November 15th, 2288
Immediately after the third recon team left, the Enclave assumed administrative control over the city, while a couple vertibirds brought reinforcements to the city and more automated defenses.
Colonel Ingram, stood up inside of the mansion of Countess Formal, in the Countess' throne room, the synth officer was explaining how the Enclave's presence would effect herself and her people.
For one thing. They would no longer be citizens of the Empire, but citizens of the United States of America. Pina would also be there to listen as the synth would start to give a basic over view of the US' recent history.
Ingram would come in to oversee this of course. Entering the room, he saw Norma, Hamilton, and Grey off to the side of the room, along with a small portion of the countess' mansion staff, including the head maid and some maids, one might consider on the other side of his gate, to be mutants.
"In the year 2077, after almost three decades of armed conflict, called the Resource Wars, all around the world over two important resources, Oil/Petrolium, and Uranium, the Great War came. In three hours, an estimated 90% of Humanity on our planet was wiped out, either by atomic fire, from the bombs and missiles which fell across the planet, wiping out whole population areas and countries, or from the fallout and nuclear winter which would have followed for the next few years." The Synth explained as Myui put her hand up to ask a question.
Though Pina and her compatriots were horrified at this explanation... Was it true? The Enclave came from a world where they might be the very last survivors of a global conflict, which would be unimaginable to Pina and even her father?
"Yes? Countess?" The synth asked.
"What is... A Resource war?" Myui asked
"A resource war, is just that. A resource war. A war over resources. A war such as that is won by fighting and expending the least amount of your own resources while forcing your foe to expend the most amount of their resources. However in this war, it's spoils were also it's weapons. Oil/Petrolium, and Uranium. These two resources kept the lights on in cities all across the world, and Uranium... Could be used to build an explosive device of such magnitude, it could not only level this whole city and kill everyone in it. It could destroy the surrounding crop fields and leave the area uninhabitable for hundreds of years. " The synth answered.
This... Answer, scared Pina more so. A device which could wipe out this city and it's surrounding crops, and leave the area uninhabitable for hundreds of years?! Just what kind of people would build such a device!?
"Before the Great War, the original members of the Enclave had the foresight to prepare for such an eventuality as our enemy, the Communist Chinese would not simply take defeat, lying down. They started the great war, sending their bombers and missiles to hit American cities. Fortunately, great underground shelters were built to hold the population of the United States, should this have come to pass. And it did. While most of America filed into these shelters, the Enclave spread out to their own shelters, Control Station: Enclave. An oil rig, Control Station: Whitesprings, Control Station: Raven Rock, and other places, spread out, around the continental US." The synth went on to explain, history from there.
Ingram just watched as the blood would slowly drain from Pina, Grey, Norma, and Hamilton's faces as the explanation of what had happened in the last 210 years in Ingram's world, went on. Of course, the Synth highlighted the fact of mutation after the great war and the creatures which roamed the wastes.
The repeated defeats by the Brotherhood of Steel, their murder of multiple Enclave Presidents in the past... However while this gave them some comfort to know that there was one organisation which would viably oppose the Enclave, their hearts sank when they heard of the Enclave's recent continuation war against the Brotherhoood, their airship being wiped out by a missile strike, and the rise of the Enclave in the Commonwealth of Boston, and it's projected expansion, not just outside of the Commonwealth, but also, into the lands of the Empire.
This would be justified with the fact that the Empire had attacked the Enclave first, without any provocation, and the need for suitable land to re-population on, and rebuilt the former glory of the United States.
The Synth seemed to finish it's explanation before it turned to Ingram.
"I have finished the explanation, Colonel." The synth said before Ingram stepped up.
"Alright. Thank you. Answer any questions they may have that don't threaten operational security and aren't Enclave secrets." Ingram said before he left.
"Yessir." The synth replied as it would go on to take questions, Ingram let out a sigh as he went through the halls of the mansion.
The civilian populace was taking the change in administration well. The city was quickly taking up the banner of the Enclave with people painting sheets with the colours and insignia of the enclave, draping them out their windows.
Ingram couldn't help but smile at this. Up unto he was called his personal radio.
"Colonel Ingram, sir, please come in." Ingram heard the call and answered.
"Colonel Ingram, here." Ingram replied.
"Sir, uhm... Well. You need to come down to the East gate. We have a situation on our hands." The soldier over the radio replied.
"Roger that." Ingram let out a sigh and left the manor, stopping briefly to look up at the sky.
"... Just what now?" Ingram asked before he went on his way to the East gate. All became clear when he saw a number of dead horses, and a number of... Quite attractive women on their knees with their hands above their heads and off to the side, Lieutenant Itami. Who looked as he'd seen better days.
"Oh for the love of-" Ingram said, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Medic!" Ingram yelled and a medic came running.
"Sir?" The medic came, answering.
"See to the Lieutenant." Ingram said, pointing to Lieutenant Itami.
"Right, sir." The medic said before he got to work, checking on the Lieutenant.
Ingram looked over to the group of girls and looked them over, letting out another sigh.
"More of these damn primitives..." Ingram mumbled to himself before he grabbed the attention of a minuteman who came running over.
"Yes Gen- I mean, Colonel?" The minuteman, answered as he got to Ingram.
"Go back up to the countess' mansion, get the synth, and bring it back here to translate. Tell them we've got some idiots down here who drug Lieutenant Itami through hell. And I think they belong to that damn princess, tell the synth before you bring it, to tell the Princess, some of her knights roughed up and drug Itami like a sack of potatoes through the dirt, back here." Ingram said before he waved the minuteman off.
The Minuteman went instantly running to the countess' mansion as Ingram heard the sound of truck engines, quite familiar to him. Ingram looked to the girls, a blonde one looked up to him, fear was in her eyes as she looked up to Ingram, he just shook his head and left out the gates to see Third Recon, returning... And their prisoners, gone.
The lead vehicle came to a stop and Sergeant-Major Kuwahara came out of it, he walked straight to Ingram.
"Hello, Colonel. Have you seen Lieutenant Itami?" Kuwahara asked.
"Yes, actually and I have the group that just about killed him, corralled." Colonel Ingram motioned for Kuwahara to follow him as he turned to go back into the city, Kuwahara followed through the gates and they were left open.
"Yeah they might've done a number on him. But nothing a stimpak won't fix." Ingram said as the medic that was looking over Itami, backed off to show him, just somewhat more so recovered.
"Thanks, Colonel." Kuwahara said.
"No problem. I'm sure you lot would've done much the same for me were the situation reversed." Ingram said as he heard a woman shouting.
Turning around, Ingram saw Pina who instantly ran to the blonde on her knees and started yelling at her.
"Oh shit..." Ingram said as the synth followed up and came to Ingram.
"My apologies, sir. She wouldn't stay as soon as she heard the news, her knights had injured the Lieutenant." The synth said.
"Yeah, I figured. Lost Italica in one day, and possibly her knights?" Ingram said with a chuckle before he heard the red headed princess run over, slide over onto her knees and bow her head to Itami.
"She's begging for forgiveness from Itami." The synth said.
"I figured." Ingram said, just watching this.
"It's fine, I need to get back to report to my superiors-" Itami said in the local language with certain surprised Ingram.
"Well I'll be damned. Not only does getting hit on the head, help him understand these locals, but getting drug through dirt like a sack of potatoes, helps too?" Ingram said, astonished.
"Very funny." Itami said, switching to English.
"Glad to see you're still in the land of the living, Lieutenant." Ingram offered his hand to Itami, Itami took Ingram's hand and was pulled up to his feet.
"Yeah, glad to still be here." Itami said as he took a rope from around his neck with a sigh.
Pina stood up and continued begging Itami for forgiveness, crying into his chest.
"That is... Actually unnerving. Please get her to stop." Ingram said, just somewhat slightly unnerved from the begging.
"Alright, alright, please stop. I have to go back to Alnus and report to my superiors." Itami said.
"Then take me with you! I'll apologise to your superiors myself!" Pina yelled.
Ingram just rose an eyebrow as Itami had a dumbfounded look dawn on his face.
"It appears she wants to go and apologise to Lieutenant Itami's superiors." The synth said.
"Huh." Ingram remarked.
"Actually, that reminds me." Kuwahara said.
"What?" Ingram asked.
"You've been summoned to the diet along with Lieutenant Itami." Kuwahara said.
"Oh." Ingram said, actually somewhat surprised.
"That's it?" Kuwahara asked.
"Yep. Alright, I suppose I'll radio Bunker Hill and let General Ward know where I'm going..." Ingram said, scratching the back of his neck.
"Wait a minute! The princess can't go alone! I volunteer to go with her!" The blonde knight rose up from her knees, yelling to Itami and Pina.
"...Why do i feel like we're taking on another passenger?" Ingram asked.
"Because she just volunteered herself to go along with Princess Pina." The synth said.
"...Oh lovely..." Ingram said sarcastically.
"Well... Regardless, we have to get going." Kuwahara said.
"I'd say go tell your command you'll have two extras." Ingram suggested.
"Right." Kuwahara said before Pina would run to the blonde and take her wrist, running her back to the countess' mansion.
"Right! Soldiers! The redhead and blonde are leaving with me! ...Just... Keep the rest of them housed and fed while I'm gone! We'll let them leave after we return!" Ingram gave his last orders to his men, an hour would pass before Pina and the blonde knight would return, they would find Ingram in the back of the same vehicle with them.
The blonde would begin speaking with her princess.
"Your majesty, what happened to Italica? Why are there those heavily armoured men in control?" The blonde asked.
"Because... Bozes... The Empire no longer rules Italica..." Pina said with a sigh.
"The Empire... Has lost Italica?! To who?!" Bozes asked, Pina just pointed to Ingram who stared emotionless at Bozes, with a dead stare that conveyed only the feelings of a man who was internally dead, but by slight appearances on the outside, was still, very much alive.
"To... Him?" Bozes asked Pina, pointing to Colonel Ingram
"Yes, to his organisation. He is from the second world that the other gate opened to. They're far more advanced than the people we're going to see." Pina said with a sigh.
The rest of the ride would be mostly quiet with Bozes staring daggers at Ingram, Ingram though couldn't be bothered to actually care, he gently nudged Kurokawa with his elbow, she looked over to him with an eyebrow raised.
"So, question? How did they get ahold of Itami?" Ingram asked.
"He got out, trying to defuse a confused situation, it didn't work, he ordered us to run and not engage, yelled, that you'd handle it. ..And low and behold, you did." Kurokawa said.
"Well, actually it was my men who handled it. I wasn't even aware anything had happened until one of my men radioed me." Ingram said with a shrug.
"Eitherway, he was right, they would run straight to Italica. And it seems like you managed to take the whole order, prisoner." Kurokawa said.
"Mmm.. Yeah but it doesn't seem like it'll last for too long. If anything, we may end up having to release them... Unless I can get support from General Ward to send them off to an old bunker I found, in the Commonwealth. He's yet to put it to use so I figure, I could bring it up to him and get his support to use it as a prison complex." Ingram said.
"Well you'd have a strong case for it." Kurokawa said, as she looked back behind herself to the passing scenery.
"Indeed, I would." Ingram said as he sat back.
"You get any sleep before all that nonsense with Itami and the princess' rose knights happened?" Ingram asked.
"Some, not much." Kurokawa said with a yawn.
"Then get some sleep while you can, okay? I'll wake you up when we get to Alnus." Ingram said as he felt Kurokawa just slightly lean on him.
"Alright.." Kurokawa said as she fell asleep.
Ingram just sat there, watching the scenery, through the window, past Bozes, staring off into space, he, for the first time in a long time, fell asleep with his eyes open. Something he hadn't done since his time in Alaska.
Alnus Hill, JSDF Base.
Ingram watched as time went by, he finally noticed they had returned to Alnus when he saw a concrete wall pass by and heard the sounds of troops training, whether it was on the firing range or just drilling, Ingram didn't care enough to distinguish.
Ingram gently shook Kurokawa awake as the vehicle came to a stop.
Soon enough, Pina and Bozes were helped out of the vehicle, Ingram followed out and helped Kurokawa out since she only just woke up.
"Colonel Ingram, sorry but remember the drill." Ingram heard the familiar voice of Sergeant-Major Kuwahara behind him.
"Right right, one tick." Ingram handed his sidearm, an N99 10mm pistol, in the holster, along with the belt it was attached to, to the Sergeant-Major before he turned back to Kurokawa.
"Will you be alright?" Ingram asked, Kurokawa shook herself awake and smiled.
"Yeah, I'll be alright. You just get ready for your trip over to our side of our gate tomorrow." Kurokawa said as she left. Ingram just watched her and smiled.
"Right.." Ingram said as he'd spend the whole day, preparing.
It became clear to him, he'd be going to the Japanese Diet, along with Itami, so he had to do the one thing he'd never thought would be up to him. He got to work as soon as he got back to his tent on a presentation.
Thanks to Lieutenant Itami, and the favour he did for the JSDF by saving him, Ingram got permission for a Vertibird to make a few trips to and from Bunker Hill.
Ingram had gathered documents, atleast ones that weren't important to internal security, file photos of members of the Brotherhood of Steel, maps, and all other materials he'd figure he would need, along with an eyebot, fitted with a projector, which had a film reel already loaded up into it, to help with the presentation.
Ingram worked through the night to compile all the information for when he would be asked to speak, but the trouble was, he didn't know what entirely he'd be asked. Naturally, he heard this whole thing was about the flame dragon and how it burnt up some civies.
Then he heard it was about how he repelled said flame dragon with an M42 Fatman. ...But knowing history in his own world, he'd just call it the M42 Tactical Nuclear Catapult, which is basically what it was.
Regardless, Ingram worked himself all through the night until he finally fell over, asleep.
This time, however things were quite.. Different.
Ingram, for the first time since he was unfrozen, had a dream. Instead of a nightmare.
He didn't dream of the day, his world came to an end, he didn't dream of the day he was unfrozen, his son taken, and his wife, shot infront of him.
He didn't dream of emerging into the wasteland to face it all alone, instead. He dreamed of a future.
The Enclave reunifying the whole of the United States, reconstruction and continued cleansing of the wasteland, but with the help of the JSDF. He dreamed of what would come after, returning to the bunker he found just a little bit away from Covenant, infront of that lake with the crashed vertibird, in the first few days he'd come into the wasteland. Ingram dreamed of his home in the world after everything was done. Coming to an area he refitted to be his, and his, alone.
He had right there, infront of him. Kurokawa. Not in any uniform, Enclave, or JSDF, but just a simple dress. One, albeit, scavenged and cleaned of 210 years of dust, dirt, grime, and fallout, a spacious living area for himself, Kurokawa. A visit from his old, grown son, which would take some time to explain, but still.
It was a dream worth having, one that gave him hope for the future. One that wasn't too far off. All that remained was the reclamation of the United States... But for now, the dream would suffice...
November 16th, 2288
Kurokawa came into Ingram's tent, the next morning had dawned as she heard Ingram had been working throughout the night, and this proved to be true as she found him, slumped over infront of his terminal, a stack of papers sat right next to his terminal with a cover page.
"Report of the Wasteland, Post-War Factions, Creatures, The Enclave, and the future. - Information assembled and interpreted by Colonel Harry Reginald Ingram, Enclave Armed Forces." Kurokawa looked over the cover page and looked to her side as she heard some strange constant noise, only to see a strange machine, hovering, it was about the size of a human head with antennas sticking out of it and what might be either a camera or a projector, sticking out of it's front.
Kurokawa shrugged it off and gently took ahold of Ingram, shaking his shoulders.
"You missed reveille. It's time to get up." Kurokawa said, quietly as she shook Ingram, Ingram reached over his left shoulder and put his hand over Kurokawa's.
"Sorry. Just.. Give me a minute." Ingram said with a yawn as he patted Kurokawa's hand and sat up, he let go and stretched his arms out, he tried to turn his head but felt a sharp, stiff pain there.
"Ah- Shit..." Ingram said as he put his left hand to the back of his neck.
"Are you okay?" Kurokawa asked
"Yeah just.. A bit stiff. Don't worry." Ingram said as he got up and stretched his arms and legs.
"I assume you slept alright? I came in and you didn't wake up in a cold sweat or anything." Kurokawa asked, she knew Ingram had done it before, she was there after his first night at Alnus, he woke up right infront of her, seemingly distraught.
"Yeah, I actually had a dream this time. First time in a long while..." Ingram said with a smile.
"Well, I'm glad... May I ask what it was about?" Kurokawa asked
"Just a hopeful future, one that doesn't seem too far out of reach." Ingram said as he grabbed his cap and his papers... It would be then, he'd notice one detail he overlooked.
Kurokawa wasn't wearing her usual uniform, it was a uniform to be certain, but she was wearing a beret, a dress uniform with skirt, nylons, a set of high heels and a coat draped over her right arm.
"Uh... Kurokawa? What's with...?" Ingram asked as he motioned to the change in wardrobe.
"Oh? This? I'm going to the otherside of the Gate, with you. It will be, Lieutenant Itami, Kuribayashi, Tomita, Tuka, Rory, Lelei, the princess, her friend Bozes, you, and I. It'll be a bit cold too." Kurokawa said.
Ingram's eyes widened... He certainly didn't expect this.
"I... Well. I certainly have no complaints." Ingram said, a smile donned on his face.
"Well I'm glad you like it, now come on, we're late." Kurokawa said, motioning for Ingram to follow as she left the tent.
"Oh, right. One second." Ingram said before he turned to the modified eyebot.
"User: Colonel Ingram. Command: Follow." Ingram said as the eyebot gave an affirmatory beep before it followed him out as he carried the stack of papers he'd gathered up for his report, then he grabbed a trench coat and metal belt from his locker in his tent, he put on the trench coat and buttoned the buttons before he put the belt on, over it.
Ingram followed Kurokawa, he put his visor cap on after he left the tent, he followed her through Alnus, his eyebot following behind, the machine got strange looks as the three made their way through the camp, to the gate.
Already, Ingram could see Itami, Kuribayashi, Tomita, and the rest, all with varying degrees of concern, confusion, and in the case of Pina and Bozes, slight fear as Ingram approached with the eyebot, though what surprised Ingram more so was that Yanagida was there as well.
"Alright, I'm ready, sorry I kept everyone waiting, I was up all night throwing together a report for your parliament." Ingram said, speaking to itami.
"Ah, that explains it." Itami said.
"Uhm. Pardon me, but what the hell is that thing?" Yanagida asked, looking to the eyebot.
"It's a modified eyebot. Nominally, the Enclave uses them to broadcast across the wastelend, the official radio station of the Enclave, to those who lack radios, but we also use them for recon, and a variety of other duties. This one has been outfitted with a projector to help with my explanation of everything that's happened with the great war and after." Ingram said.
"Are you sure that thing's safe?" Yanagida asked.
"As long as nobody shoots the damn thing, it's as safe as a still sealed up, vault. I wouldn't bring anything that wouldn't be." Ingram said.
"Alright.. I suppose we'll have to see where this goes..." Yanagida said with a shake of his head as he left.
"Alright, I guess we get going then." Itami said before Yanagida stopped him and handed him an envelope.
"Treat the good Colonel, and the Princess, like you would any ambassadors. And a quick tour around Tokyo won't hurt." Yanagida said, much to Itami's concealed dismay.
After this, Ingram just watched as the doors to the gate were opened, the JSDF surrounded the gate with a metal dome and two large warehouse doors.
The Enclave did no such thing to their gate. ...But did wire explosives to it, and a contingency plan was being formulated by General Ward, should it be impossible to hold it. Or should any other faction in the post-war, fragmented U.S. attempt to take the gate for themselves.
Or if the worst case were to come, the Brotherhood, joining with some pretender nation, the NCR, come knocking on the Enclave's front door...
But that wasn't likely for the time being. Atleast... That's what Ingram hoped. He knew society would indeed be much different from what he used to be used to back before the war, and indeed quite very different from the wasteland.
Ingram followed the group through the gate, walking with Kurokawa at his side, soon enough they came to the otherside... And what Ingram saw, stunned him.
This... This was the future he wanted for the Enclave. For America...
For the woman that had broken through and helped him put Nora, and the Vault back behind him. What happened then, no longer had any bearing on what he'd plan to do for the future.
In a way, he envied the Japanese, their world had not yet suffered the horrors of nuclear holocaust like his had. But he was glad of it too. If he was here as a learning experience for this world. To the other leaders of this world, he would be the ultimate reason for there not to be a nuclear conflict. Atleast... In the near future, anyway.
It seemed the three girls, Pina, and her friend, Bozes were speaking to one and another as Ingram just looked up to the towering heights, outwardly, he displayed very little emotion, other than the bare shock, as one might expect.
But on the inside however, it was a different case... A range of emotions would be felt, naturally. Words couldn't describe it, whole. Of course. But he did retain the hope that maybe, just maybe, help could be had to restore the US in his world.
The group would watch as Ingram would be checked over by JSDF troops in hazmat suits with geiger counters, his documents, and the eyebot too. Though the three girls that were now usually seen with Itami, just watched, wondering for what reason would Ingram need such extra precautions, Pina and Bozes were just keeping their distance.
After a couple minutes, Itami would be given a thumbs up and Ingram would be allowed to pass with his eyebot.
"You guys sure aren't joking. But honestly... You should've known better. The Enclave doesn't allow mutants into it's ranks, remember?" Ingram said as he joined Itami, Kuribayashi, Tomita, and Kurokawa.
"Being irradiated would make you a mutant?" Tomita asked.
"Not necessarily but long term radiation exposure, would. It's happened plenty of times in the wasteland, someone doesn't treat their rad sickness, for a month or two, and boom. Third arm grows right out of your stomach... Or you could get a heavy dose of rads, not treat yourself and become a walking corpse, like so many people had happen after the bombs fell." Ingram explained.
"You mean... People became zombies?" Kuribayashi asked.
"No. They just look like they crawled out of the grave. Atleast, that's how they look while they've still got their minds and don't go feral. And when they go feral... That's when they're basically no better than the living dead. So it's best to just put them out of their misery while they're still sentient. More dignified." Ingram explained...
Much to a raised feeling of discomfort, Kurokawa felt as Ingram explained so non-nonchalantly what creatures, who were clearly humans, afflicted by radiation, would become in his world. More so how he was perfectly fine with putting them down like they were nothing more than animals.
"I've seen too many good people turn feral. One likes to think there's something you can do for them... And hell, they have a bad enough rep in the wasteland to begin with. The assholes at Diamond City all treat them like dirt, kicked them out of their own homes and all. Then there's people who will use them for slave labour. It's fucking sickening. And all the more reason to give them the mercy they deserve. I can only imagine the suffering one can feel, turning into one of those creatures, disowned by your friends and family, then tossed aside like common trash." Ingram said with a sigh...
And it was true. He'd seen plenty of people turn feral. Human and ghoul alike. The wasteland had a way of withering someone down to their basic feral instincts.
Kurokawa couldn't help but feel some strange relief. And did see... Some sense in what Ingram said. And he was right. No one deserved such a life for something that happened beyond their control. In a sick way.. He was right to think the way he did, as much as she hated to admit to herself.
From then on, Itami checked in with the guards for a transport... Ingram just stood with Kurokawa, waiting as some quite very strange man approached, his appearance was subpar but the two guys behind him, reminded Ingram of agents from the DIA. But these guys were Japanese... So who the hell were they?
Apparently they wouldn't give Ingram the benefit of knowing just what the hell they were saying as the main one of the three, the very strange looking man, began speaking to Itami in Japanese.
Ingram just watched as the man went on until Itami finally spoke up.
"Hey, Colonel Ingram. You got any gold stars on you? This man's done his research on me and I've left mine at home." Itami said, cheekily.
"No son, sorry I don't. Not seen a gold star since 2054, when I was in pre-school." Ingram said with a chuckle.
"Oh? So this must be our other guest from the other gate in the SR... Colonel Ingram, wasn't it?" The strange looking man asked, as his gaze turned to Ingram and Kurokawa.
"Colonel Harry Reginald Ingram, United States Enclave Armed Forces. And you are?" Ingram asked, an eyebrow raised under his visor cap.
"I'm Komakado, Colonel." Komakado said.
"He's with what we call, Public Security." Itami said.
"Fits I suppose. Reminds me of one of those left over Secret Service, spooks." Ingram said with a shrug.
"Left overs huh? Pray tell?" Komakado asked.
"Classified." Ingram said.
"Of course... Back to our, mutual friend, here.. I get the whole thing with the rangers but why special forces, though?" Komakado ask with a chuckle.
...It was at that moment, apparently, the world just ceased to make sense, not only for Kuribayashi, but for Kurokawa. ...But Kurokawa was clearly handling it better than Kuribayashi as she could be heard yelling, denying that claim, saying it absolutely made no sense, what so ever...
Ingram would be inclined to agree, however it wasn't entirely his place to say anything, really. He just gave Kurokawa a pat on the back, to atleast try and do something to mediate the situation. ...But there was no way he was going to lay a hand on Kuribayashi. Never would he take that chance.
Soon enough, what Ingram could only assume to be a bus, with tinted windows rolled up to the checkpoint and everyone was loaded up.
Ingram set the eyebot to stay in the back with Kuribayashi as he and Kurokawa sat in the middle, on the right side of the bus. Ingram had a window seat as he watched the bus roll by shops and all other manor of businesses.
It had dawned on him, it'd been a good while since he'd been a proper city. With more than just... Maybe a hundred or so people there in it. This, was a proper city with millions.
Along the way, the group stopped at a clothes shop, Ingram was of course uninterested and perfectly fine with his current attire, though they did stop and get Tuka a suit. After that, the group stopped at a restaurant.
"Uhm... Lieutenant. I just realised, something... Of all the places we could go... Why the beef bowl?" Tomita asked.
"Because this is considered a business trip until the day of the summons. ...And they're giving us 500 yen per meal." Itami said.
"At least you're a cheap date." Kuribayashi said.
"Speaking of dates..." Tomita said, Itami and Kuribayashi looked to him, Tomita then pointed back behind himself, the two then looked over their shoulders to see Ingram and Kurokawa sitting together.
"What I can't wrap my head around is how he's supposed to be older than her 4, maybe 5 times great grandfather." Kuribayashi said, between bites of her meal.
"And they're not doing that well of a job of keeping it on the down low." Itami said.
"Wait, you're allowing that?" Tomita asked.
"Why wouldn't I? They're both consenting adults. Besides, remember, the guy's a widower, watched his kid get taken infront of him, and at the same time, watched his wife get shot as he couldn't do literally anything to stop it, if they feel so strongly about each other, then who am I to get involved." Itami said.
There was a moment of silence before Kuribayashi spoke up.
"Oh now I actually feel bad for teasing her about it the day before, last." Kuribayashi said.
"I'm actually surprised he managed to keep going before this." Tomita said, a slight few knew of Ingram's past. Kuribayashi and Tomita just joined the group in the know.
"Might explain why he went a bit nazi there for a second with the whole spiel about... What were they called again?" Kuribayashi asked.
"Ghouls, I think. Yeah, his world's a mess." Itami said.
"Well, either way. Hope he keeps that all on the down low when he's summoned. Won't look too good." Tomita said.
"He's got his own plans, but don't worry I believe he's smarter than that.." Itami said.
"So can I ask you something?" Kurokawa asked.
"Didn't you just?" Ingram said with a smile.
"Oh don't start." Kurokawa just shook her head, a smile had donned on her face.
"Alright, alright. Go ahead." Ingram said as he sat back in his chair.
"So... What is the whole thing like, being with the Enclave and all?" Kurokawa asked.
"Loose lips, sink ships... But I'll tell you this.. I only joined because... It's familiar to me. The brotherhood offered me to join their ranks when I went on this little errand for Dr. Kane... I'd encountered them before, these.. Brotherhood technophiles, they're all lunatics. They believe to save humanity, they should horde all the technology for themselves, and kill anyone who gets in their way. ...They thrive only on the lawlessness and disorder of the wasteland. Which is ironic given how they "apparently" were, in their origins, apart of the United States Army. ...But now, they're nothing more than power armoured boy scouts, with access to antiquated technology..." Ingram said with a sigh.
"The wasteland.. It seems so... Strange." Kurokawa said, the smile faded from her face.
"It can bring out the worst in people.. Take for instance, the institute. Formed out of what was left of the Commonwealth Institute of Technology. When I emerged into the wasteland, they were the boogymen of the Commonwealth. They killed the Commonwealth Provisional Government before it even got off the ground. Now? Since I came along, and since the Enclave came along. They're putting their tech to good use, to help the people of the Commonwealth. ...All it takes is one man in the right place, at the right time. ...Sometimes." Ingram said with a smile.
"It certainly sounds that way." Kurokawa said, her smile coming back.
Mixed feelings were certainly had. Times were ever increasingly desperate, apparently. To Kurokawa. The whole of the US, and indeed the world wallowed away in nuclear Armageddon for the longest time.. If it were truly so bad there, might such acts that would be nominally detestable and considered irrational and "evil"... be the only courses of action, present to Ingram, and the Enclave...?
Lunch was quickly finished and soon enough, the group would be off to the Japanese Diet. The bus would pull in near the building and the three girls, Rory, Lelei, and Tuka would get off. Ingram would gather up his things as he followed Itami and Kurokawa off the bus, his eyebot in tow..
The bus then went on, with Pina, Bozes, Tomita, and Kuribayashi still on board.
"So just us then." Ingram said
"Yeah, just us." Itami said with a sigh as he started towards the Diet building.
Ingram followed with Kurokawa and his eyebot following behind Rory, Lelei and Tuka, who followed Itami.
Ingram went into the Diet building, and the whole way was guided by Itami to some large wooden room, he took his seat in the front row with everyone else, Kurokawa sat beside him on one side, and Lelei on the other.
For the first time, Ingram saw something he'd not seen in a good long while. TV cameras. As far as he could tell, looking around, there were cameras almost all over the place, some had caucasians manning them, some had asians, africans, slavs... It seemed, a few with the caucasians manning them were focused on Ingram.
He couldn't have known that other world leaders would be watching this... Indeed a question over the airwaves would be arising as to just who Ingram was, and was he one of the members of the Enclave, whose existence was leaked but very little known about?
Cameras would be flashing at the whole group, Ingram sat there, his hair combed back and his visor cap in his lap atop the stack of papers, he'd been allowed to leave his trench coat with itami's as his upper arms would display the signature insignia of the Enclave, the black E with the cluster of stars arranged around it on a white background.
It wouldn't take long, of course, for everything to start. Ingram sat there as a woman began speaking in English, talking about the events of flame dragon attack. Itami would be first up on the chopping block.. Of course... Ingram forgot. In his own world, Japan abstained from war. Though the threat of the Red Chinese would push them to create an SDF... Not unlike the one of this world, infact. Politicians to his memory, in Japan tried their upmost to demonise the SDF there as well.
Ingram just listened and had his suspicions confirmed. ...Though Itami's... Lackluster attempt to explain the dragon, right off didn't help the case. Still. Ingram sat there, showing no emotion. ...Politicians... They should stay out of military affairs...
Ingram couldn't help thinking to himself, internally, he was glad that the Enclave abandoned the idea of a congress or senate and just streamlined the process of governance...
Even if it might just be temporary, with the fact both the senate and congress were wiped out when the fabled Oil rig, he'd heard of from some of the older members of the Enclave, was blown to hell by... Apparently some tribal. ...Which made no sense but that was the story of most of the old timers and they would stick to the story.
...Ingram had drifted off in thought until Itami began saying they needed a tactical nuclear device to even hurt the flame dragon. ...And that's when he snapped back to reality and mumbled.
"Oh fuck..." Ingram mumbled.
"What?" Kurokawa whispered to Ingram.
"Nothing... Don't worry about it." Ingram said, he adjusted the tie of his uniform and shifted positions, crossing his right leg over his left... Ever so uncomfortably.
But what Ingram didn't expect was for one man to come to Itami's defense when it came to the flame dragon, explaining the scales and how the dragons themselves... Well. Mostly Wyverns were essentially flying armoured cars, and tanks when it came to their scales.
Itami would be allowed to sit down, next Lelei would be asked to speak, and she did so... Of course, first questions would be about living conditions at the camp... Which not even Ingram could complain of. Certainly was better by a bit than basic wasteland living.
Next up Tuka would be called, after Lelei had said her experiences were positive, with the SDF.
Of course as the questioning began... It started with the ears, which caused the cameramen in the back to go absolutely wild. As before... Experiences were positive with the SDF.
Then... Rory. Ingram saw on this female senator's face, she looked like she'd been given the world and a half with Rory. ...Then again, Rory did look like she just came from a funeral.
Of course, the questions followed along... Similar lines. ...Up unto the point where Rory explained she kills people. ...Which just caused Ingram to mentally facepalm, internally pray to god this would go over better than he knew it might. ...Though the point of no return was crossed.
...Then it just got worse. This woman was clearly intent on milking this opportunity as much as she could.
Ingram just sat there, outwardly retaining his cold, emotionless cool. ...When on the inside, he very well knew this was turning into a proper mess of unexpected proportions. ...Then the most unexpected thing happened.
"Are you a goddamn idiot!?" Rory yelled into the microphone which caused quite... Well... It caused a lot of feedback from the mic.
Ingram only winced at this, though Kurokawa covered her ears.
"...Hello Tinnitus my old friend... I haven't seen you since Anchorange.." Ingram said quietly.
It would take only a couple moments for the feedback to stop.
"Excuse me...?" The female senator asked.
"I believe... You heard my question. You're probably asked that a lot, little miss.. Thing." Rory said with a giggle.
"You.. Speak Japanese?" The senator asked.
"Well look who just caught up. I suppose you want to know how Itami, his people, and Ingram fought against the dragon, am I right?~" Rory asked.
"They did everything they could. And then some. They did not hide in their carriages, nor behind any civilians. I tell you, they did nothing of the sort." Rory said.
"I... Uh..." The senator started before Rory continued.
"Let's get to the point, shall we? There are times when a soldier must protect their own life, you sit here, safe and comfortable, and accuse others of being cowards. If you ask me. You're the coward, little miss "thing"." Rory said.
"What did you call me?" The senator asked, clearly getting aggravated.
"They faced a flame dragon and lived to tell the tale, so you should offer them praise for pulling off such a feat, you demonstrate a rather creative way of manipulating numbers to make them look a certain way, don't you? Your self defense force saved four hundred and fifty people. I can only imagine the problems the soldiers in this country face if this is how they are treated. Itami and his team have accomplished something, no one has ever done. And that is my answer to that stupid question of yours. Is that truth enough for you? Little miss "thing"?" Rory asked.
There was a brief silence... It was clear to even Ingram, this woman was gobsmacked... If only for a few moments.
"It looks like someone forgot to teach you how to speak to an adult. "Little miss thing"." The senator said, turning Rory's quip around on her... If ever so unsuccessfully.
"You're not talking about me are you?" Rory asked?
"Of course I am talking about you! I don't know how things are in the Special Region but in this country we respect our elders!" The female senator yelled.
Rory of course... Was about to go wild and Itami immediately, thankfully came in and saved the day.
"I should inform the diet that Ms Mercury is actually the oldest one here, today." Itami said.
"And just how old is she supposed to be?!" The senator asked.
"Nine hundred and sixty one of your years... Honey." Rory said, herself. Much to the senator's shock.
"Huh?! Nine hundred?!" The senator replied. ...And as if the stars had aligned with the planets, Ingram could just faintly hear a collective "huh?!" from across the world... Oh boy.
"And... Just how old do you happen to be, Ms. Marceau?" The senator asked.
"One hundred and sixty five." Tuka replied.
"And what about you?" The senator asked, looking to Lelei.
"I'm just fifteen." Lelei replied.
"And... Our other guest?" The senator asked, looking straight to Ingram.
"I'm human but due to cryogenic freezing, I'm two hundred and thirty four." Ingram said.
"Thirty four okay... Wait?! Two hundred and thirty four?!" The senator yelled.
It was just then the cameras started flashing on Ingram. But then Lelei got up and began explaining to the best of her ability the basics of the SR with life expectancy and all the basics she could think of.
It would be then asked if the senator had any more questions, and of course... She did. For Ingram... Which he fully expected.
Ingram then went up to the podium with his stack of papers and his cap, he set the cap off to the side and waited.
"So... Please state your name and if you have any titles." The senator asked.
"Of course. My name is Harry Reginald Ingram. I'm a Colonel with the United States Enclave Armed Forces." Ingram said, quite a number of shocked and surprised expressions would come from all around.
"United States... Enclave Armed Forces...?" The senator asked.
"Yes ma'am. However I do not come from the united states of this world or my own. I was born in Britain, before it was pulled into the resource wars of 2052 to 2077." Ingram said.
"You mean... You're from the future?" The senator asked.
"In a sense. However, not the future of this world. I'm "in the future" of my own world. One which since the year 2077 has been slowly trying to recover from the Nuclear War which occurred in the same year." Ingram said.
"You... Mean to tell me, you're a survivor of a nuclear war?" The senator asked.
"Yes ma'am. Cryogenically frozen as the bombs were falling, with my wife and son." Ingram said.
"I... May I ask if they're also in the refugee camp with Ms. Mercury, and the rest?" The senator asked.
"They're dead. I was unfrozen temporarily between 2077 and 2087, and my wife was murdered as she tried to keep my son from being kidnapped. We were frozen and locked away in a vault, underground. Vault 111. I'm the sole survivor of that facility." Ingram said.
"I.. See, then may I ask what the "United States Enclave Armed Forces" are?" The senator asked.
"We're the last, legal successors to the United States government in our world. Some may say we are the last bastion of humans untainted by the radiation in our world." Ingram explained.
"May I ask how the nuclear war started?" The senator asked.
"It started after the United States pushed Red Chinese forces from Alaska, they invaded the state for the last drops of oil that were left on the planet. The United States kicked the Reds out of Alaska and pushed them all the way back to the Great Wall. I, like some other veterans of the war were ignorant of the possibility of the war going nuclear... But all the same, I registered my family for the local vault and... Well. Here I am." Ingram said.
Viewers around the world got a collective chill up their spines when Ingram began recounted the Resource War, then explaining how the Nuclear war happened between China and the US.
"May I ask if Russia was part of the war?" The senator asked.
"The Soviet Union? No, they stayed mostly to themselves. I'd doubt they got hit as bad as China or even the European Commonwealth." Ingram said.
"I see... May I ask what your role in the flame dragon incident is?" The senator asked.
"I repelled it." Ingram said plainly.
"You. ...You repelled it. By yourself?" The senator asked.
"Well, technically not by myself. I had to make use of a weapon that was designed during the resource wars. The M42 Tactical Nuclear Catapult. A shoulder fired device which is essentially a nuclear bomb, the size of a football, launched from said shoulder mounted catapult. I was part of a squad back during the Anchorage campaign, we put them to effective use against the human waves of the Reds." Ingram said.
Ingram wouldn't have known it but one of the viewers, the leader of China was watching, and of course... He was fuming, angry.
"But recounting old war stories is not why I'm here. Why I'm here is to explain the situation in the wasteland, so your world doesn't repeat the same mistakes as mine made. As well to ask for assistance." Ingram said.
"Ask for assistance? Why?" The senator asked.
"Because, we need help taking back our country. Disease, Famine, Mutation, Savages all run rampant throughout our lands. The Enclave cannot stem the tide, nor can the cult, this... Brotherhood of Steel. Mutations like Super Mutants, and Ghouls are a danger to our goals. Not just the mutants. But would be conquerors. Usurpers. Societies which have arisen in the US, in sick, twisted shadows of the United States' former glory. However, we cannot deal with these without. Food. Supplies. Medicine. And military aid." Ingram said.
Ingram wouldn't have known it but at that moment, he got attention, not just from the US, but Russia as well.
"In the former midwest, we have a vast army of slaves, forged from the conquest of 87 tribes, "Caesar's Legion". Further West, we have the "New California Republic", we have the Brotherhood of Steel, nothing more than power armoured boy scouts, technophiles who obsess over technology. Criminals who thrive on the lawlessness and disorder which has plagued our great nation for too long. Not only do they champion technology over human life, they've been responsible for the deaths of two Enclave presidents, the whole of congress, and the senate." Ingram explained.
An uncomfortable silence had dawned in the room as Ingram explained.
"Can we get the lights dimmed and the curtains closed? I've already prepared a demonstration to further provide evidence to my claims." Ingram asked
Some nervous looks were exchanged and a nod was given, after everything was adjusted. They eyebot began projecting it's slides, photos of Mutants, from Super Mutants to lowly ghouls, Ingram could see across the room, the looks of horror, then came the recon photos of raider gangs, the butchery inflicted on their fellow men and women, then the slaver gangs...
Following those, slides were shown of Caesar's Legion, the Brotherhood of Steel, and the NCR. Out of all of them, Caesar's Legion appeared to be the worst, yet. The NCR and Brotherhood... While the Brotherhood wasn't as savage as raiders, mutants, or slavers, they had technology even the Japanese, or anyone else in their own world didn't have.
The NCR just seemed to be trying to rebuild the US in their own way, but was set against the Enclave.
An hour would pass with explanations of organisations being given and the explanation for the situation, Ingram would of course say it was the fault of the Red Chinese for the nuclear war in his world which did this. ...Which would of course, spark some outrage online, though Ingram didn't know it. Nor care. It was history as it happened in his world.
What originally were supposed to be the deliberations on the Flame Dragon attack, finally ended. Ingram managed to get his report handed off to the Japanese ministry of defense.
After this, Ingram, Itami, Kurokawa, Lelei, Rory, and Tuka were ushered out to the bus they came on. Reporters were everywhere, Ingram donned his visor cap and adjusted it over his eyes as he walked with Kurokawa, he kept the eyebot infront of him as the group came to the bus and climbed aboard, Ingram took his seat and let out a sigh.
Unknown to him, thanks to the blinds drawn on the bus windows, shady forces were at work, separating them from the public security guys assigned to watch over Ingram and the rest.
The bus would travel along through the city, before it'd come to a stop at a subway station.
The group made their way through the station, getting tickets for the subway. Ingram hadn't noticed until now, Itami, Tomita, Kuribayashi, and Kurokawa all changed into different clothes. ...Meanwhile Ingram just stuck out like a sore thumb, but not as much as Lelei, Tuka, and Rory.
The group would board the train and it would go on along, Ingram stood up, Kurokawa stood next to him, she'd changed into a blazer suit jacket, a black turtle neck sweater... Rather... Form fitting pants, and high heeled boots.
Soon enough the train would hit a bump and Kurokawa would hug Ingram's arm as she lost balance temporarily... Only to quickly recover.
"Are you alright?" Ingram asked.
"Yes, sorry..." Kurokawa said as she let go of Ingram's arm.
"Don't worry, I don't mind it at all." Ingram said with a smile.
"Thank you." Kurokawa said and smiled back.
The train then went over another bump and Kurokawa held onto Ingram again. After a little while, the train came to a stop and the.. Strange man from public security got on, the train would the continue as he spoke with Itami, though in earshot of Ingram.
The moment Ingram heard there might be a mole involved, he was somewhat angered.
"You'd best find that mole and shut him down, permanently." Ingram said, aggravation could be clearly heard in his voice.
"Oh, don't worry he'll be dealt with. But just trying to figure out who's involved is the bigger problem." The man said as he leaned against the doors he came in.
"Irrelevant. Shut him down." Ingram said, adamantly.
"I'm not sure how things are done where you're from, Colonel, but..." The man started before Ingram interrupted.
"Where I'm from, spies are shot and dumped into a trash heap." Ingram said, plainly.
"Well, I'm afraid to say, we've no such ability to do so, ourselves." The man said.
"I see.." Ingram said, Kurokawa was just only slightly shocked at Ingram's answer in regards to how spies are dealt with by the Enclave.. But she also halfheartedly expected it.
Soon enough the train came to a stop and Ingram followed the group out with Kurokawa on his arm, they left the train station and returned topside, to the streets of Tokyo. Ingram was the last to come up the stairs with Kurokawa following as a man rushed past in a hood, directly infront of Ingram, he was making his way straight to Rory, reaching out to grab her Halberd
"Oh fuck no you don't!" Ingram tried to trip him but missed.
The man grabbed the Halberd and... Didn't get farther than a couple steps before it fell on him. ...Ingram just... Watched this pitiful sight.
"Well... Awfully direct, but I can't complain." Komakado said as he went to go pick up Rory's Halberd. ...Which he would immediately regret doing, causing his back to go out.
An ambulance would be called and Ingram would watch as the would be robber was loaded in, along with Komakado, though the robber was handcuffed.
Ingram would go over to Itami, just watching.
"So what's the plan, Lieutenant?" Ingram asked.
"Well... We'll not be going somewhere, where we won't be safe... That's for sure." Itami said.
"That's... Vague..." Ingram said, plainly.
"Don't worry, I have an idea." Itami said as he lead the group away from the scene, they would quickly stop at a small noodle shop and get what Itami called "take out".
They'd continue on, where? Ingram had absolutely no idea, up unto they came to an apartment... Then everything would become quite very clear as Itami went in, and opened a sliding door into one of the rooms, a woman came to the door and hugged the bag of food, Itami brought, almost obsessively.
"Uh... Okay guys, you can come in now." Itami said, looking to the door which everyone was grouped around, just watching this scene unfold.
"Uhm... Lieutenant? ..Who is this?" Tomita asked
"Oh. This is Risa. ...She's my ex wife." Itami said.
As if worlds just collided and the last strings of sanity and sense were just cut...
"She's you..." Kuribayashi started
"Ex wife, sir?!" Tomita asked.
"What?!" Came out simultaneously from Tomita, Kuribayashi, Kurokawa, Ingram, and Rory... Though Ingram was surprised more so on the latter one...