"How many do you see?" Six asked over the radio, crouched behind a rock as he peeked over at Cottonwood Cove. His trusty brush rifle, Medicine Stick, was loaded with ACW rounds for extra penetrating power against Legion armor while his sidearm, Ranger Sequoia, and knife, Blood-Nap, sat holstered at his sides. Next to him was his robot, ED-E, ready to go when he gave the word.
"I count 14, but it's likely there's more inside." He heard his partner, Boone, report. "There are three slaves in a pen at the back of the camp, making an all-out assault risky." Six cursed under his breath. He knew they'd have innocents here, but it still annoyed him.
"Alright. I'll sneak in and get them out while you watch out for anyone coming at me."
"Gotcha." He and Boone had been through thick and thin together. They'd helped each other out with their problems, both physical and emotional, and were practically brothers by this point. Alongside ED-E, whose weapons system had been upgraded by Ms. Martimer, and the trio was a force to be reckoned with in the wasteland. And when Six had returned from the Divide with the Elite Ranger Armor, he'd immediately gotten to work creating a duplicate for Boone. While the armor on that suit was slightly weaker than the original, Boone preferred staying farther away from his targets anyway.
"ED-E, stay here and watch my rear. If you hear gunfire, that's your cue to move in." The robot beeped positively, and Six drew his knife. Night had fallen, so he activated his helmet's stealth vision, bathing the world in a shade of crimson. Crouched down, he made his way out from behind the rock and towards the nearest house, taking cover behind it. He walked, back pressed against the wall to prevent anyone inside from spotting him, and stopped at the edge.
"You're clear," Boone reported from the sniper's nest so conveniently placed about the Cove. Looking up, Six could just barely make out the faint red glow of his helmet's eyes. Turning his attention back to the task at hand, he crossed the opening to the other building, repeating this process with the third and final house. But now, there was a bit of an issue.
There was a significantly wider gap between the house he was behind and the cluster of rocks that was his next target. The darkness of night combined with the black coloring of his suit made it unlikely any Legion boys would spot him, but he hadn't made it this far by taking chances.
"Two, standing side-by-side. I can nail one, and the suppressor will prevent anyone from hearing, but you'll have to take care of the second." Six thought for a moment before reporting back.
"On my mark, hit the guy on the left." He flipped Blood-Nap around, so he was holding it by the tip before peeking around the corner. As Boone had said, two guards were watching his direction, armed with machetes. They posed no threat to him, but their shouting would alert the whole camp to his presence.
"Three… two… one… now." Time seemed to slow as VATS kicked in, him emerging from behind the house. He quickly aimed before throwing the knife with perfect accuracy, hitting the guy on the right in the forehead and killing him instantly. Simultaneously, the left guy's head exploded from a round curtesy of Boone's anti-material rifle. Their bodies hit the ground in tandem, Six quickly retrieving his knife from the dead legionary and sheathing it.
"Nice shot." Not even bothering to make sure they were dead, he moved on to the rock cluster. Just beside the large stones were the three tents used by the legionaries to sleep. Each was large enough to house four soldiers, bringing the max to twelve. If he could clear out the tents without awakening anybody, it would make wiping the place out much more manageable should things go loud.
"Can you see into the tents?" He asked over the radio.
"No, not clearly. I can see there's at least two in each tent, fast asleep." Six snuck over to the nearest tent, seeing it contained two sleeping men. He quickly checked the other two, noting they had the same amount. The rest were likely on patrol, one of which he'd already eliminated. He returned to the first tent and drew his bloodsoaked knife, preparing to feed it more.
Stepping over the empty sleeping bags, he put his hand over the man's mouth before plunging his knife into his throat. His eyes flew open, and he struggled, but it was brief. As he twisted the blade, Six heard an audible crack, and the man went limp. He withdrew the blade before doing the same to the other man. He repeated this process with the other tents, clearing them without issue.
Six now had access to the slave building, along with its pen. He approached the chain-link fence and saw the three slaves, two females and one male, sleeping against the concrete wall. The male was farther away from the females, who were leaning on each other. He approached the gate and was about to pick the lock when Boone came over the radio.
"Someone just exited the main tent and is headed your way." Shit, the main tent next to the other three. He ducked back and hid behind a rock, hearing the crunch of boots on dirt approaching. Peeking over the rock, he spotted a legionary with no helmet on making his way to the slave building. Judging by his more unique armor and the key dangling from his waist, he was likely the Slavemaster of the camp. That put him exceptionally high on Six and Boone's shit list.
Moving fast, he came up behind the man before kicking his leg out from under him, forcing him to kneel. Looming over him, he slammed the blade into the side of his neck before pushing him away, the bastard quickly bleeding out. He took the key and used it to open the gate. It squealed as it opened, but everyone still alive was likely too far away to hear it.
He approached the sleeping man and tapped his foot. His eyes opened partially, and he looked around blearily, but they shot all the way open upon seeing him. He put his hand over the man's mouth while placing a finger over the nozzle of his gas mask. The man calmed down, and Six released his mouth.
"I'm here to get you guys outta here." He whispered to him. "Wake up the others. I'll explain more then." He nodded before shuffling over to the other two. He woke them up and quickly explained what was happening and leading them over to the red-eyed man.
"Alright, make your way past the tents and over to the rocks. From there, go to the houses and sneak behind them. I've killed any patrols that might spot you, but try to stay quiet." They nodded. "When you reach the main road, my buddy will be waiting for you. He'll be decked out in the same armor as me, so you'll know him when you see him. He'll get you all to safety."
"Thank you so much, you and your friend." The woman, who looked to be the oldest of them all, thanked him.
"Don't worry about it. Just be quiet when you're going." The three nodded and went on their way.
"I'll head over to the main road, then take them to Ranger Station Echo. It'll be just you and ED-E, so try not to have too much fun." The radio went quiet, and now Six was on his own. He took a quick look inside the slave building but moved on when he didn't see anybody. He began to make his way over to the main building but froze when he heard someone shout.
"Shit, there's an intruder!" The voice came from over by the tents, indicating someone had found the bodies there.
"Guess it's time for ED-E to show off those new weapons of his." Six muttered as he drew Medicine Stick. He sprinted over to the tents and spotted the man who'd shouted before putting a bullet in his dome, the gunshot ringing out and alerting everybody. He heard footsteps behind him in time to put down another legionary, his head exploding. Bullets flew past him, and he ducked behind the wall just in time for more to hit the concrete. He waited until the shots stopped, then popped out and nailed the man, putting an end to him. He was knocked to the ground when someone kicked him from behind. He turned back to see a large brute standing over him, looking like the camp leader.
"So, the Courier comes to Cottonwood Cove." He said, advancing on him. "I will make you suffer for-" He was cut off when a plasma bolt hit him in the head, disintegrating everything above the shoulders. Six stood up in time to see ED-E flying towards him, bullets pinging off his reinforced shell. He flew down into cover alongside Six, the armored man no longer alone.
"Nice shot, ED-E." The robot beeped happily before more bullets caught their attention. "Alright, you go around the other side while I deal with these assholes." ED-E beeped again before zooming past him around the building, the sounds of plasma weaponry going off filling the air. Six rolled out of cover into a crouching stance, doming a man standing on the large rock in the camp center. He felt a bullet ping off his shoulder plate from behind, and he turned around, drawing his revolver and shooting the attacker in the head.
He prepared to fight more, but he stopped when he realized the sounds of combat had ceased. He made his way around the building to where ED-E had gone, only to find him surrounded by ash piles that'd once been legion soldiers.
"Well, god damn, nice work." ED-E chirped happily and flew over to him, Six reloading his weaponry. "Boone, we're done here. How're you holding up?"
"We're almost there. Other than a few radscorpions, we've met no resistance." Boone replied.
"Good. We'll release the barrels to ensure the Legion can't return, then meet you there."
"Copy that." The line went dead. Six looked up at the shipping truck that dangled precariously over the camp, the one containing the nuclear waste. He'd wanted to release the barrels and let the radiation kill them, but Boone suggested wiping them out the old-fashioned way. At least then, there was no chance for any survivors. And it seemed he made the right call, as there had been slaves here who would've been caught by the deadly barrels.
He quickly took a hit of Rad-X before aiming for the truck, his sights locking on the metal lock keeping it closed, rusted by time and proximity to water. He aimed carefully before pulling the trigger, destroying the lock and allowing the back to open. The yellow barrels came tumbling out, Six and ED-E booking it for the exit. Even though the robot was immune to radiation and Six had more than enough rad meds, he'd rather get exposed as little as possible.
The Geiger Counter in his Pip-Boy started going off, but it quickly stopped when he exited the Cove. He looked back at the former base, Legion corpses littering the area, and smiled. Another job well done. Now he just had to get back to Boone, and they'd be off to do whatever else the people of the wasteland needed of them. Big or small, the trio lived to help people.
Arriving at the Ranger Station, the man stationed in the watchtower spotted him and shouted for his buddies to open the gate. Upon entering, he and ED-E approached Boone and the others at the tent. The three former slaves were led inside, likely to be fed and adequately clothed before sending them off with an escort.
"Boone!" Six called to him as he approached. The other armored man, still wearing his helmet, looked over and nodded at him.
"How'd ED-E do?" He asked, and Six chuckled.
"Bucket of bolts managed to take down what had to be five of them by himself, even saved my ass when the leader snuck up on me." ED-E let out a series of happy beeps while bobbing up and down.
"Watch your ass a little more, then maybe he wouldn't have to," Boone said. While most people would've heard just harsh criticism, Six picked up on the subtle sarcasm and chuckled.
"At least I have the sack to fight head-on." Six shot back, making Boone laugh. Their banter was cut short when one of the rangers stationed at the base ran up to them.
"Sirs?" He said, garnering their attention.
"We're not in the NCR. You don't have to be formal," Boone responded.
"You've done a lot for the Mojave, so you've more than earned it." He said, a barely noticeable smile on his face. "Anyway, one of our scouts stumbled on something a while ago while she was out on patrol. We figured since Mr. Six here has more technical know-how than anyone else at the Station, you should have a look at it." The two looked at each other, practically reading each other's thoughts before turning back to the ranger.
"Well, if you insist." Six agreed, indicating for him to lead them to whatever had been discovered. The man nodded before turning around and exiting the compound, Six, Boone, and ED-E in tow.
After traveling east a while across the river, they found what the man had been talking about. It was a hatch in the ground, looking disturbingly similar to the B.O.S. Bunker that had taken Six to the Sierra Madre. He still shuddered at those memories, but he brushed them off.
"Have you sent anyone down there yet?" Boone asked, but the man shook his head.
"The scout checked it out but said it's just a bunch of broken-down robots and a strange device in a central room. She didn't touch anything that looked important, so it should be all good." He reported.
"Alright, we'll check it out and report back to the Station with any findings we come across." Six said, and the man nodded before running off back to the station. Boone twisted the wheel on the hatch before opening it, Six hopping down with Medicine Stick drawn. As soon as his boots hit the hard metal flooring of the dark bunker, he activated his night vision and raised his gun. He scanned the room but found it was just a security checkpoint. There was a metal detector guarding the door deeper into the base and some destroyed robots littering the floor, but not much else.
"It's clear!" Six called up to the others, lowering his rifle but not holstering it. Soon after, Boone hit the ground, followed shortly by ED-E. Boone drew his brush gun modified with a forged receiver and activated his night vision. It was so dark that, from an outsider's perspective, all they'd see was a pair of red eyes glowing in the dark.
"Keep your wits about you, don't want nothing getting the drop on us." Six said, Boone nodding. As they moved through the metal detector, the machine didn't respond, indicating the lack of power. They moved through the door into a common area, a front desk accompanying rows of seats. The terminal was still intact, but they'd have to find some way to turn the power back on to access it. Along the walls were three doors, one behind the desk with a "break room" sign, one on the left wall that led to the labs, and one on the right leading to security.
"ED-E and I will check out security," Boone said, Six nodding in response. They split up, searching the bunker.
The lab looked exactly like that, a lab. Though even with Six's well-trained eye, he couldn't discern the purpose of the research being conducted here. If only he could access the terminal, then everything would make sense. There were multiple glass containers with strange devices and ordinary objects in them. If he had to hazard a guess, it could've been teleportation technology, though he didn't know if it was successful or not.
After passing through the lab, he went through a hall and came to the engineering department, which was significantly smaller. There were the typical tools and objects used for general maintenance, but nothing really of interest other than some valuable salvage. He moved on to the next room, which proved to be the final one. It was the testing room, and it sure looked like one. The door exited onto a catwalk, as the rest of the massive, dome-shaped room had been built deeper down. The catwalk had some consoles on it, but what caught his eye was the giant machine built into the center of the room.
It was two prongs jutting out of the ground, a series of large lights lining the insides. At the base was a metal platform, a terminal just in front of it, though this one had power, indicating it most likely controlled where the power went. Boone and ED-E emerged from the door across the gap from him, though there was no console on his side.
"Things looking good on your end?" Boone asked.
"Just some research equipment, though I don't know for certain what it does." He replied. "I'm pretty sure that terminal down there controls the power. I'll check it out."
"I'll keep an eye on things from up here." With that settled, Boone drew his AM rifle as Six went down the stairs to the room's floor. He sat down at the desk before booting up the terminal. He inputted the command to bypass the password, and a series of numbers, letters, symbols, and words appeared before him.
"Alright." He said, popping his knuckles. "Let's do this." After several minutes of typing away at the keyboard, he finally found a matching password and was given access to the device's contents. Just as he'd suspected, it controlled the power flow. After checking the reactor's state, he was confident he could safely power up the whole bunker.
"I'm about to turn on the lights. Let me know if it wakes up any nasty robots." Six said over the radio.
"Yup." Six entered the command to restore full power to the bunker. And all hell broke loose.
A loud bang was followed by the massive machine directly in front of them sparking like crazy. At the same time, he heard Boone open fire on something behind him.
"There's a big fucking Sentry Bot that just fell out of the ceiling!" Boone yelled over the radio. "My rounds are pinging off it like it's nothing!" The Sentry Bot in question then charged out of the room and slammed into him, sending him over the railing. He hit the ground on his back hard, Six running over to him while ED-E distracted the Sentry Bot.
"Shit! You good to get up?!" Six yelled over the sounds of gunfire above him as ED-E dodged the bot's bullets.
"Yeah, just hurts like a bitch." Boone groaned, standing up with some effort. A second bang followed, and the machine began going haywire even more. But before either of them could say anything, it exploded, engulfing them and the two robots in a ball of pulsing electricity.
I figured I'd write a proper New Vegas crossover, so here you go. It's just Six by himself most of the time, but now he's got Boone and ED-E with him. You lads let me know if you're interested, and I'll write more.