's stinger square on, blowing the poison filled sack apart. The rad scorpion screeched in pain and backed off. The next round missed the rad scorpion completely but the third round bore into one of the tumor like growths in its malformed arm. The growth blow apart spraying sickly green blood and puss in all directions, the scorpion let out a ear-piercing screech as the limb went limp.

Four seconds to detonation: The scorpion backed of wary of this prey, to stand over the unexploded grenade.

Three seconds to detonation: Roy picked himself, still carrying his loyal robot companion under his arm. He ran as a fast and as hard as he could.

Two seconds to detonation: Roy dived over the large dune of sand that the bike lay against.

One second to detonation: Roy ducked low shielding ED-D under himself.

The grenade detonated, the explosion eclipsed the grenade Roy had used early. A huge ball of fire engulfed nearly three square meters of sand were reduced to ash in and instant, the shock wave blew the scorpion into flaming chucks of meat. That started raining down over the barren landscape. The flames where so intense in places they turned the sandy ground into glass. The shock wave was so intense that it blew of the top of dune that Roy and ED-D had used for cover. Fortunately the mass of the dune had saved them from the sheer might of the explosion left them buried under a thin layer of sand.

It took a serval moments and a great deal of effect for Roy to dig himself and ED-D out of their sandy prison. Once they were free it took a few more moments for him to realize the bike he had wanted to make his escape on was now little more than twisted metal. He breathed an irritated sigh 'at the least the fuel tank hadn't exploded.' He silence thanked lady luck for that small mercy.

He slumped as he sat down ED-D resting in his lap, observing the remnants of the giant rad scorpion that were still falling to earth. His gut twisted at the smell that wafted of the charred meat. It was thick and rank like someone had set the whole sewer system of New Vegas on fire. "Tarnation's that's nasty… their ant enough booze in the waste to make me un-see that!" Roy said as he saw what looked like parts of the beast's internal organs spilled over the now glassy ground slowly cooking thanks to the residue heat.

ED-D shook in his masters lap (Master we should leave this area this bio matter will soon attract scavengers) ED-D beeped.

Roy nodded in agreement "Too right…. but I reckon we got time before anything nearby smells this…" he scanned the landscape in all directions. "At least with that monster dead we can do a little scavenging of our own. We might be able to get some of the cargo back"

ED-D shook with confusion (While I have no doubt that the super mutant, Marcus would be thankful that we returned with the shipment of supplies we were to transport.) the robot stated plainly. (Was it not agreed upon that said supplies were an expendable loss as we were acting as a diversion for our comrades in their mission to deliver the supply's and secure the trade routes to Jacobs town?) the robot asked his beeps and chirps changed in tone and frequency as he 'talked'.

"Perhaps" Roy murmured "but it won't hurt none if we can get something extra out of this disaster" he told ED-D as he picked over the smoking remnants of the battle field like some ill-fated scavenger. He couldn't help but think on what had got him in this situation.

Over the last month and a half the caravan supply roots to Jacob's town he and his friends had opened up had come under attack by raiders. This was not unusual, as slow moving caravans were always prime targets but these raiders had all but ignored the other caravans in the area in favor of targeting the ones supplying the mutant settlement. The town and its inhabitants had been until recently largely self-sufficient but the population of super mutants and ghouls looking for safe harbor had doubled recently. Since the progress being made to cure the mental diseases that affected the more unhinged members of mutant kind had kicked into high gear. The near constant raider attacks was making the town was run dangerously low on supplies and when the mutants ran out altogether that would be very, very bad.

Roy had plenty of mutant friends over the years. He knew despite their troubled past with the Master, that mutants weren't for the most part bad 'people'. But just like regular folk if they got desperate enough they could do anything.

If he and his team hadn't lent a hand when they did the mutants wouldn't have any other choice other than attack the settlements around New Vegas to get the supplies and that was the worst possible outcome. The NCR would have no choice but to divert troops away from Hoover dam to exterminate the mutants and with the Legion reading its forces across the Colorado River. They weren't going to stand idly by as NCR's forces left on a fool's errand. As it was the Legion's raids and been growing boulder for some time, it was only a matter of time before they attacked in full force.

The team had come up with a plan to kill two birds with one stone. While he and ED-D drew the attention of the Raiders, his second command and girlfriend Cass was gardening/running supplies up to Jacobs's town. Of course she wasn't alone Roy had sent Boone and the super mutant Dog to back her up. Boone was one of the best snipers he'd ever met. Sadly the same couldn't say the same for the man's people skills nor his open mindedness but Roy knew that Boone would get the job done no matter what his personal feelings were. Dog wasn't quite all 'there' even by super mutant standards though he was getting better thanks to the treatments he was getting in Jacobs town. He had befriended the super mutant while they and two others. A famous singer 'from the back when times' turned ghoul Dean Domino and a former brother hood of steel scrip Christine, in the ruins of the Sierra Madre near on six months ago. They, like him had been kid napped and forced to serve the deranged former head of the Mojave chapter of the brother hood of steel Elijah. Elijah had used them as he had used countless others, as little more than cannon founder to explore the tainted ruins of the Sierra Madre for the legendry treasure. That lay with in the heart of that cursed resort. Working together the four of them had thwarted Elijah, and he had brought them into his circle of friends. While Cass and her team got supplies up the dangerous mountain paths and He and ED-D distracted the main bulk of the raiders. He had Veronica, another brotherhood scribe, Christine, Lilly another super mutant and the two newest members of their dysfunction family. Dominus a, ex-Legionnaire looking for redemption for his many sin's as he had done in the name of the Legion after becoming disillusioned with Caesar and their youngest member, Beth Derouth's. She was the daughter of a wealthy Brahmin baron whom had run away from her oppressive family. Despite her age and upbringing she was a tough young woman with a strong head for business and subterfuge. He had sent them to investigate whoever was backing the raiders and put a stop to them. He hoped that the others were having a better time of it.

The sky gradually darkened as the sun dipped slowly over the horizon the sky went from azure blue to purple as darkness fell. The moon hung heavy in the night sky as stars filled the heavy's, monochrome light beached away all color.

Roy managed to find one the raider's bikes that, was still in working condition. He had also found a well-stocked bag of maintenance tools which he used to clean out ED-D's jets allowing he eye-bot could once again fly, though there was still a noticeable warble in his movements. "Lady Luck must be smiling down on us after all hum ED-D?" Roy slurred as he braced himself against the bike as a cold chill ran though his body. His stomach twisted and churned as random twitches ran up and down his body. He took a sip of water from his hip flask as he fought down the urge to retch. He had also found few fusion batteries, some extra ammo, food and a few canteens of water. His luckiest find by far 'besides the bike' was a 44 Cal hunting rifle with a sequoia stock in near perfect condition.

It must have been a part of the cargo Marcus had given him. There was no way that any the raiders could have kept such a rare treasure in this good a condition. It must have being more than two hundred years old made before the war. He gladly strapped the rifle to his back and pocketed the ammo. A series of loud howls perched the gathering gloom. "I reckon we may have over stayed our welcome" Roy told ED-D, his southern accent had slurred noticeable.

The eye bot bobbed in agreement as he hovered about a meter or so off the ground. Roy quickly packaged up the remaining supplies and tied them to the raider's bike. Another set of howls echoed through the waste much closer this time. Roy wasted no time in mounting the bike and started the engine. As the engine roared to life he set off at speed into the gathering twilight.

The light from the moon bleached away all colors, creating a strange realm of monochrome. Hardy desert trees and bushes stood silhouetted against the never ending desert, they clutched at the darkness like fingers of a hundreds corpses.

Roy soon felt the cold night wind bite into him like a Moe rat into brock flower, not helped by the effect, Withdraw was having on him. Icy sweat poured from his body, his fingers started cramping, his heart pounded and his vision burred. "Ash and salt…" he muttered under his breath. "ED-D we're going to have to stop for the night" he told the eye bot who looked more like a dull grey blur then his trusted metal friend. Thankfully the robot had turned on the large flash light built into him so Roy could at least see where he was going. 'Whatever that was worth' Roy thought groggy. He managed to drive the bike on top of rocky outcrop that jutted from desert like a broken tooth.

Roy slumped in his set as he tried to steady his ragged breathing. His whole body felt like it was cracking apart like a night caller egg. "I don't suppose your senses can pick up on anything that might do as shelter for the night?" he asked as he gazed at the grey blur he took to be ED-D.

ED-D bobbed happily (Yes master, approximately thirty meters ahead there seems to be a large metal object.) When his master didn't reply he grew concerned. He activated his remote hacking device, accessing his masters pip boy. The results were not favorable many of his masters internal organs were under great stress. The implants with in his master's body were doing their best to heal him but they were struggling. They needed a chance to heal him and in order to get that chance his master needed to rest. ED-D hovered forward and nudged his master.

Roy was almost senseless as he all but fell off the bike which remained standing without him thanks to its stand. He groaned as he wretched, trying to heave up an already empty stomach. ED-D ever the faithful companion kept nudging him; the robots distressed warbling sounded distant to his addled senses. "Urrrgeg…" he groaned as he tried to get up. He managed to get up to his feet. He instinctively held on to his round metal friend who hovered at chest height.

(Master you must move!) ED-D Beeped (Hold on to me and I will get you to shelter.) It took some time but they were able to walk to what appeared to be the wreck of a rusted out bus that lay on its side in a ditch. Despite its age it was for the most part still in one piece. ED-D eased his master to lie down on the floor of the wreck.

It wasn't ideal but it would have to do, Roy grumbled something that even ED-Ds senses couldn't make out before he succumbed to a fitful and troubled sleep. ED-D noticed that some of the chairs still had their stuffing. He used his ion blaster to set fire to a few knowing that his master would require heat during the night. Unfortunately this would draw the attention of any nearby night time predators but it was a risk he was prepared for.

The night pasted slowly as ED-D watched over his master, fortunately a few Moe rats were the worst this night had to offer. A few shots from his ion blaster were more than able to scare them away. A dozen strong Moe rats returned just as the first rays of sunlight pushed against the night. Lead by a particular large member of their kind. They were pinkish in colour with wrinkled leathery skin. They were short thick set stumpy things that scattered about on four small legs. Their heads were bulbous with short snouts which bristled with long whiskers. Their eyes were small red orbs sunk deep into their fat skulls. They sniffed the air and ground alike as they approached.

ED-D scanned them as he hovered to and fro, anxiety ran though his systems. The Moe rats didn't pose that much of a threat to him as he could hover well out of reach of any of their attacks but his master was still asleep. A quick scan told him that his master's body had gone through the worst of the Withdraw but he was in no condition to fight.

The large pack leader let out a small screech and its kin's hackles rose as they scented fresh meat. Three of the Moe rats scuttled forward, ED-D flew thought one of the twisted windows to meet their charge.

He shot the first two with ease, his Ion blaster cooking their flesh, there screeched in agony as their flesh boiled. The third scuttled to and fro dodging his shots before a lucky round set it ablaze. The others enraged by the loss of three of their kin charged forward, some going straight for the bus were his master fitfully slept. While others vainly tried to get at the flying robot as his deadly weapons felled another two of their kin. Both were vaporized in sort order their bodies turning to ash.

The remaining Moe rats jumped over each other trying to get at him, one was able to reach high enough to scrap at in underside but was met with a face full of burning plasma for 'its' trouble. ED-D had to hover closer to the ground, in order to back into the wrecked bus as some of the Moe rats had slipped past his killing ground.

The pack leader saw its chance and pounced, knocking the troublesome metal thing to the ground. The remaining Moe rats closed in as ED-D struggled to rise but was pinned down by the pack leader. His weapon fired wildly into the air catching the pack leader by surprise, cutting across its leathery flesh. The Moe rat backed up whimpering in pain, the others of its pack gathered their wounded leader, hissing angrily at their robotic tormentor.

Now free of the Moe rat pack leader ED-D rose slackly into the air, his armor dented and scratched by the rodent's assault. He studied the Moe rats as they weary sniffed and let out low hissing chatter. They were obviously wavering having lost at least five of their number and their alpha had being injured. He deduced that it would only require a slight push for them to brake, with dawn soon approaching. It was unlikely they would return as Moe rats disliked direct sun light. He accessed his audio files and activating his speakers he mimicked the rattle of a night stalker. The Moe rats quickly bolted leavening the bus and sleeping human in peace.

ED-D 'sighed' in relief his whole body dipping low. The battle with the Moe rats had greatly exhausted his internal power leaving him with below 23% of power. He would have to power down to minim until it regenerated. ED-D didn't like the prospect of being offline for hours while his master still needed him. Unfortunately he didn't have much of a choice in the matter. ED-D slowly dropped to the floor next to were his master slept and went to sleep mode.

Dawn soon broke over the dry waste land, the bright rays worked into the shadowed out cove of the bus. Its golden rays washed over the sleeping form the Courier and his eye bot companion.

Wakefulness came slowly, as Roy was roused by the morning rays working their way past his closed eye lids. The first clear thoughts that occupied his wakening mind were a hazy pain that soon blossomed into a full blown migraine. His empty stomach growled as it twisted, his throat burned with an acidic after taste of bile. The pain eased ever so slightly and other sensations, creeped into his mind.

Roy slowly realized that he had spent the night in what appeared to be a rusted out wreck of a bus. The memories of last night and the day before slowly trickled into his mind as he got a sense of his surroundings.

The first thing to hit him was the smell, the thick croppy sent of blood and the acrid stench of ash filled the air making him wont to wrench. With his other senses quickly returning Roy noticed ED-D laying on his side next him. Pushing past the pain and hazy confusion he picked up his robotic friend. "ED-D buddy what happen to you?" he asked but the eye bot remained dreadfully silent. "Hay buddy its ok I'm here" he said, stroking his friend armored body.

He examined his robot friend; there were a few heavy dints and scratches in ED-Ds armor and a few of the antenna and other gizmos were badly bent. None of which would be enough to force ED-D into power down mode. "Power down of course…" Roy said slapping his forehead feeling a might silly that it hadn't occurred to him earlier. "I reckon ya probably just need a power boost… but it won't hurt to give ya a once over" he told the sleeping ED-D as he examined the damage to his friend closer. While none of the external damage was to threatening, there could be some internal problems. He wished he, had Raul or Veronica was with him to help fix ED-D up. His own repair skills left a lot to be desired, while he had knack with computers, that wouldn't help him if the problem was mechanical and it helped even less the kit he used the hack and programme computers had be lost the day before. If push came to shove he might be able to use the tool kit, he savaged yesterday but first he need to know what was going on with ED-D systems.

Roy unhooked the data revival cord from his pip boy. It was a thick black cord ending in universal adapter. He slotted it into a port in ED-D's back. Information soon filled his pip boy's screen, he paged though it slowly making sure he didn't miss anything. "Huum… yep looks like you're got damaged stabilizes and your coolant modules took one heck of a beating" he said as he read though the data. "Looks like your battery is recharging…a might slower then earthier us might like but I reckon you earned a rest" Roy said his voice thick with his southern draw.

He disconnected the cord and slot it back into place, Roy whistled tunelessly as he observed the carnage around him. At least four Moe rats lay dead both inside and outside the bus. "Well at least I got fresh meat." Roy said as a grin formed on his face.

Roy picked up one of the dead and Moe rats and scavenged what he could from the land. As he searched for anything he could add to his meal. As he searched found he wasn't too far from a road, his Pip boy's map which indicated this was highway 95. He used his power axe to hack some wood off a downed tree and harvested few heathy brock flowers and other waste land plants including a dust devil. It was a bright red cactus, far larger than most other plants in the waste and one of the most prized. Its sap could detox even the most drug addled fiend and it flesh could satisfy one's hunger. However like most things in the waste there was a catch, its flesh and sap would leave whomever consumed them, with a near on unquenchable thirst for hours.

He soon had everything he needed and set up a camp fire and cooked himself some Moe rat stack and other wasteland dishes. Once he had his fill he put out the fire and picked up ED-D and walked back to where he left his bike the night before. Despite its outward rusted and batted body and its outlandish appearance the engine, was in relatively good condition. All that was left for him to check was the fuel. "Darn it all…" Roy said after checking the fuel tank. He ripped of his wide brim hat and scrunched it into a ball. 'There was hardly any fuel left and certainly nowhere near enough to get back to Vegas or even Jacobs town for that matter.'

He stared up at blue never ending sky above. It was still early morning; he had a few hours before the heat of the day set in. Normally in this kind of situation he would find some were cool to wait out the day and use his radio to call for back up or failing that have ED-D use his own but he had lost his radio yesterday and ED-D was out for the count. He refused to let his or ED-D life end like this. There was still so much he had left to do before he was claimed the black. He activated his pip boy to checked his location on the map again, there had to be something nearby, NCR out post, a cave anything would do, he expanded the image "Huum now an't that interesting" Roy mutated to himself.

According to the map there was a little place called 'Corn Creek' not too far from where he was. Of course this map had being wrong before as it hadn't being updated since the bombs fell. Still it was his best chance. There was still the matter of fuel, while 'Corn Creek' was far closer than New Vegas he doubted there was enough to get him to the town. While he didn't mind legging it for a spell he preferred not to, at least with limited supplies. Roy knew he had to lighten his load; he used the tool box to hard wire the fusion batteries he found last night, into ED-D to give the robot a power boost. It was nowhere near enough to get the eye bot back on line but did serve to cut a few hours of his recharge.

Roy striped as many of the unnecessary raider add-ons from the bike as he could. As he worked he drank what water he could from the canisters used the rest to refill a hand full of bottles and his trusty vault 14 canteen. What water he couldn't carry he used to water the nearby plants, though he was loathed to waste any of it, needs must. He striped himself of as much unnecessary weight as possible. Ammo or power packs for weapons he didn't have on him were the first to go; he removed the extra armour pieces he had added to his riot gear. Once he had gotten rid of all he was willing to leave behind he strapped ED-D into a small metal basket that had been welded to the bike and was soon on his way.

Roy found himself on the road again, moving with purpose towards Corn Creek. The kilometers stretched on, for what seemed an eternity. The air shimmed like water as the relentless heat of the sun beat down on the scorched landscape. He soon felt the effects of the dust devil became take hold as he drove along the blacken road, towards a town he hoped against hope was still there after more than two hundred years. He did what he could quench his thirst without wasting water but it was nearly imposable to resist the call of his dry throat. He could not weaken the passage of time as the thirst ran its course; sometime later he saw the first hints of what he took to be Cork Creek. A small set of houses of varying sizes in the distance.

He spotted the unmistakable outline of a house in the near distance. As he brought his binoculars up to his face, searching for any signs of life or failing that something he could use to get back to Vegas or get in contact with his team, when the bike lurched and coughed. It had being running on fumes for a while now but he had managed to couch a few hundred more meters out of it, now though it's was in its sputtering death throes and soon it finally lurched to a stop. Thick smoke poured from its tail pipe. Roy patted the side of the stricken machine, as he would an amleow or any other beast of burden thanking it carrying him as far as it did. He retrieved ED-D from the basket and strapped the eye bot to his back then started to head for the nearest house.

Fortunately he didn't need to walk the burning road too long as he stopped a few dozen meters from the nearest house taking shelter in the shadow of an large healthy tree with tire swing, while house was old he could tell it was clearly occupied, as there were a number of cloths hanging from lines that ran from the house to the tree.

Something seemed off to him as he scanned the house and saw no immediate signs of life. An uneasy suspension crewed at his gut as he brought the binoculars up to his face and studied the house. It was a modest one story house, it's once white paint had faded and peeled away. He could make out few rows of crops nestled behind the house. A hedge of long dead shrubs bordered the grounds. The house had a large front porch window and patio but something was amiss. He focused the binoculars on the pouch window and realized that it was shattered. The remaining planes of glass were covered in fresh blood. He could just make out what looked like a dead body draped across window sill but it was far away to tell whom or what the body belonged to, at least it appeared human but something about the corpse seemed off.

A part of him wanted to move on to and leave these people to their fate. It was likely they were dead already but another part of him told him, he needed to help them if he could. Even if meant given them a proper burial. Roy pocked the binoculars and undid the strap holding ED-D to his back and quickly checked his friend's power level. He sighed it was well on its way to recharging but it would likely be another hour before the eye bot 'woke up'. He gently placed his robot friend by in a small hole in the roots of the tree.

Roy stealthily creeped through the front lawn of the house keeping to whatever shadows he could. As he approached the patio he heard something rustle somewhere to the right of him in the dead hedge that surrounded the house. He drew his revolver with his right hand and the photo axe in his left, he pressed the activation stud, energy dancing between two emitters, creating a crackling blue blade. His dark eyes searched for any sign of movement but found none, he deactivated his axe but kept it to hand, he did the same for his revolver. He carefully approached the window, the all too familiar coppery sent of blood fouled the air, which grew stronger closer he got. He steeled himself as he creeped towards the corpse lying on its back, its limbs dangled lifelessly. It wore ragged dirty clothes, that couldn't hope to hide its identity. It was a feral ghoul. Its chest was a bloody, ragged mess. Its milky eyes stared blindly into space.

This thing like all other ghouls had once being human, before being overexposed to radiation and weren't granted the mercy of a quick death. The radiation changed their bodies. Their skin and hair pealed off and they became sterile. Ghouls did have two distinct advantages over 'regular' folk, they were extremely long lived. Some claimed to be more than a century's old and they became immune to radiation in fact they seemed to thrive of it. Especially the feral's. What little skin it had left was pulled tight over it's, wirily frame exposing rake thin mussels. Its face was a frozen snarl of hunger its teeth were rotted and yellow its whole face was shallow with the never ending hunger and rage that in life had compiled it into insanity.

He poked the dead ghoul with the barrel of his revolver to see if it was faking, though most feral's where completely mindless. Some retained just enough intelligence to create traps while others could act as a pack leader. Roy breathed a sigh of relief it was quite dead, he carefully stepped over the window sill so not to alert any remaining foes to his presence.

Roy stepped inside to what he took to be the house's living room. There were a few old chairs and tables scatted about and a radio played static music. It wasn't the furniture that griped his attention it was the blood and other fluids that covered virtually the entire room. Another dead ghoul lay just inside the window, blood pooled were it lay. Further inside was the remains of a man leaning against a wall, a shotgun still clutched in his hands. Most of the man's flesh had being ripped away, his guts hung from his ravaged torso.

Roy tasted vile build in his throat as his stomach twisted in revulsion. He had seen a lot of horrid things in his career as a Courier; this was among the worst he'd even seen. He crept deeper into the slaughter house the reek of blood permeated the air making him gag. He heard a chewing noise come from the kitchen and moved to investigate. There was a ghoul hunched over the remains of a woman its back to him. She hadn't gone down without a fight, if the carving knife buried to the hilt in the ghouls side was any interaction.

He reactivated his proton axe, hoping the ghoul wouldn't notice the hum of power. He reposition his stance as he readied to strike, he accidently stepped on a piece of glass. The ghoul turned and let out a load hissing scream as it leaped slashing at him with razor sharp nails, pieces of bloody matter hung in lose strands from its wrapped mouth as it snapped at him.

Roy staggered back under the ghoul's assault. Its claw like finger nails racked against his riot armor. It was all he could do to keep the foul things rotten mouth away from his flesh. He had to use the shaft of his axe as a club to keep the thing at bay. As the ghoul over extended its self as it tried to bite into his neck, he was able the sweep its skeletal thin legs from under it. The ghoul fell threshing to the floor. He quickly unloaded his revolver twice into the hideous things exposed chest. The ghoul let out a long hideous wail before dying, foul blood started pooling under its ruined body.

Roy heard a series of hisses come from down the main hall way of the house, he quickly turned to see three ghouls dressed in faded rages and the gore of their victims charging blindly towards him, letting out long angry inhuman screeches.

He fired of three rounds into the lead ghoul his heavy caliber rounds tore into its warped flesh, it staggered but kept coming, he fired again. The bullet missed the lead ghoul but hit the second one which appeared to have once being female. The shot tore into its thin neck blowing its warped head off in a fountain of blood. The headless body continued walking forward a step or two before toppling over. With his revolver now empty and with no time to reload it, he it let it drop from and hefted his power axe to met the charge of the wounded ghoul. It swung at him with a boney arm, he rolled out of the way and swing his axe blade into the things exposed back the energy blade cut straight though its chest splitting it in two.

The ghoul didn't quite catch on it was dead as its spite torso separated from its legs hit as it continued to hiss and slowly crawl towards its prey. The last ghoul, witnessing its kindred's deaths, backed off wearily circled it's pray. Enough of its mind remained, that it knew how to bide its time. It saw the other kindred that had be chopped in half and reached out a boney hand and grasped at one of it preys feet.

"Get off me you rotten freak" Roy yelled at the somehow still alive ghoul trying to chew though his heavy combat boot. He only took his eyes of the ghoul that had briefly backed off for a second but a second was all it needed. It pounced on him its bare feet landing in his chest forcing the air from his lungs, sending him backwards. As his back hit the wall behind him, his power axe flew from his grasp. Before he had time to react the ghoul was already on him it was all he could do the block its frenzied biting and clawing at his left arm. Agony filled his mind as the things sharp teeth bit into his bone.

It pulled a chuck of flesh away to revealing metal and circuity underneath. It spat the fake flesh out of its mouth; a look that could have once passed for confusion filled its warped face.

Pushing past the pain Roy took advantage of the ghoul's distraction. With his good hand, he reached into his belt and griped the hilt of his combat knife and quickly plunged it into the ghouls gut making stager of him. "Ya that's right you ugly fracker…. its metal" he hissed as created a fist with his cyber hand and punched the ghoul in the face knockings several of its sharp teeth out.

As the ghoul staggered backwards, Roy plunged his combat knife into its skull up to the hilt. The ghoul twitched for a few long seconds before finally dying. Roy stood up covered in blood and retrieved his power axe and hacked the ghoul that tripped him into little more than grisly meat.

Gritting his teeth against the pain, Roy removed a role of medical binding from his duster and wrapped around his exposed cyber arm. He grunted in pain as he japed a Stim pack into his arm to numb the pain. The cybernetic arm was a replacement for the one he had lost exploring a cave in the big empty after running into a practically nasty lobotomite.

Once the wound was bandaged Roy retrieved and reloaded his revolver, he set out to search the rest of the house. He found the remains of another man and another ghoul down the hall way next to what looked to be a child's bed room, he could make out the faint growing of a ghoul coming from inside. He had no wish to see what had become the child. Using some of the house hold appliances he made a make shift bomb and wired it to the door, if the thing inside ever figured out how to get out, it was in for a nasty shook.

As he searched the house he found a small jar of bottle caps in the kitchen along with a few bottles of water, this family certainly didn't need them anymore. He found a small bath room. He quickly washed his face, dust, blood and ash flowed down the sink. Once clean he stared into mirror.

He studied his refection exhausted had hollowed out his face. Serval days' worth of dark stubble grew along his strong jaw line. His noise was crocked; having being broken once too many times to ever heal properly. He noticed a gash run down from his right cheek bone down to his top lip, spiting it. He washed the blood from the wound and grimaced as he bandaged it. "It probably scar" he muttered darkly. He took of his large hat and washed the dirt and blood from his wild black hair. Once he was done he left the house the way he entered.

Roy searched for a shovel to bury the dead if he could find one; he proffered to not leave the corpses for, Cazador's or Night stalkers if he could help it. When he saw tool shed by the side of the house he heard a rustle of dry leaves and saw something move out the corner of his eye. He could just make out a faint shadow in the hedge; something was odd about it though. If it was a far too quiet and still the be feral ghoul. It might have being a hopper or some other small animal hiding in the dead brush, he was current whatever it was studying him.

Acting on a hunch that he hoped was right, he lowered himself to his hunches. "Hello is someone their?" Roy asked as gently as he could. The thing in the shadows quivered, ready the bolt in a moment's notice. "Come on out, I won't hurt you" he told the shadowy form but it didn't flinch. He slowly moved forward and parted some of the long dead braches of the bushes. He could make out to very blue eyes staring at him. Human eyes, children's eyes, he gave the child his best most charming smile, the same one that won hearts and minds from Shady sands to New Vegas. "How about I drop my weapons and you come out of there, does that good to you?" he asked.

The child remained where it was as he slowly emptied his revolver and hunting rifle and took the energy pack from his axe and laid his weapons on the ground. The child edged forward a few centimeters but still stayed well out of reach.

Roy slowly reached into one of the many pockets of his duster and brought out a 'handy randy' candy bar. It was a popular treat before the war and some enterprising soul had managed recreate the recipe about a decade or so back. Roy tore the packaging and took a bite out of it, making exaggerated sounds of enjoyment as he chewed. "I reckon ye must me hungry right? Here take it I got plenty" he told the child. He sat perfectly still as a small pale white hand reached out of the bushes and snatched the candy bar. The child quickly started devouring the candy.

A grunt girl slowly steeped out of the hedge. She had long black hair, pale skin and sky blue eyes. She wore a pain weight t-shirt which was obviously two sizes too big for her frame and faded blue suspended denim pants and small flat shoes. She clutched a very old teddy bear to her chest. She had small elfish features and a thin face. There were a few splashes of dried blood staining her clothing and she had few scathes, her features shallow likely, form lack of food and drink rather then physical harm.

"It's ok daring" Roy told the child gently trying not to spook her. "My name is Roy Greyson. What's yours?" he asked as gently opening up at bottle of water and handed it to her. The girl grabbed the bottle with one hand never letting go of her bear with the other. She quickly drank the water, spilling most of it down her dirty chin.

He put a steady hand on small shoulder making her jump in fright, he immediate backed of "Careful now you don't what to drink to quickly, you'll give yourself a stomach ache" Roy told her with a warm smile. She seemed to listen as she slowed down before screwing the lid back on. She offered the bottle back to him "No you keep it" he told her shaking his head. He hoped he was going about this the right way; he didn't have much experience with children. "Is that your bear? What's his name?"

She nodded but didn't speck. "Is he your friend?" he asked. Again she nodded, Roy looked, her up and down searching for some clue to her identity. It was hard to tell under the dirt and blood but the girl seemed painful young she couldn't be much more than five maybe six or seven at the most. 'Ash and blood… Who knew how long she had being hiding in those bushes.' "You know I have friend I brought with me to do you what to meet him?" he asked "He's a lot of fun" he added her gently.

She looked up into his eyes her blue ones wet with tears. "Mm…My mommy and daddy are dead an't they?" she asked her soft voice trembling.

He didn't know what to tell her, he had no words to comfit the child. He nodded gravely "I'm… afraid so little one" he told her his own voice meek. He knew firsthand what it was like to loss a parent at such a young age. He wasn't must older when he lost his mother to red shadow fever. It was rare sickness even in the waste but it was probably one of the worst ways to go. In the end his father had to put his mother out of her misery, they were never the same again. His father spent the next seven years drinking, himself to death. Roy pushed the thoughts back down, now was not the time to wallow.

"Did you kill the monsters?" she asked her eyes never felt his.

"Yes" Roy said simply. He couldn't not call the feral ghouls monsters but too many people believed all ghouls were like that. "But they're not monsters little one their just very sick most ones I've met are very nice… if a little grouchy" he told her gently.

The girl nodded "I know Mr. Roy… one of them was our friend, he used to really smart and he used to tell me bed time stories about the time before the bombs… he used to help around the town everyone knew him….he was very nice" she told the strange man, her voice becoming less somber as she talked. "But then he started to forget things and he would get angry over the littlest things" she said fresh tears flowed from her already watery eyes. "Mommy and daddy and Uncle Steve, were worried he would get worse… he was worried to and one day he ran off into the waste…" she said trying to wipe away here tears. "He was gone a lone wile… but a day ago he came back with the bad ones…and…and…." She started wailing as she recalled what happened.

Roy reached forward and held the child to his chest, stocking her long black hair. "There, there let it out…let it all out… its better this way trust me" he said holding the child to him. The girl continued to let her pain and loss flow from her for some time until her tears started to slow and her wails of loss grew muted.

She let go of the man and looked up to see his smiling face he handed her a small cloth and she dried her tears and cleared her noise. "Th…Thank you Mr. Roy…" she muttered brokenly.

He smiled "That's all right and please call me Roy…or six a some people like to call me that…" he told the child bashfully. "Do you think you can tell me your name?" he asked "I'm sore it's very pretty"

She wiped her face again before speaking "Mm…My name is Willow" she told Roy wondering why he be called a number. "Umm…. Mr. Roy… why do people call you six?" Willow asked.

He let out a chuckle and ran a hand through his dark hair. "Well an't that a long story…Tell you what, I go get my friend and we will tell it together. Does that sound good to ya?" he asked cheerfully, Willow seemed uncertain. "You trust me right?" Roy asked offering his hand. She nodded and took it. He re armed himself walked with Willow hand in hand to were ED-D lay. He picked up the eye bot and managed to open the tools shed, thanks to a few extra power packs and some handy tools he soon got the robot up and running again and expanded the situation to ED-D and told the eye bot active his long rang radio.

He dialed in the frequency for the radios his team used. "Cass this Roy, come in Cass, Over" Roy said into the radio.

For a long moment static was his only repay. He was about try again when Cass's husky voice filled came from the radio. "Ash and piss Roy, you had me worried! You've being dark for near on a day, Over" she told him.

A relieved smile filled pulled at his cut lip. "It's good to hear you too Cass, are Boone and Dog with you? How did things play out with Marcus? Did he agree to our terms? Over." he asked.

"Boone is his usual charming self" she said sarcastically, Roy could just make out a snort that could only be Boone among the back ground of the radio feed. "And Dog had grand old time when we ran into some of them raiders ya and ED-D were meant to 'distract'." She told him annoyance replacing her earlier worry. "As for Marcus he agreed…he'll send up a dozen of his… people up to the dam but he said you and he are going to have words next time you see him, over." Cass told him.

Roy grimaced, he wasn't looking forward to that talk "I wouldn't expect anything else but on to more pressing matters" he said. "Home in on our position ED-D and I and one extra are going to need a pick up, over" Roy told her.

"What happened to your car? And what stay did you pick up this time, over" Cass asked her voice pickled with suspension.

Roy pinched his brow "It's a long story, over" he said with long and heavy sigh.

The rolling of Cass's eyes was practically auditorable over the radio "It better be good" she told him. "Well we an't far too out from you it might take us three maybe four hours to get to your position, try not to get yourself and ED-D into too much trouble, Over" Cass told him.

"Me get into trouble? Cass you wound me but just for you we'll stay put… over" he stated before turning of ED-D's radio. They remained inside tool shed, to wait out the heat of day until their friends arrived. He asked Willow if she had anyone in the town that might wont to look after her but she said there weren't many people left in the town. According to her most people had left when the NCR showed up. He didn't fancy having to take reasonability for Willow but he fancied leaving her to fend for herself even less. The life he and his team lead wasn't the stable ones in the world but Willow didn't have anywhere else to go.

To distract her from the loss of her family he and ED-D regaled Willow with their many adventures while leaving out some of the more explicit moments that had happed to him, since he first woke up in Good springs after being shot in the head. He had just started telling her about how he and his friends helped, the Boomers retrieve a down B-29 plane from Lake Med when Willow drifted off to sleep.

It wasn't long after that when Cass, Boone and Dog arrived in a large pickup truck. Almost as soon as Cass stepped out of the jeep, Roy embraced her with a long kiss the fiery red head gently slapped him away as she removed her flack armor. He greeted Boone with a firm hand shake and Dog with a friendly pat on the super mutant's oversized shoulder. They helped him remove the bodies from the house and give them a proper burial once that was done, Roy introduced Willow to his friends, Boone was his usually gruff self, Cass didn't really know what to make of the little girl, so offered the child her straw hat, which Willow gladly took. When he introduced her to Dog, she clung to his leg shaking in fear, to the super mutant's credit he tried give her, the closest thing to a smile as he was capable off.

Roy explained to her that Dog was friend and wouldn't hurt her, she was obviously dubious but she trusted him enough to get climb into back seat of the jeep. Boone retook the drives seat; ED-D took the passenger seat. He and Cass took the remaining seats next to Willow. Dog took up the large chair bolted to the back of the tuck as he was too big to fit inside the trucks cabin and they were on their way back to Vegas.

The End

AU: I put a lot of work into this story, and I hope you enjoyed it, if you fell so inclined to leave a review please do so. Thanks.

I made Med Z up it's basically the same as Med X, just in pill form.

Whenever someone says ash, something it a general purpose swear word.

As for the cars themselves its cannon that the Chosen one and his/her friends drove around in a car during fallout 2. So it's not that big a stench for the Courier and his/her friends could restore few or for raiders to do, the same.