In the middle of a barren desert somewhere in the American southwest, there sat a man. He was at a campfire that was currently cooking small hunks of meat, with a small tent erected behind him. He was wearing a strange uniform, which had a long trench coat that had a set of sturdy looking shoulder guards on it. The coat itself went past the man's knees. On said knees were hefty looking kneepads, and while they were covered in several scratches, they still looked sturdy enough to stop a bullet. Aside from that, he had a pair of long, black boots extending down from the kneepads. He also had a pair of forearm guards, similar looking to his knee and shoulder pads. Finally, the most striking feature was the helmet he wore. It was similar to that of a soldiers, yet it seemed to be fused with a gas mask that covered the man's face, with only a pair of red lenses letting him see into the outside world.
He currently examined the surrounding desert around him, seeing if there was anything of use nearby. He saw a few cacti, but didn't bother with them, as the meat sizzling on the campfire was much more appetizing. Speaking of, it was almost done. After giving it another moment to finish cooking, the man took the meal off of the fire, and gently lifted his helmet, only enough for his mouth to be visible, before he quickly began to feast on the meat. Soon enough, it was all gone, gobbled down by the man. With the meal gone, the man began to look around again, the light of the moon above helping him see.
"Guess the Cateye wasn't too worth it..." He said with a tired sigh, before looking up, staring at the moon in wonder.
There was a strange sensation that passed over him as he looked up at the celestial body. He'd seen it countless times before, thousands, even, yet only a fair few times had he ever actually looked up at it. For a bright man who took great pleasure in surveying the world around him, it seemed what was beyond the planet was beyond him, in both interest, and what actually resided up beyond the stars. Maybe there were a few humans still left up there, unsure of the hell that the planet had become. Maybe there were aliens, I mean, there were those strange green men he'd encountered a while back, or maybe even mutants or…
"I really need to stop thinking about this shit and get some rest." Growled the man, before he went to lay down in his tent, snuffing out the fire with sand and dirt as he did. He soon was laying in his tiny tent, with him growling as he felt rocks and sticks digging into his back. Thankfully, his jacket and the tent itself kept him from becoming too uncomfortable, yet still, he longed for the mattresses that they had in the Lucky 38. It almost made him want to go back to Vegas… almost.
No, he couldn't go back yet. Not for him being locked out of it, but because he was an explorer. He was a true Wanderer, as one would say. Something deep inside of the man kept him from ever truly settling down. He didn't know if it was because he'd gotten a good chunk of his brain blown out or what, but he supposed that didn't matter now. Soon enough, he slowly began to drift off into a form of sleep. A faint part of him still remained aware of his surroundings, as one couldn't afford to be a heavy sleeper in the Wasteland. He was just about out of it, when he heard the faint sounds of footsteps sound outside.
Instantly his eyes shot open, and he quickly, but silently reached down, and drew his pistol. It was a revolver, and a damn fine one at that. It was ornately decorated with several vine-like patterns covering it. On the grip was a bear standing on its hindlegs, and on the barrel itself "For Honorable Service," and "Against All Tyrants" adorned it.
The man then quietly got into a crouching position as he saw something step in front of his tent. Slowly but surely unzipping said tent. He waited, feeling tense. He debated on firing for several seconds, and held his breath. However, after a moment, the thin layer of cloth between him and the intruder fell, and instantly the man saw the figure was holding a knife.
The night was lit up with a gunshot, and the raider flew backwards, his head now adorned with a new hole as the man in armor rolled out of the tent, seeing three more raiders surrounding him.
"What the fuck!?" Shouted one, a female. "How the hell is the NCR this far East?"
"Who cares, kill hi-" A male attempted to reorganize the group, however, his head quickly exploded into gore as he aimed his own pistol at the armored wanderer. The armored man then quickly unloaded two more shots, as the last two raiders rushed him down. They all dropped and the man himself reloaded the revolver, before quickly checking the raiders. He only found a few things that were worth taking, that being several bullets and bottle caps.
The armored man sighed, as he stopped his looting and looked at the dead raiders surrounding him. "Well fuck... Hope there aren't more of them." He said as he began to wonder anew. He wondered what happened the people after death. For a man who was surrounded by killing, he only ever thought about it deeply on only a few occasions. Killing had become a mere normal part of life to him and most others in the Wasteland, yet… was there anything after death? He knew Joshua preached about a place called Heaven and Hell… He'd heard several other myths as well in pre-war books and such, with the Underworld and Mount Olympus being mentioned, as well as several others. He wondered if these beliefs held any truth. He wasn't a religious person, as he never really had time to think of things such as that, yet with this free time, he pondered on it, strangely enough.
Eventually, he shook himself out of his stupor, and soon dug shallow grave for the raiders, before tossing them in. With that task done, the man soon reentered his tent, and tried to get some more sleep, several questions still going through his mind as he drifted off into a restless sleep…
If the man knew what would happen next, there'd be a chance he would've just made himself a cup of coffee, packed his tent, and wandered off up until he reached the nearest settlement, even if it was a few miles away, he still might've done it… Or maybe, just maybe, he wouldn't care, as the strangeness of the situation he was about to find himself in might not be all that strange for a man who's fought giant mutated chameleons, batshit insane robots hellbent on doing as many experiments as possible before their clocks gave out, a new government based off of the ancient Romans, and tiny green men that may or may not have been aliens.
No… perhaps the man was just used to it at this point, as after all, Couriers must meet a lot of different people, and he was no exception.
Regardless of the would haves and wouldn't haves, what DID happen was the wastelander fell asleep, and when he woke up… well… things weren't quite right, to say the least…
Somewhere a long ways away...
Charlie groaned as she sat up in her bed, stretching and yawning as she did. The princess was normally quite graceful in her actions, but now she came off as exhausted, which was reasonable, as for the past few days she'd been dealing with the launch of the Happy (Now Hazbin) Hotel. While business wasn't exactly booming, she did still have to deal with the antics of her guests, namely Alastor and Angel Dust, though it was mostly Angel Dust, as every time she'd have a potential guest, they'd either be scared off, or would just treat the place like a whore house. Those types of demons were swiftly dealt with, but still, it left the princess feeling saddened at the lack of interest in redemption. Regardless, she still continued on, determination forcing her through each failure.
She quickly showered and dressed herself, as she had a long day of advertising her hotel ahead of her. If the demons wouldn't come to her, she'd just go to them! With a small pep in her step she soon left the hotel, walking by a passed out Angel Dust as she did. He definitely wasn't a morning person, as she'd often find him sleeping well into the afternoon, but what else could be expected of a night walker? Still, she wished he wouldn't pass out on the floor so often. Aside from just that, it seemed Vaggie herself was also sleeping in, as she'd been helping Charlie advertise all day yesterday. Regardless, she grabbed a handful of business cards and left, ready to bring redemption to any demon she'd come across, even if she was alone.
A large, buff looking demon was her first target. "Hello sir, I'm Charlie and-" He casually walked past her without even looking downwards.
Next was a slender, attractive looking female demon. "Hi! I'm Charl-" Same response.
There were several imps walking bye, and Charlie quickly shoved a handful of cards into the leader's face, giving a massive smile as she did. He quickly snatched it from her and read over it.
"Come to Hazbin Hotel! Where all of your sins are replaced with wins..."
The rest of the card was covered in pink hearts, and smiley faces. The imp looked up at Charlie, who gave a massive smile back. His only response was to shred it while looking into her eyes, before dropping it and walking away with the other imps.
Charlie didn't watch them leave, as her smile instantly turned upside down. She sighed as she continued on, her pace now a fair bit slower as she walked through the crowded streets of Hell.
An alleyway nearby
The armored man growled, feeling a strange sense of coldness surrounding him as he did. It wasn't the iciness of the night time desert, no, this felt different. It was the feeling of wet pavement pressing up against his back. Even through his clothes he could feel it, and it felt rather strange. It was a sensation he'd never expect in the Wasteland… Wait! Wasteland? He shouldn't even be anywhere close to a city, or pavement, or anything for that matter!
He instantly shot up into a sitting position as his eyes shot open, only for him to see two strange creatures hovering over him. They were small, likely only coming up to his waist if he was standing up. As it was, they were just a bit above eye level with him as he sat there. Aside from that they had a deep red skin and what looked to be pre-war clothing covering them, with them wearing simple t-shirts and jeans. Now, he might've been a bit lenient on them had they currently not be rifling through his pockets.
"Uh… heeeeeeeeey..." Managed one, before he instantly got a boot to the face, sending him flying all the way out of the alley the armored figure had now found himself in. He screamed as he flew.
Back with Charlie.
"I just wish that I could make everyone listen... Even if briefly… Maybe… maybe if I had an angel on my side, everyone would listen..." She pondered. She herself didn't ever expect to get an angel's help, as they were always busy with Heaven and its various issues, but even then, she wanted someone, ANYONE to help her redeem as many demons as possible. Someone like-minded, someone with as much determination as her. Someone like-
She quickly had to duck out of the way as an imp flew past her out from an alleyway. She quickly looked to see the imp slam into the road, and skidded several feet before a car instantly crushed it under its tires. She turned back to see who had thrown the small demon, only to see a figure in an extremely long trench coat holding up another demon by his neck. The figure looked masculine, given how muscular it seemed despite the several layers of armor and clothing it had on. The man himself glared menacingly at the demon in his grasp, before slamming its head into the brick wall behind it, knocking the imp out, before the man dropped its limp body to the floor.
The man then looked at Charlie, and the glowing red eyes of his mask made her flinch, before he walked towards her. She was about ready to either fight or flee, however, he merely nodded at her.
"Sorry about that, ma'am." He said, before walking off down the street, before quickly turning the nearest corner and disappearing from Charlie's sight. The demon princess just stood there in extreme confusion, though it wasn't from the violence the man had displayed.
Instead, it was from his manners.