Disclaimer: I do not own the Fallout series.

Fallout 4 belongs to Bethesda

Etheral-23: Beta

-One shot story-

Fallout 4: The Shroud over Quincy

My blood swells in my throat and mouth as I cough it up harshly. I can't move, my power armor broken, pieces lying around beside me and other parts of the Quincy overpass. The moonlight shines over me as I stare at the large barrel of a .44 magnum trained right on my skull. The sound of laser, plasma, and gunfire echoes in my ears off in the distance.

H-how fuck did this happen? How the fuck did I end up like this?

Hollis did not even have clue I had vanished from my post when I had a long chat with Baker and Tessa. The expression of betrayal and disbelief on Ezra's face when I came back into Quincy with a full squad of Gunners and shot him straight through the heart.

The Minutemen had grown weak, they were weak. Defend people at a minute's notice, what a crock of bullshit. Seeing Preston's face when no one came to help protect Quincy said it all.

I had no regrets turning my gun against them and joining the Gunners. Strength is all that matters anymore in this fucked up world. Kindness only gets you stabbed in the back by petty selfish assholes that only lookout for themselves.

When I saw Preston fleeing with those survivors from the overpass, they were as good as dead. If the synths, deathclaws, super mutants, mirelurks, or ferals did not get ya; the raiders damn sure will. Why I didn't see any point in chasing them. Tessa bitched but I didn't bother to listen.

Was that my mistake?

A week passes and I hear not only did Preston survives, but settled up with the Quincy survivors in Sanctuary. A Gunner scout watching it all said a woman in a Vault suit with a dog saved their sorry asses in Concord from raiders and a deathclaw.

Luck, sheer dumb luck... That all it was in how they survived, some Vault dweller girl playing hero? She'd be killed within a week or worse if the raiders got a hold of her and decide to keep her.

Few months later I get word that new settlements are cropping up all around the commonwealth. And not only that the Minutemen have reformed and are guarding them under some general. The goddamn Vault dweller that had saved Preston. That idiot was stupid enough to name a greenhorn Vault girl the leader of the Minutemen.

Don't think Baker ever heard me laugh so hard when hearing the news. "They'll be dead before anyone can blink," I said before taking a swig of bourbon. The Minutemen were ancient history, and this Vault dweller will be dead soon enough.

Captain Wes actually had come from the plaza to Quincy a few days later. Swear I've never seen anyone look that shocked when he told us The Castle had been retaken by the Minutemen. Turning on the radio and switching the station, I think my jaw dropped at hearing Radio Freedom back on the air.

It had been years, no one was crazy enough to step foot near the Castle after 2240. Never mind the all the damn infighting that was going on with the Minutemen before and after General Becker's death. Yet this new 'general' with of all people that reporter girl from Diamond City and of course fucking Preston had been with them as they fought through the Mirelurks and a goddamn queen!

Being her usual bitchy self, Tessa felt like opening her mouth and expressing the Minutemen returning was my fault. "If Clint had fucking sent me or some guys to finish the job, those goodie two shoes pussies would have been long forgotten."

She was pretty much ignored since the captain had more news. This I really had to shake my head at. Seriously, are you honestly fucking serious right now? Someone had to be high on jet or something because they felt like being a comic book character in real life and become the Sliver Shroud.

Everyone had a good long laugh at that.

However Captain Wes was not laughing. Apparently the Shroud had been cleaning up Goodneighbor and even killed that psycho Sin Jin and his entire group. After that the Shroud had been tearing apart Raider gangs and Super Mutant infested areas.

Things grew serious as reports soon came in of the Shroud taking out Gunner bases around the commonwealth. What made matters worse no one has seen the Shroud, he or she just appeared out of nowhere and started shooting.

An expert at stealth and infiltration; had to be for getting passed all the damn mines and turrets. All that was left were corpses and a calling card.

Since Goodneighbor seem to be the Shroud's haunt we sent people there to get any information on the bastard. Strangely only that stoner Hancock's right hand Fahrenheit was there. God that woman is strange even by merc standards.

Neither a threat nor bribe made that woman speak anything about the Shroud, she and everyone else at Goodneighbor more or less laughed in our faces; "Only a fool dares to anger the queen," was all Fahrenheit said.

Whatever the hell that meant.

Gunner plaza was on high alert spreading the word to heighten the defenses of every remaining Gunner base we had.

We should have known something was wrong when the radios were dead silent this morning.

Everyone was on edge as it was becoming night, but knew we had more than enough firepower to deal with this costume lunatic playing hero. I was at my usual spot on the overpass speaking to someone when I notice Baker on the roof of the church.

He was just standing there staring at nothing, till I noticed the hole in the center of his head. When he fell off the church dead, it happened. The Minutemen, the goddamn Minutemen swarmed in and started shooting at everyone!

It was like a storm, it happened so fast none of us had time to fire back as they attacked us with a vengeance. Hell they had two sentry bots and an assualtron, power armor; this was very different group of Minutemen than what I remembered. They had purpose; they were driven, not like the weak fools that had in my opinion no right to exist anymore.

From my viewpoint on the overpass I saw Tessa being taken out by none other than Preston! Beside him was some wild redhead with a shotgun who looked like she was having the time of life. And that fucking washout traitor Maccready!

"For Colonel Ezra Hollis," I turned sharply with my laser rifle ready upon hearing a husky feminine voice spoke seemingly everywhere. "The man you betrayed and murdered. For the people of Quincy you were meant to protect but turned your back on. Die…"

The men around me did not last long as the fucking mayor of Goodneighbor; Hancock himself leaped from behind an old car and started firing. I aimed for him but a large caliber magnum soon fired and its bullet nearly got me if I hadn't turned my head at the last moment.

I kept firing into the darkness around two derelict buses but only saw the muzzle flash from her gun as she returned fire. It wasn't that she could move through the shadows, it was like she was a shadow itself.

And the darkness was her greatest ally.

She fought like a Deathclaw; fast, ruthless, and strong. She tore through my power armor with well-placed shots. Put several round in me before she finally came out of the shadows, kicking me in the chest hard and hitting onto the ground. I coughed up blood as the woman stood over me pointing the barrel of her .44 magnum at my face. Her stone cold emeralds eyes glare with a fury that for the first time in years I felt real terror.

She wore the same getup I've seen on the posters all over the Commonwealth. Even the few surviving comics I read as I boy. But what also got my attention was the Pipboy on her left arm. Oh fuck….

The Vault dweller that had saved Preston and named General of the Minutemen. Was the Silver fucking Shroud…

With a cigarette in his mouth I saw Hancock soon stood close beside the Shroud; "Mr Clint I presume? The asshole traitor responsible for the Quincy massacre? Bet this just pisses in your sugar bombs doesn't it?" I glared up at him as he blew some smoke out; "by the way, Captain Wes had a very important meeting with the fat man this morning. He's waiting for ya in hell."

The Shroud leaned a little forward as he gun was now pressed to my forehead; "the Gunners are dead, and you shithead can tell your friends in hell the Minutemen took back Quincy."