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Manifest Destiny (Creative Story)

Blue Vegas

Member
Messages
22
It was gone. Everything that they had built over the last two centuries. This was a disaster of unmitigated proportions. Adams Air Force Base was up in flames, the final bastion of hope for the Enclave, the true government, the true Americans of this great country.
Gone.
Renee watched the flames lick the night sky, smoke billowing up to mingle with unseen clouds. The Brotherhood of Steel was starting to move in to clear the wreckage, to murder any of her remaining friends. Her family. She needed to run, to get as far away from this place as possible. Whatever she did, it needed to happen now. If the Brotherhood, or worse, The Lone Wanderer, found her now, she was as good as dead.
She dropped her rifle and fled, effectively committing treason against the Enclave. Running away from the fires that raged behind her, from the life that she was born into. But where was she going to run? The Brotherhood was everywhere in the Capital Wasteland, and Renee would stand out like a sore thumb in Rivet City or Megaton.
Where was she going to go?

Ten Years Later
Renee's eyes snapped open, and she sat up, pointing her handgun at the door. Cold sweat dripped down her face at the sound of the bang, like metal on a hardwood floor.
Every night was like this lately. She'd hear the tiniest noise and go ballistic, afraid the Brotherhood had finally found her, that someone had recognised her, that her past had finally caught up with her. Dammit, Renee used to be a damn prodigy for the Enclave, and now she was hiding in a rundown shack on the water's edge, like a ghoul!
But where had she gone in all this time? From the Capital Wasteland, Renee had traveled north to Pittsburgh. Sadly, the irradiated hellscape that was now The Pitt quickly made her move on, lest she become enslaved. Learning her lesson to avoid ground zero, she moved north-west to Lake Erie and followed the water up until she hit Buffalo.
She'd stayed in Buffalo for five years, but the Brotherhood arrived to take technology from local raiders. Without even a goodbye to her new life, she ran into Canada and followed the water of Lake Ontario into New York State, but still wanted to avoid the hellish graveyard that was New York City. So Renee moved East, crossing Vermont, and entering Massachusetts. Concord was her first city in this state, and she was run out, exhausted, by raiders.
Renee collapsed not far from a small farm called Tenpines Bluff. The siblings living there tended to her wounds. and in exchange for the medicine she had used up, Renee indentured herself as a farmer for a year. Once her contract ended, she moved on with the knowledge she could always come back... if she ever deigned to.
And now, in 2287, ten years after her life had completely collapsed because of a Vault Dweller who thought they knew what was best for everyone, she was sitting in a self-made shack north of Salem, built out of a destroyed house. The crazy man in Salem was willing to trade whenever she needed something, in exchange for her intelligence in scientific endeavours. Usually bomb making.
'Who's there?' Renee said, checking that the safety was off her pistol.
'Sorry,' came the voice. It was a woman. 'I didn't mean to disturb you.'
'Too late. What do you want?'
The door opened and Renee saw a sight that made her blood boil. Blue and yellow, the trademark jumpsuit of the vault dwellers. This woman, though... she looked like she had barely spent a week above ground. Was that possible? Renee decided to hear her out for now. Could always kill her later.
'I was just heading to Salem, but I need somewhere to spend the night. If it's not too much bother..?'
The vault dweller was maybe in her late-thirties, with chestnut brown hair and frayed green eyes. Renee sighed and put her pistol down.
'I only have one bed. You'll have to sleep on the floor.'
Renee was hoping this would deter the vault dweller, but the woman smiled.
'Oh, that's ok, least I can lay down.'
The woman laid herself down on the floor next to Renee's bed.
'By the way, I'm Nora.'
'I don't care. You're leaving tomorrow.'
Nora clicked her tongue against her teeth.
'You seem agitated.'
'That's because a crazy vault dweller came to my house at midnight, woke me up, and is now sleeping on my floor.'
'Sorry. I just... I haven't met many friendly people since I left the vault. Most shoot at me.'
Renee sighed again, a drawn out sound of annoyance, but Nora continued.
'My son was taken. By a mercenary... I need to find them, kill the bastard who took my baby, and killed my... Nate... oh god...'
Nora started crying on the floor, and Renee groaned at the sound. Why did this have to happen to her? Why?! Was something punishing her? Nora made no signs of stopping, so Renee looked down onto the floor.
'How old is you son...' she asked begrudgingly.
'He's just a b-baby. And that... he took him. I have no idea why. There was a doctor with him, or a scientist.'
'Sounds like the Institute. Look at that, solved the kidnapping for you.'
Nora blinked blearingly at Renee above her.
'Who are they?'
'The Institute are the boogeyman of the Commonwealth, Nora. Every wasteland has one. In Washington, it's the Enclave. In Pittsburgh, it's the Trogs. In New York, it's the Reavers. Here, it's the Institute.'
'But who are they?' Nora persisted.
Renee had no idea how to answer that. Even to the Enclave in the past, the Institute was largely an unknown.
'No one knows.' Renee finally admitted. 'And no one can help you. No one will, either.'
Nora pushed herself up off the floor, and towered over Renee.
'Someone will know something! They have to!'
'No one helps anyone out here,' Renee said quietly. 'You have to think about number one before you think of anything else. Every day you aren't dead is a victory. That's life out here.'
Nora's eye twitched as Renee slowly stood to her level. Huh... they were the same height.
'Everyone is selfish now? Everyone only thinks about themselves?'
'That's what I'm saying. You can't trust anyone, and you can't rely on anyone. '
Nora's hand dropped to the holster on her hip, and Renee punched the vault dweller in the face, knocking her to the ground. Renee aimed her gun at Nora's face.
'Wait-'
The sound filled the shack, and Nora's head exploded. Bone shrapnel, blood spatters and brainy gristle scattered over the floor. Renee sighed, then put her handgun down on the bed, sitting down on the floor.
'There's no exception to the rules. Even to a vault dweller...'
Then a dark thought entered Renee's head. What better way to hide who you were... then to hide in plain sight. She'd made a life of hiding from the Brotherhood, and by avoiding settlements like Diamond City, but a vault dweller... most people would see a vault dweller and assume they know nothing about this world. It's the perfect disguise. But it wasn't just a matter of wearing the jumpsuit. It was the computer on the wrist. The Pip-Boy.
'Am I really doing this?' Renee asked herself seriously.
Was there any other choice? The Enclave survived through her. If she died now...
Renee grabbed the jumpsuit's zip.
 
Last edited:

MrCJohn

Well-Known Member
Community Rockstar
Messages
1,509
It was gone. Everything that they had built over the last two centuries. This was a disaster of unmitigated proportions. Adams Air Force Base was up in flames, the final bastion of hope for the Enclave, the true government, the true Americans of this great country.
Gone.
Renee watched the flames lick the night sky, smoke billowing up to mingle with unseen clouds. The Brotherhood of Steel was starting to move in to clear the wreckage, to murder any of her remaining friends. Her family. She needed to run, to get as far away from this place as possible. Whatever she did, it needed to happen now. If the Brotherhood, or worse, The Lone Wanderer, found her now, she was as good as dead.
She dropped her rifle and fled, effectively committing treason against the Enclave. Running away from the fires that raged behind her, from the life that she was born into. But where was she going to run? The Brotherhood was everywhere in the Capital Wasteland, and Renee would stand out like a sore thumb in Rivet City or Megaton.
Where was she going to go?

Ten Years Later
Renee's eyes snapped open, and she sat up, pointing her handgun at the door. Cold sweat dripped down her face at the sound of the bang, like metal on a hardwood floor.
Every night was like this lately. She'd hear the tiniest noise and go ballistic, afraid the Brotherhood had finally found her, that someone had recognised her, that her past had finally caught up with her. Dammit, Renee used to be a damn prodigy for the Enclave, and now she was hiding in a rundown shack on the water's edge, like a ghoul!
But where had she gone in all this time? From the Capital Wasteland, Renee had traveled north to Pittsburgh. Sadly, the irradiated hellscape that was now The Pitt quickly made her move on, lest she become enslaved. Learning her lesson to avoid ground zero, she moved north-west to Lake Erie and followed the water up until she hit Buffalo.
She'd stayed in Buffalo for five years, but the Brotherhood arrived to take technology from local raiders. Without even a goodbye to her new life, she ran into Canada and followed the water of Lake Ontario into New York State, but still wanted to avoid the hellish graveyard that was New York City. So Renee moved East, crossing Vermont, and entering Massachusetts. Concord was her first city in this state, and she was run out, exhausted, by raiders.
Renee collapsed not far from a small farm called Tenpines Bluff. The siblings living there tended to her wounds. and in exchange for the medicine she had used up, Renee indentured herself as a farmer for a year. Once her contract ended, she moved on with the knowledge she could always come back... if she ever deigned to.
And now, in 2287, ten years after her life had completely collapsed because of a Vault Dweller who thought they knew what was best for everyone, she was sitting in a self-made shack north of Salem, built out of a destroyed house. The crazy man in Salem was willing to trade whenever she needed something, in exchange for her intelligence in scientific endeavours. Usually bomb making.
'Who's there?' Renee said, checking that the safety was off her pistol.
'Sorry,' came the voice. It was a woman. 'I didn't mean to disturb you.'
'Too late. What do you want?'
The door opened and Renee saw a sight that made her blood boil. Blue and yellow, the trademark jumpsuit of the vault dwellers. This woman, though... she looked like she had barely spent a week above ground. Was that possible? Renee decided to hear her out for now. Could always kill her later.
'I was just heading to Salem, but I need somewhere to spend the night. If it's not too much bother..?'
The vault dweller was maybe in her late-thirties, with chestnut brown hair and frayed green eyes. Renee sighed and put her pistol down.
'I only have one bed. You'll have to sleep on the floor.'
Renee was hoping this would deter the vault dweller, but the woman smiled.
'Oh, that's ok, least I can lay down.'
The woman laid herself down on the floor next to Renee's bed.
'By the way, I'm Nora.'
'I don't care. You're leaving tomorrow.'
Nora clicked her tongue against her teeth.
'You seem agitated.'
'That's because a crazy vault dweller came to my house at midnight, woke me up, and is now sleeping on my floor.'
'Sorry. I just... I haven't met many friendly people since I left the vault. Most shoot at me.'
Renee sighed again, a drawn out sound of annoyance, but Nora continued.
'My son was taken. By a mercenary... I need to find them, kill the bastard who took my baby, and killed my... Nate... oh god...'
Nora started crying on the floor, and Renee groaned at the sound. Why did this have to happen to her? Why?! Was something punishing her? Nora made no signs of stopping, so Renee looked down onto the floor.
'How old is you son...' she asked begrudgingly.
'He's just a b-baby. And that... he took him. I have no idea why. The was a doctor with him, or a scientist.'
'Sounds like the Institute. Look at that, solved the kidnapping for you.'
Nora blinked blearingly at Renee above her.
'Who are they?'
'The Institute are the boogeyman of the Commonwealth, Nora. Every wasteland has one. In Washington, it's the Enclave. In Pittsburgh, it's the Trogs. In New York, it's the Reavers. Here, it's the Institute.'
'But who are they?' Nora persisted.
Renee had no idea how to answer that. Even to the Enclave in the past, the Institute was largely an unknown.
'No one knows.' Renee finally admitted. 'And no one can help you. No one will, either.'
Nora pushed herself up off the floor, and towered over Renee.
'Someone will know something! They have to!'
'No one helps anyone out here,' Renee said quietly. 'You have to think about number one before you think of anything else. Every day you aren't dead is a victory. That's life out here.'
Nora's eye twitched as Renee slowly stood to her level. Huh... they were the same height.
'Everyone is selfish now? Everyone only thinks about themselves?'
'That's what I'm saying. You can't trust anyone, and you can't rely on anyone. '
Nora's hand dropped to the holster on her hip, and Renee punched the vault dweller in the face, knocking her to the ground. Renee aimed her gun at Nora's face.
'Wait-'
The sound filled the shack, and Nora's head exploded. Bone shrapnel, blood spatters and brainy gristle scattered over the floor. Renee sighed, then put her handgun down on the bed, sitting down on the floor.
'There's no exception to the rules. Even to a vault dweller...'
Then a dark thought entered Renee's head. What better way to hide who you were... then to hide in plain sight. She'd made a life of hiding from the Brotherhood, and by avoiding settlements like Diamond City, but a vault dweller... most people would see a vault dweller and assume they know nothing about this world. It's the perfect disguise. But it wasn't just a matter of wearing the jumpsuit. It was the computer on the wrist. The Pip-Boy.
'Am I really doing this?' Renee asked herself seriously.
Was there any other choice? The Enclave survived through her. If she died now...
Renee grabbed the jumpsuit's zip.

That escalated quickly.....
 

Blue Vegas

Member
Messages
22
'I didn't know you, but...'
Renee was standing on the edge of the water, her foot on Nora's remains. She needed to get rid of the body before it started to attract predators, and without a shovel, pushing it out to sea seemed the best option available to her. The pieces of Nora's head had been pulled from Renee's shack, wrapped up in a shirt, and placed gingerly on Nora's chest. Underneath the body, a pallet that would float the body out just far enough to get eaten by a raddolphin or something equally monstrous in the waters.
'I didn't know you, but you seemed nice enough. I think if you hadn't met me, you might have lasted a little longer. But this is an unforgiving world, and hesitation gets you killed. Some people learn this lesson in fire, some through experience. Sadly, you learned it in death.'
Renee kicked the pallet out softly, and watched the body float with the tides, out to the ocean green.
'I hope that, wherever you ended up, you found your husband. And your son.'
Renee turned and started walking back to her shack, checking the Pip-Boy now strapped to her arm. Nora's trail had taken her through the northern-most regions of the Commonwealth. She'd made stops at the Slog, Tenpines Bluff, and the ruins of Sanctuary Hills.
Renee knew that to truly embody someone, you needed to know them. All she knew right now was Nora was a vault dweller, had a husband named Nate, and a son named Shaun, if the holotape in the Pip-Boy's recorder was to be believed. Following Nora's trail would garner hints as to her identity, surely.
'Alright, this is a day or so's walk, to avoid all the crap on the way.' Renee liked to speak to herself sometimes. Just to hear a voice. 'If I follow this road, I can get to where I'm going, but that means going past the Slog...'
Ghouls... they weren't high on Renee's list of favourite things. Just another reminder of what the war had cost humanity. What it had cost the Enclave. If she had a squad, she'd have cleared the Slog out months ago, but as it stood right now, they were there to stay.
Up the road was Breakheart Banks, a settlement turned super mutant camp. Yet another group Renee wanted to avoid. Renee remembered how dangerous super mutants were in the Capital Wasteland, even after the Lone Wanderer had stopped their creation at Vault 87. If anything, it had made them more desperate...
'Focus, Renee!' she cried, and the crows on the road took to the skies. Renee sighed to herself, breathing heavily. It had been a while since she'd planned a journey further than Salem, so understandably, she was nervous. Then she spotted it on the map.
'Smart. If I backtrack the same path she took, I should avoid everything except the ghouls. Good eye, Renee... thank you, Renee.'
Okay, that was a little crazy there... Stop talking to yourself, Renee.
Her bag was packed, a black backpack with a good ol' US flag on the back, with enough food and meds to get her to Sanctuary. She grabbed her pistol, an old Enclave plasma model. It had seen better days, certainly, but without Enclave parts and tools to fix it, Renee had been forced to use salvage to repair her sidearm. It looked more junky than a raider pipe pistol at this point.
'Ready...'

'Screw... everything... god damn Apocalypse...'
Renee collapsed onto the ground outside a Red Rocket truck stop, groaning at the hot tarmac on her face. She had underprepared, and not expected a radstorm, a pack of dogs, a Gunner patrol, and even a god damn Deathclaw to impede her progress. She was exhausted, and all she wanted was to sleep.
She heard the patter of paws on the ground nearby, and Renee growled.
'Go away, dog. Find another person to eat.'
Instead, the dog licked her cheek, and she rolled over to see a German Shepard looking down at her. A real, honest to god, breed of dog that wasn't insane with hunger. It was friendly. It defied explanation.
'What the hell are you doing out here by yourself?'
The dog responded by licking Renee's face, making her sit up quickly. The dog walked around to get her attention again, nudging her with his nose.
'I don't have food, boy. Not for you, anyway.'
The dog whined, then barked, bounded around playfully, and ran into the Red Rocket. Renee shook her head in disbelief and pushed herself to her feet as the dog ran out with a tin of Cram in it's mouth.
'Holy... I must be hallucinating. Alright, you want some food, sure.'
Renee opened the tin of Cram, pulling the metal lid off with the ring, and put the cube of meat product on the ground. The dog chomped it happily, then barked it's thanks.
'I guess... you want to come with me?'
Another bark. This dog was either the smartest animal ever, or Renee had really lost it.
'Alright then. Come on.'

Sanctuary was the last stop before the Vault itself, to check for records. The town had held up reasonably well for a Pre-War town. Most of the houses were still standing, and only radroaches and bloatflies to deal with. The dog was digging into one of the radroaches when Renee noticed the robot.
It was an old Mister Handy, tending to the abysmal garden outside of the house. Renee slowly approached it, expecting it to be on the fritz.
'Robot. Identify.'
The robot turned and scanned Renee.
'Another vault dweller!' it decreed, obviously recognising the suit. 'Were you in the same vault as Miss Nora? 111?'
So the robot was Nora's from before the war. This was perfect. All robots had masters, and all robots could be reprogrammed.
'Robot, identify,' Renee repeated.
'Ah, yes, my apologies. I am Codsworth, pride and joy of General Atomics International.'
'Codsworth,' Renee said, ready to act. 'Shut down code, 85G-XXT-42E. Authorisation, Dickson.'
Codsworth fought the code, but it was a baseline built into every robot from General Atomics and RobCo on American soil, a code that every Enclave officer, like Renee, knew by heart in case of robotic enemies. The robot twitched and fell to the ground, but Renee caught the bot and lowered it gently, to avoid damaging it's thruster.
'Alright, boy,' Renee said to the dog, 'Let's make a new friend, yeah?'
 

Blue Vegas

Member
Messages
22
--REBOOT SUCCESSFUL--
--LOADING 'CODSWORTH' PERSONALITY--
--ERROR: 'CODSWORTH' EDITED SINCE LAST LOAD--
--CONTINUE? Y/N--
--ERROR: 'CODSWORTH' CORRUPTED. PLEASE RELOAD--

'God damn pre-war robotic c-' Renee screamed at the Pip-Boy. She'd been at this for hours, trying to 'fix Codsworth so it recognised her as Nora. The result was an aneurysm and rage as the program resisted her at every turn. The dog wasn't as fussed, finding joy in hunting bloatflies and radroaches as she worked in the once glorious Sanctuary Hills neighbourhood.
'Okay... Okay, I can't edit it. You happy, robot? I can't edit you!'
Renee kicked the Mr. Handy, then growled at the pain in her foot.
'If I can't edit your program, I'll just build a new one. It can't be that hard....'
It was. Seven days of work, cannibalising Codsworth's programs to create a new personality for her needs. She needed this bot to be evidence that who she was saying she was was correct, and it needed to have memories from before the war that Renee had none of. It needed to identify her as who Nora was, but with this new rebuilt program, why did she need the name?
Finally, Renee turned the bot on, and stood back. Codsworth floated up as his thrusted fired, and his eyes focused on Renee. She held her breath.
'Ah, Miss Renee, you've returned after all this time!'
Renee breathed out, happy this went her way for once. Unless the robot was lying. Could it lie?! Questions for later... Enjoy the victory, yes, enjoy the victory.
'Codsworth,' she said with practiced emotion. 'It's good to see you. I thought everyone was gone.'
It continued, with Renee lying about what happened to the baby, stating it had died with Nora's husband, but that the killers could be anywhere. Codsworth actually comforted Renee as crocodile tears fell from her eyes.
'Perhaps there is someone who can help, though,' Codsworth said sadly. 'To find the killers and have justice granted. There are people in Concord, mum. And they've only shot at me a couple of times.'
Renee shook her head, then bit her tongue. Going into Concord was risky, but... With the dog and Codsworth, she might make it. But the ruskbucket needed something she couldn't provide. Software manipulation was one thing, but hardware required actual grease monkey work. So for now, all she could do was one thing.
'Codsworth, we're going to Concord, but before we do... how do you feel about black?'
'I think it looks slimming, mum!'
Renee grinned.
'Good. And what about red?'
 

Blue Vegas

Member
Messages
22
With some ingenuity and luck, Renee had managed to scrounge together enough materials to make a basic black paint, enough to paint Codsworth's panels and dye her vault suit. And thanks to some unidentified berries near the river, she was even able to make a small amount of red to line her vault suit's zipper and Codsworth's eyes. Already, she was beginning to feel a connection to the Enclave once again.
'Well, I say, mum,' Codsworth said, admiring itself in a dirty mirror. 'You have surely outdone yourself! I look as menacing as a Mr. Gutsy!'
'Let's hope the raiders think so, too,' Renee said.
She took stock of weapons in case in broke out into a fight. Her plasma pistol, Codsworth's flamethrower and buzz saw, and the dog's teeth. Not exactly Alpha Squadron, but should be enough to handle the chem-addled ruffians at Concord. Renee whistled to signal the dog they were leaving, and began the short walk to Concord down the road.
'So, mum, what's the plan if they shoot at us?' Codsworth asked.
'Shoot back,' Renee said simply. 'I doubt anyone there can lead to... the killers, but who knows. We might get lucky.'
The dog barked an affirmation, again making Renee wonder if she had just gone crazy and was dying on the ground somewhere.

Arriving in Concord, Renee could hear the gunfire down the main road. Thankfully, the raiders seemed preoccupied with someone shooting at them from the museum. The sound of one of the guns, however, interested Renee. I was a laser weapon, like the ones the Brotherhood of Steel used, but it sounded different. More powerful and charged. She crept forward, with the dog following quietly and Codsworth hanging back and ready to charge, so she could get a better look.
The man on the balcony was wearing some kind of longcoat and hat, and his laser weapon had a crank on the side. Whenever he fired, he would crank the weapon either once for a weak shot, or multiple times to power the laser. A laser musket? How quaint. She needed to know if he was the mind behind the weapon, and helping him could help solidify her cover story.
With a hand signal to Codsworth, Renee stepped out of cover and fired her pistol at the nearest raider. His DNA unraveled and he liquefied into a gooey green substance on the ground. Realising they were being beset on two sides, the remaining raiders split their attention.
Renee ran forward, using the ruined cars for cover as she fired back. The dog charged with Codsworth into the fray, grabbing an unfortunate raider by the leg, who was unable to dodge as Codsworth brought his buzz saw to the raider's jugular. It was a massacre.
After the battle, Renee looked up to the man on the balcony.
'You good?!'
'No,' the man admitted. 'There are still raiders inside. I have settlers in here with me. Can you help us out some more?'
Renee hissed out of her teeth. They had fared well with the element of surprise, but the raiders inside would likely be ready for them. She thought about abandoning them to their fate, but she needed to act the part, especially with Codsworth acting as her evidence of Vault Dweller status.
'Fine,' Renee said, almost ashamed of the answer. 'I'll help you folks out.'
 
Last edited:

Blue Vegas

Member
Messages
22
Renee closed the front door quickly as a bullet hit the frame, holding it closed. There was a sentry trained on the door now, making her entrance difficult. She glanced at Codsworth and the dog, making some mental maths.
'Codsworth, you're more bullet-proof than the dog and I. I'm going to cover you, you charge in and try to take out that sentry to let us in. Once you're done, wait for us and we'll assault the rest together.'
'I fear I must point out, mum,' Codsworth responded. 'based on the trajectory of the bullet, the sentry in on level 2.'
'Alright, then what if-'
The dog barked and pushed past Renee, charging into the museum. Renee, now no longer covered, rolled into the lobby and fired at the sentry on the walkway above, following the dog. Codsworth followed, earning a few bullets as the confused raiders chose the largest target.
'Stupid fucking dog,' Renee hissed. The dog whined, lowering it's ears. 'No, you are stupid. You could have gotten me killed.'
Renee realised she was arguing with a dog that couldn't argue back. She'd been alone for a long time...
'Codsworth, once the sentry's down, guard the front door. Dog's with me.'
Codsworth agreed to the plan and Renee ran down the hall, turning into a room with pre-war recorded voices over speakers and mannequins wearing garb from the American Revolution. The beginnings of the United States of America. The country and promise she served. Renee stopped, catching the eyes of a mannequin.
'Back to England with you!'
'Have your tea back, you jackanapes!'
The Enclave, the remnants of the American government, destroyed by the treasonous followers of Maxson, and a teenage upstart from a Vault. Renee's lip curled into a snarl as she remembered the fires of Adams Air Force Base and the grueling two months of trying to repel the Lone Wanderer to no avail. John Henry Eden, dead. Colonel Augustus Autumn, dead. Truman, Jacqueline, Walt, Freda.
Xander.
Renee turned and charged into the next room, surprising the dog. She jumped onto a crate and leapt over it, firing her plasma pistol at an unsuspecting raider. He staggered, his armour taking the hit, but the second was unavoidable. Point blank to the face. A shower of boiling blood covered the room, Renee's face and chest, and the dog behind her, as she moved onwards.
Everything was red. Renee was letting out years of repressed anger, trauma and regret on these raiders. She imagined every single one of them to be a Brotherhood member. The Lone Wanderer. Anyone that had had a hand in the deaths of the Enclave.
When the last body fell, Renee trudged, adrenaline having worn off, into the room where the survivors were. She was covered in blood, none of it her own, and her gun was empty. She looked up at Preston with cold eyes, a look he was going to remember until the day he died. Her brown eyes bore into his, telling a wordless story of hatred and loss. They told him many things, but paramount was one.
"I am dangerous."
 

Blue Vegas

Member
Messages
22
"...Wow."
This was all Preston could manage to say at the sight of Renee. Blood trickled from her Vault suit and onto the floor below as she looked upon Preston darkly.
"You wanted my help. I've helped. Are we good?"
"Uh... not yet... There's still raiders to deal with in Concord. Look... I'm Preston, Commonwealth Minutemen."
Renee cocked a brow. Had she actually been hit in the head and was now imagining a minuteman in the American Revolution Museum? But the man certainly looked the part; Tricorne hat, overcoat, a musket of sorts. Had the Revolution taken place nowadays, it would be almost unmistakable. But as the haze washed away from her mind, she remembered one crucial detail. She was supposed to be a Vault Dweller... one from before the war.
"A Minuteman? Am I time traveling now?"
Preston continued with his request for help, and a plan. Preston and his associate Sturges had identified the a suit of power armour on the roof that could wipe the floor with the raiders, and a crashed vertibird with a minigun still attached. But the problem was the fusion core, long dead after centuries of rotting in the sun. After going back to the ground floor, still grumbling, she hacked the terminal and stole the F.C for the plan. When she returned, though, she was less than happy about the plan.
"Why do I have to do it?" Renee asked
"Are you kidding?" Preston exclaimed. "You rolled in here and killed every single raider without getting hit once. Our best option is to put you, the best fighter, in the power armour."
Tactically the decision was sound, but Renee already felt she had been here for far too long. She didn't even have training in power armour! The plan had holes, but Preston was correct that Renee was their best option.
"Fine, then you cover me from the balcony. I'll go get ready."
Renee began walking, but she felt the eyes of another upon her. An old woman, dressed in clothes reminiscent of an old Romani from before the war. Her eyes were cold, judging.
"What?" Renee barked.
The old woman didn't look away. "What you have done can never be forgotten or forgiven."
Renee was taken aback. How did this old bat know? She quickly walked out of the room and towards the Vertibird. Once she jumped back into the street, Codsworth and the dog would flank her from the door, and Preston would provide cover from the balcony.
Renee walked onto the roof and breathed out a nostalgic sigh at the sight of the power armour, but walked to the back, pulling out the drained F.C., and pushing the half-full one from the museum power supply. Renee had seen Xander do this before, so she moved her legs into the legs of the armour, then her arms, then her head. The armour closed around her, and locked. Her electronic HUD activated, and she ran forward, wrenching the minigun off it's mount and leaping off the roof.
Almost like a real Enclave soldier.
Renee landed, shaking the street from the impact, sending shards of road into the air. She stood tall, minigun ready, and opened fire on the approaching raiders. The raiders were being fired upon from above by Preston, and by Renee on the ground. Codsworth bashed the door to the museum opened and the dog tore out, lunging at another raider and bringing him to the ground, while Codsworth soared forward and cooked another raider with his flamethrower.
It was over almost as quickly as it had begun. The barrel of the minigun slowed, and Renee breathed in deeply. She'd done it, and scored some power armour out of it, when she heard a metallic thud from just in front of the plutonium municipal well. Debris was moving, and a brown, clawed hand burst out with a terrifying roar. The dog growled, backing off, and Renee sighed, raising her minigun.
"Alright then. Come get it, monster."
The deathclaw burst out of the ground and began to bound at Renee with alarming speed. She spun the barrel of her minigun and fired, emptying the entire bow into the deathclaw, but it didn't slow. If anything, it just seemed more pissed off! Renee did not have time to reload, and thus had no more guns. She threw the minigun at the deathclaw with all the force she could muster, than charged at the abomination, using her armour to shoulder it into the wall.
"CODSWORTH!" Renee screamed as she heard the claws on her back.
Codsworth flew forward and blasted a torrent of flames at the deathclaw, making Renee sweat in the armour, then the robot used it's buzzsaw on the beast's head. The deathclaw grabbed Codsworth with one of it's elongated hands and flung him into a nearby car. Renee used all of her strength to lift the distracted deathclaw up and slam it into the ground. She had no options except her fists, so she punched it in the face. It stopped roaring, seeming more surprised than angry at this attacked, then threw Renee off of it's body. She went through a brick wall, rolled onto the wooden floor, and hit the opposite wall. The armour had taken most of the impact, but her HUD alerted her that it was on it's last legs. She had another plan, but it was one in a million.
She stood and ran at the deathclaw again, and she opened up her commands menu in the HUD. She accepted the request, and the armour opened. She removed her limbs and head, then kicked out of the armour with the deathclaw crumpling the armour as a loud, piercing whine sounded. Renee dived into the destroyed building and the suit detonated, using the fusion core as a catalyst. The deathclaw was shredded by the explosion, large gibs landing all over the street and raining Concord with a brief shower of gore.
Renee peered out of her hidey hole, then walked onto the street. She did it? She took down a deathclaw? Renee started laughing to herself, unable to truly believe what she had done. She felt giddy. Unstoppable. She looked at the museum balcony and actually gave Preston a thumbs up, who returned the gesture with dumbfoundedness.
But what felt best was that she had saved them. That couldn't be right...
 

Blue Vegas

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Renee coughed out from the smoke as she walked back towards the musuem. Codsworth hovered, his thruster sparking, behind her, and the dog walked after her slowly.
"Oh, look who decided to show up," Renee grumbled. The dog whined, but really, what did Renee think the dog could do against a deathclaw? She sighed, and knelt down, scratching behind it's ear.
"Dumb mutt..."
The dog barked happily, and Renee entered the museum to the shocked expressions of Preston and the settlers.
"That was-"
Renee raised her hand. "Look, it's fine. Don't make a big deal out of it."
"Don't make a big deal?" Preston exclaimed. "You just... killed every raider out there, and a deathclaw! How can I not make a big deal out of this? You saved these people."
"I'll do it again by avoiding you."
The old woman agreed, waving mockingly to Renee. But Preston walked forward, a small bag in his hand.
"You didn't have to help us, but you did. So take this, with thanks from everyone here. If you want some more, we could us help getting the rest of the way."
Renee took the bag, and jingled it slightly before tying it to her belt. "I don't think so. I have to go back home and plan my next move. There was nothing here in Concord."
Renee turned and the old woman stood.
"I think Sanctuary might not be the place for us."
Preston looked surprised at this outburst, but someone else spoke up. A frazzled looking woman in a flannel shirt. She stood up angrily, shouting at the old woman for guiding them all the way out here only to second-guess herself. Renee stopped at the mention of The Sight, though. She didn't know how it worked, but that was how she knew. Renee wasn't from the Vault.She was from the Enclave.
"-and instead of staying in Diamond City, we followed the direction of an old bat stoned out of her gourd!"
"Marcy, please, just-"
"-NO! If Sanctuary isn't safe, then why the hell are we going there!?"
Renee stopped with her hand on the handle. If they went to Sanctuary, it would help with her disguise somewhat. A place building up around the former home of the Vault dweller. All she had there was her bedroom built into the sturdiest house, and the workshop she had set up to hack Codsworth. Nothing incriminating, and Nora's body was likely already raddolphin chum at this point.
"I live in Sanctuary," Renee spoke and the room went quiet. "It's a large place. So long as I get to keep my house, you can all do whatever you want there."
"We can do that," Preston said. The old woman, Mama Murphy, was about to complain, but the frazzled woman, Marcy, growled at her and her defiance died in her throat. The mechanic, Sturges, gave Renee a thumbs up, and the man who stared into space, Jun, was shaken to reality by Marcy.
"I'll help you get to Sanctuary and I'll even help get the place settled. But after that, all I am is a resident." Renee said, opening the door to Concord.
"That's all we need," Sturges said. "Lead on, boss."
Renee sighed. Part of her regretted this already, but she needed more to disguise herself with. She walked outside, and whistled low so Codsworth and the dog followed her. The settlers followed behind quickly, with Preston and Mama Murphy bringing up the rear.
"Preston... her heart is dark, black like oil. We don't want to be near her."
"I need more than that, Mama Murphy. She helped us and she didn't have to."
"It serves her purposes. Don't be fooled by the suit and the web she spins. Inside, she's a spider and she will cast us aside as soon as it serves her. I just... I need more to see."
"No," Preston shook his head. "The Sight has helped us get this far, but that junk is going to kill you. I believe that something's wrong, because you haven't led us astray yet, but I can't kick this woman out of her home. She got there first."
Mama Murphy looked ahead of the group at Renee, holding her pistol ready as they walked up the hill to Sanctuary.
"I'll find something, Preston. Then will you act?"
"I promise."
 

Blue Vegas

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"Here you all are. Sanctuary. I guess just pick a house and set up."
Renee gestured around her to the empty houses not collapsed under their own weight, and walked towards the house she had claimed. As soon as she opened the door she'd put up, Mama Murphy cleared her throat behind her.
"That house ain't yours, kid."
Renee sighed, then for the others present, she turned and gave the house Codsworth had been looking after a mournful look.
"I know, but I just can't stay in there. It feels like a tomb to my old life..."
Mama Murphy looked like she was going to say something else, but Sturges shook his head when Renee walked inside. All Renee had to do was keep the charade up around the others, and be careful around Murphy. Infiltration wasn't something she trained in, but Renee did know a few things thanks to Xander.
Renee heard a knock on the door as she sat down, and she grumbled.
"What?!"
"Hey, it's Sturges. I got a favour I wanna ask."
"It's unlocked."
Sturges walked in slowly, closing the door behind him before leaning against it.
"You said you were willing to help us set up?"
Renee nodded, though part of her was regretting those words already.
"Well, we need beds. And water. Food too. Defenses also wouldn't hurt."
"Do I look like a fucking carpenter or farmer to you?"
"I don't know WHAT you look like. Mama Murphy has it out for you, for whatever reason. I don't know if you kicked puppies, slept with Mama Murphy's brother, or you're secretly a Super Mutant, but whatever it is, if you're gonna stay here, then you need to contribute or opinion of you is gonna turn right quick."
Renee cocked a brow, before Sturges rose his hands apologetically.
"Look... I get you don't wanna talk about yourself, fine. But helping out would be a good way to show people you're alright."
"Ugh, fine!" Renee said, standing up and kicking her chair back so hard it fell over. "You want me to help? I'll fucking help. I'll give you the best goddamn place to live you've ever had."
Renee pushed Sturges out of the way and wrenched open her door, whistling at Codsworth.
"Go find me some lumber. I'm going to tear some shit apart and make some bedding out of it. You!"
Renee pointed at Jun, who almost jumped out of his skin.
"Y-yes?"
"I'm going to write down a list for you. Bring me everything on the list. Everything, and I'll build you a goddamn water purifier. You!"
Renee pointed to Marcy, who narrowed her eyes.
"Don't think you can-"
"Shut up or get slapped. We need crops planted, which means we need seeds. There's a farm to the southwest, maybe an hour away. They grow tatos and melons, and maybe razorgrain. Go see if you can buy some seeds from them. Here."
Renee tossed Marcy the bag of caps Preston had given her, then pointed at Preston.
"Same deal with Jun, I'm going to give you a list, you're going to find it and bring it to me, then you'll have a power generator. Power generator means some defenses and lights. Any questions?"
No one said anything. Renee walked over to her workstation, grabbed a pencil, and began writing down a list for Jun, all the while muttering to herself.
"What should I do?" Sturges asked, looking over Renee's shoulder at her writing.
"If Preston doesn't want to go, you can take over the power job so the Minuteman can do his precious patrolling. As for the junkie, she can help Marcy."
Renee held out the paper for Jun, and it was taken carefully. He read the list quietly, but it was still audible to the others.
"Where do I get screws?"
Renee stopped, breathing in slowly. Surely there was a place they could go to- No, there wasn't. This place was miles from any major shopping area. If there was a trader up here, Renee hadn't met them yet. They would need to improvise.
"If you can't buy them, scavenge them. Screws can be in lots of things. Globes, handcuffs, typewriters, desk fans. Hell, find a Giddyup Buttercup and that'll cover most of what I need. Same thing for everything on that list. Can't find oil, think about what has or uses oil. Lighters, old gas cans, Mr. Handy fuel. If you find soap, I can even melt that into a usable oil. Just have to think about it."
"Oh," Jun said, looking at the list. "Like... rubber... we could use the tires here."
"Now you got it," Renee said, not even looking at him. Jun walked away, thinking about how to get everything on the list when Renee handed Sturges Preston's list. "Same thing for you, too."
"Oh, don't you worry, I'm a little more scav-minded than Jun there."
Sturges ran after Jun, leaving Preston to guard Sanctuary with the dog. Marcy and Mama Murphy both left for Abernathy Farm, and Codsworth was doing his best to cut down a nearby tree with his buzzsaw.
"You've got this, Renee," she said to herself, drawing up the plans for the water purifier. "You're from before the bombs, it makes sense for you to be this smart..."

9 Days Later
"Alright now, we've got it."
Renee, Jun, Sturges and Marcy all heaved and the final piece was set. A radio beacon designed to welcome all others to Sanctuary. Renee had been initially against this idea, but over the last few days, she'd felt better about her life for the first time in a long time, even if it wasn't hers she was living now. Building things like a power generator, a water purifier and turrets made her feel like she was back at home in Raven Rock again. Then she'd look around her, and instead of seeing the judgmental and snooty faces of her Enclave fellows, she saw people genuinely thankful for what she had done. True, Mama Murphy still thought she was the devil, but screw that old bat.
"Now all we have to do is turn it on," Jun said. He'd gotten a little better since arriving to Sanctuary. Like a distracted happiness, grateful to not be lost in his thoughts.
"I reckon you should do it." Sturges said, patting Renee on the back. She was about to protest when Marcy glared at her. Renee's mind went to the large and violent argument Marcy and Renee had had over where to plant the crops, which resulted in Preston and Jun pulling them both apart, but they'd gotten past that. Renee thought so, anyway.
"Just do it," Marcy said, a little annoyed. Renee shrugged and flipped the switch to on. There was a crackle of electricity, then a hum as the beacon activated. Renee's Pip-Boy registered the radio signal. It was all done. Sanctuary was officially a new place to live in the Commonwealth.
"What should we do to celebrate?" Sturges asked.
"Relax," Renee said, breathing out in relief that finally she could have a break. No more welding or building, no more designing or directing. She just needed a day. No one argued with her when she trudged back to her home, pushed the door open, and sank into her armchair, closing her eyes for what seemed like a brief moment.
"Renee!?" came a voice from outside. Renee groaned, and slowly got back up. She opened the door.
"Someone better be dying."
Sturges was standing with a stranger. He had a Pip-Boy as well, and immediately Renee thought the game was up, that he was looking for Nora. But he had no Vault Suit. He was wearing clothes a well-traveled wastelander would wear. He smiled when he saw Renee's eyes flick to his Pip-Boy.
"Well, hello. I reckon you're the girl I've been looking for."
 

Blue Vegas

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Renee was instantly on edge at the stranger's words.
"Oh...?" she said.
"Yeah, you're the one starting a settlement, right?" the stranger asked. Renee rolled her eyes and breathed out.
"Yes. Yes, but I'm not in charge. Sturges is in charge. I just live here."
"That right?" the stranger said. "That Sturges fella said you were in charge."
Oh god dammit.
"Fine, whatever, I'm in charge, what do you want? You want to live here? Just pick a damn house."
The stranger shook his head with a smile. "Na, I'm here to help out. Here, catch."
The stranger tossed Renee a bright red piece of tech, and she caught it with both hands. When she look down, she could make out a radio speaker, antenna, an electronic menu. She turned it over and saw the RobCo logo. Something about it was familiar... Something the Enclave has experimented with in the past.
Of course, it was an ASAM, though she couldn't remember what that stood for. The Enclave studied them briefly to help build up areas in America, but quickly found their scarcity would make the task almost impossible, and without the schematics they couldn't make more. Renee remembered a reverse-engineering process had been attempted, but the damn thing just fell apart into scrap.
Did this man have more?
"It's called-"
"ASAM, sensor technology developed by RobCo. I know what it is."
The stranger looked surprised, so Renee continued.
"It's a long story, but I learned about these a long time ago. Yes, they could help us out, but one isn't going to do anything but build a shack for one person."
The stranger grinned. "Well, I am glad I don't gotta explain it all again, and I do have more, but I need a favour first."
"That's the way the world works," Renee said, putting the ASAM down on the workbench.
"I have a workshop in Concord-"
"If this is about the raiders that were there, I kicked their ass two weeks ago. Did they come back, or have you just not gone back?"
The stranger was now marveled by Renee. She knew what ASAMs were, she'd taken out the raiders and she was building a settlement. How had the Commonwealth developed someone like this?
"Come on, wuss," Renee said, grabbing her gun and whistling sharply. "Codsworth, Dogmeat, we're going to Concord with this guy."
Renee walked down the road, quickly flanked by a dog and a Mister Handy. The stranger followed behind quietly for the twenty minute walk to Concord.

When they arrived, there were no more raiders, only the rotted sun-bleached corpses of the raiders and the deathclaw, being feasted on by the crows. Renee stopped in the middle of the town.
"Well, looks like you just didn't check. I still want to get paid for this." Renee said as the stranger hurried over to the hardware store. Renee stood in the doorway after him, watching him check over the equipment.
"They didn't break too much. I can pay you with these, though."
The stranger picked up a box from under the desk, and handed it to Renee. She put the box onto Codsworth with a harness, then turned to the stranger.
"Alright, good business." Renee said.
"Yeah. It's never gone over this quick. Though I gotta ask, if you got time... how do you know about this stuff?"
"I'm from Vault 111, I was frozen before the bombs fell, but before then I was a scientist. I knew about ASAMs in passing, but I never worked on them."
"Wow... That's a hell of a story." the stranger said, but the suit she was wearing did indeed grant some evidence to her claims. "Alright, come on back if you wanna get more."
Renee turned and walked back to Sanctuary, but she was thinking the entire time. If this guy wasn't after her, good, but if he was, he was very good at throwing her off. When she returned to Sanctuary, she'd have to study the ASAM after planting enough for the others to have homes and better farms and jobs. As she walked, she studied the electronic menu and got three plot types. Residential, Agricultural and Industrial. She furrowed her brow, remembering there was supposed to be a few more. No shops or government buildings? Or had she imagined that in the report she'd seen?

9 days later

Thanks to Sturges and Jun, there six new houses for the people of Sanctuary, two farms and four places to work. Marcy and Jun both worked the farms, and Renee was silently finding it hilarious that Mama Murphy had to work with her and Sturges. On this day, Renee turned and pointed her gun at someone creeping up on her.
"Whoa, now, don't shoot, I mean no harm" the old man said, holding his hands up.
"Sneaking up on me like that nearly got you killed!"
After the bad first impression, Renee and the old man, who called himself Paul, discussed the settlement and it's sudden growth. Renee eventually invited him to live there, and soon after, more people began to arrive. Sanctuary was now living by it's name, but soon it would need more. Renee was running out of materials to build turrets, and Preston was the only trained guard in the place. They needed more... So Renee, an hour after sunrise, set off for Concord alone, to find the stranger again and ask him a question.
 
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