November 5th, 2284, 7:35 PM
Cape Dezhnev, Abandoned village of Naukan, Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The night was quick to draw in and the fire crackled while the generator behind the house could be heard and Ingram got up, going into the kitchen. He left the journal he was reading on the table of the comms room next to the radio and checked the stove, thankfully it was actually working. So he got started on cooking dinner, he's just cook a simple meal out of some of the food items that were in the fridge and next to it in crates, Yuuko didn't check but there were some salted meats in a bag ontop of the crates, in another bag there were some potatoes, apples, maize and a few other cans of Pork n Beans. Kirie came in and saw Ingram cooking. "Need any help?" Kirie asked as Yuuko also came in.
"Well if you two want to help, get a few potatoes out and a slab of the salted meats in the bag next to the fridge, I'm making potato stew." Ingram said as he cut up some of the carrots he got out of the bag. Kirie began searching for the potatoes while Yuuko set a couple slabs of meat by Ingram, on the counter. "Thanks, Yuuko." Ingram said before he switched and washed the meats then cut them up into bits and pieces.
"No problem. ...Just wish I could try it. Already it smells good." Yuuko said before she left to go back to the comms room. Kirie set the potatoes on the counter. "Thanks Kirie, could you wash those and peel em while I handle the meat?" Ingram asked as he walked over to the pot on the stove and dropped the meat into the pot while he began to hum a familiar tune, California Here I come. "That song again?" Kirie said as she washed the potatoes in the sink. "Yep." Ingram said while he hummed, Kirie finished washing off the potatoes and began to peel them for Ingram while he stirred the contents of the pot around.
"So I know we've talked about the NCR a bit while travelling but I was wondering... Is it all pretty much a desert there?" Kirie asked, looking to Ingram. "Yeah, pretty much. The Mojave more so, but it's home. Wouldn't have it any other way." Ingram said as he stirred the pot. "I see..." Kirie said as she peeled the potatoes, handing each newly peeled potato to Ingram who chopped them up and put them in the pot. "Is there anything specifically dangerous about the Mojave? ...You know. Anything we should worry about?" Kirie asked and looked to Ingram who thought for a moment.
"Well now that you mention it... Yes. We're going to be avoiding Quarry Junction if it's not cleared out, last I heard there was a death claw nest up near there. Hopefully we can just hitch a ride back on a vertibird to Camp McCarran and we won't have to walk our sorry asses through the long 15." Ingram said as Kirie handed him the final potato and he cut it up, putting it into the pot afterwards, then putting on the lid to let it boil. "Alright and that's that. We just let it boil and we'll have nothing to worry about, I'll be in the comms room, keeping a clear eye on it. How about you?" Ingram asked Kirie who shrugged. "I'll be in the living room with Okonogi keeping warm by the fire." Kirie said before she left the room and Ingram went back to the comms room, keeping his eye on the pot.
Yuuko was looking through the journal Ingram left on the table, looking rather focused on it. "You alright there?" Ingram asked with an eyebrow raised. "Yes, sorry I was... I'm sorry, here." Yuuko said as she handed Ingram back the journal, he took it and continued to read it over, sitting down in his chair. "You know, the more I read this, the better I'm getting at understanding all this." Ingram said as he read, his pipboy translating the book for him. "How so?" Yuuko asked as she stood up over Ingram, leaning on him from behind, reading over his shoulder.
"Well. It's helped me narrow down a couple things and I think I've got an idea on how to save you. ...Well. The past you. The one that was still alive, it's related to what I told you before with that big grand scheme of mine. And the favour that the colonel who sent me on that mission I was on, which ended up with us all meeting is a fairly decent favour for her so now she owes me on. I didn't have to take it, hell I'm a desert ranger, we might be officially working with the NCR but the politics between us and them is something else entirely... So to quote an old holovid I watched some years ago... I'm gonna make her an offer she can't refuse." Ingram said, looking back Yuuko with a smile on his face, she blushed and shook her head.
Ingram stood up and put the journal down, going back to the kitchen he removed the lid from the pot and stirred it's contents. "Besides. From what I've read and theories I have as well as what apparently that Teiichi boy had... What I've come to suspect somewhat... Well. I'm not too happy about it, honestly." Ingram said before he put the lid back on and returned to the comms room, sitting down.
The next hour to pass was uneventful with Ingram watching over the stew he had going in the pot and pulling it off the burner, setting it on another unused burner before he poured bowls which were actually just mess tins, going out to the living room he carried three tins by their handles, Okonogi took her tin, then Kirie and that left Ingram, Okonogi and Kirie sat up against the coffee table with their backs to it as they sat watching the fire, Ingram sat on the couch eating from his mess tin while Yuuko sat next to him, leaning on Ingram. "You girls warm enough?" Ingram asked, all three though Okonogi couldn't hear the third voice responded with a resounding yes. "Good." Ingram said, a smile on his face. "I'm glad." He said once again while the group ate.
For the first time in a while, Ingram was quite content to spend the next three days without much of anything to do, unable to go outside, he was happy to spend time with Yuuko, Kirie, and Okonogi. Yuuko sat up her arms around Ingram's waist while the fire crackled in the fireplace while the radio, while it was still so far away, the broadcast from the islands in the middle of the great length of water that separated Ingram from the last leg of his journey played music, as if nothing was going on, as if the storm was nonexistent. Ingram couldn't complain while everyone slowly filled up on the stew.
Finally, the time became apparent to everyone, just becoming 10 at night. "Alright, I'm going to get to sleep since we're going to be stuck here." Kirie said, getting up she stretched and smiled, nodding to Ingram who nodded back. "Alright. You too Okonogi. I'll be sleeping in here." Ingram said while Okonogi who was halfway asleep, stood up with the help of Kirie. "Alright, mister Ingram." Okonogi said while she was lead by Kirie to the barracks room.
"So, just us then." Yuuko whispered as she sat with her head on Ingram's shoulder. Ingram smiled and hooked his arm around Yuuko over her shoulder. "Yeah, just us. You cold?" Ingram asked with an eyebrow raised. "No. Not at all. Just want to make sure you're warm." Yuuko said, closing her eyes... And the moment was ruined by a interruption in the radio signal from what sounded like a ghoul.
"-I'll tell ya what. Being a ghoul has it's ups and downs. And for those of you who didn't know, us ghoul folk are the recipients of intense, prolonged radiation sickness. Which decays our skin, and in some cases. Our ligaments and tendons-" Then there was a break in the signal for a bit before it came back. "-Anyways. Ghouls have a greatly extended lifespan, we're also immune to radiation and can even regenerate our constantly rotting flesh. Which means, even though we are literally falling apart. We will outlive all you fucking clearskins out there!" Then there was some sort of laughter before the ghoul continued. "I'll take that, I'll outlive you, I'll outlive your goddamn children! God it sucks to be human! It sucks to be clearskin!" Then there was a loud noise and the signal went back to what it was originally, playing I don't want to set the world on fire by the Ink Spots.
"Well. ...That ruined the moment." Ingram said and Yuuko shook her head. "Yeah but don't worry, hear that? That sounds much better than whatever that guy was on about." Yuuko turned to Ingram and the twos' eyes met before they slowly drew in for a kiss, each other's lips meeting the other's in a brief kiss before the two backed off. Yuuko's face turned red, however she smiled. "A-are you tired?" Yuuko asked and Ingram nodded his head. "Yeah... Though I'll be fine sleeping on the couch. ...With you." Ingram said as he took a hold of Yuuko's hands, the two laying down on the couch with Yuuko ontop, resting her head on Ingram's chest.
While the two knew, Yuuko couldn't sleep, she didn't need to. She was content to lay in Ingram's arms through the night. "When the fire starts to die down... Put a log or two on it okay?" Ingram said as his left hand brushed down Yuuko's hair. She nodded and Ingram slowly drifted off to sleep. For the first time in a long time since leaving Seikyou, the group could sleep soundly. Not a single beast in sight of the area... Not that one could be seen given it was a horrid snow storm but regardless. They felt safe and therefore could sleep easy.