My Dog and Me

"The wicked flee when no man pursueth."

-Proverb 28:1

Some time ago when he barely had a name for himself, the Lone Wanderer was getting his bearings around the Wasteland for the first time. He had no clue of where to find his father and very little experience with guns and weapons. He was good with a BB gun but knew that wouldn't mean much against a semi-automatic pistol or a shotgun at close range. What would he do?
"Put your weapons down and your hands up or I'll give you a nasty welt that will hurt for a couple minutes!"

The Lone Wanderer never trained himself to fight fair. He trained himself to win. In the Capital Wasteland, there was no "fair" fighting. There was "fair bartering" -dropping or raising prices to a fair amount- but there was no such thing as "fair fighting".

And being raised in a Vault where North, South, East, and West made sense until you came across a wall or the Overseer's door, the Lone Wanderer had a little trouble with direction.

By pure luck he managed to find a town near the Vault called "Megaton". It was a ramshackle, vile, disgusting excuse that did not even make a decent eyesore, but it was a town. Its high walls protected it from Raiders and other scum the bombs didn't remove from the planet. Even if the walls weren't enough the town sheriff was. The man was more intimidating than anyone he'd ever seen or ever would see.
It was in Megaton (after getting on the Sheriff's good side, of course) that the Wanderer quickly heard of a man by the name of Moriarty. He was a sleazy bar owner who would charge his customers for the air they breathe if he could, but he held information about the Wanderer's father and that was what mattered. Moriarty directed the Wanderer to find someone who owed him money "just north of here". It was supposed to be an easy job!

Well, that's where Moriarty went wrong.

With a sense of direction worse than the smell of Moriarty's Saloon, the Wanderer left and quickly got lost.

The Wanderer was carrying a baseball bat and a ten millimeter pistol with twenty seven bullets. He naturally chose the gun over the bat while walking in what he hoped was North (he was heading Northeast).

Several dogbites and ten missed shots later, the Wanderer got the idea:

Gun: Bad; Baseball Bat: Good!

Being a good slugger since he was seven, the Wanderer fended off several dingos on his way into the unknown. He quickly figured out the dingos would keep coming and so he ran off toward supposed shelter: An old scrapyard in the middle of nowhere.

He opened up the gate and slammed it shut behind him as a dingo bit into the chain link fence behind him.

As he went to sigh in relief gunfire tore him from his thoughts, followed by a wimper. He scrambled up again and turned back to the gate to run out, but the dingo was still sitting there, waiting. Two or three more were closing in, too.

Now, the Wanderer had to choose: Eaten by dingos, or killed by gunfire?

No, he thought. No, Dad raised me to be strong. I'll survive or I'll die trying!

The Wanderer chose to find the source of the gunfire. It would be better practice to fight a being that could fight back than a dingo that couldn't reach him. His ears led him to a trio of raiders attacking an unknown target. One was bleeding profusely from serious looking gashes, the other seemed to be barely holding onto consciousness, and the third was okay.

"Shoot 'em up!"

The Raiders were to preoccupied to see the Wanderer and so he took advantage of the opprotunity and aimed. He fired and missed the Raider he intended to hit, instead managing to hit the remains of an automobile.

He gulped. Now the Raiders knew where he was and the two injured enemies turned to shoot at him. The Wanderer pulled up his gun and fired two more shots; one managing to strike the critically injured Raider in the waist. His gashes and the bullet wound were too much and he fell to the ground. The other Raider fired back and the Wanderer leapt behind nearby barrels.

"You ain't gonna leave this walkin' pal!"

The Wanderer responded with blind gunfire, hitting (of course) everything but his targets.

With no cover to speak of, the Raider could only fire back with a hunting rifle, but each pang of kickback brought him closer to unconsciousness...

The otherwise unharmed Raider that was focusing on one stubborn target suddenly fell on his back with a shriek. The Raider attacking the Wanderer quickly became distracted and turned his head to his partner.

That crazy mutt was tearing the throat of his ally out. The grey furred dog with one blue eye and one brown eye was very strong. It took two bullets in the side and still turned the tables. The dog seemed to smile as the Raider under his paws stopped moving slowly. He released the now dead Raider's throat and his head shot to look at the remaining enemy. The now lone Raider looked behind him at the amatuer shooter that was the Wanderer, and then back at the professional killer that was a dog.

His hunting rifle fell from his grip and he fell to the side, consciousness finally leaving him.

Panting, the dog eyed the Lone Wanderer suspiciously. No, he didn't growl or glare; but was curious. What were the intentions of this human? Was he backing up the other bad humans? If so, why did he make the other one go to sleep?

The Wanderer saw that the dog was hurt. Blood stained his fur and dripped to the ground. He knelt to the dogs height and patted his leg.

"Come here, boy. You're hurt." The dog tilted his head. Who are you calling 'boy', boy?

Dull pain ached in his side and he looked, seeing holes that were bleeding quite profusely. He whined, then sniffed his wounds. Satisfied with what the human said, the dog looked back at him. Sensing no threat, he trotted over and panted.

"Hold still, boy. This stimpack should have you feeling better soon!"

The dog flinched at an unexpected stabbing pain but didn't hurt the human as whatever pain he was feeling quickly left his body. He looked at his wounds and saw them quickly coagulating, then he looked up at the Wanderer. He licked the human's chin and sat down, panting.

"Hey, boy... did you lose your master?" asked the Wanderer, fingering the collar around the dog's neck. Dogmeat, huh?

Dogmeat barked once.

"I know how it feels... I lost my Dad and I'm awfully lonely..."

Dogmeat responded with a whine. Sorry, kid.

"Hey, you want to come along with me, boy? I can be your new master!"

Dogmeat panted and barked. Sure, but I get to be the master.

The Wanderer looked back at the Raiders and then at Dogmeat. He sighed and walked toward the bodies looting one by one of their weapons, ammunition, and caps. His companion nudged him as he walked past and gestured his head toward the not-dead-but-unconscious Raider.

At that time, The Wanderer could hear the sound of a chain-link gate being forced open, but it was not the gate he entered thru. He could hear barking from dingos behind him and began jogging off with Dogmeat following.

"We'll leave him for the new visitors."

Dogmeat smiled like only a dog can and continued walking, no longer feeling pain and half-guiding the Wanderer back to Megaton. The kid had a long way to go, but he would make a fine explorer one day.

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Al La Fin to the max.