Fallout RP- Systematic Annihilation

Discussion in 'Roleplaying Board' started by Trag, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. Trag

    Trag First time out of the vault

    Aug 8, 2005
    Alright, I am fresh out of an Immortals RP(Highlander type of immortals) that went on for a little over a year and we got some great detailed story and character development.
    I took a look at the other RP's around here and they didn't seem to pique my interest, or people just hadn't updated for a long while. I want to make an RP that is all about character development and story progression, not statistics.

    If you are interested anyone can join by simply creating a character, the character creation template is below. The following is the story so far...

    30 years have passed since the Chosen one's perilous journey came to an end. The destruction of the Enclave did not completely end their tyranny, over the years they had become a whisper, a dark rumor on the tongues of the wasteland inhabitants.
    In the past months a plague has swept the wasteland, this sickness called 'Redemption' born from the Enclave's hatred and need for revenge has slowly found its way into the cities of the remnants of humanity. 'Redemption' while not lethal changes a normal human into a crazed psycho, wanting nothing but to hurt those around them, for no other reason other than to kill. The people began looking for an answer, some kind of cure, but it would not come, the Enclave was still unfound.
    The remaining members of the Brotherhood of steel set out to find the Enclave and are still doing so, they have had no luck and their members have been slowly dwindling down from constant attacks from infected people on their patrols and searches through small towns and cities that have become all but overrun by infected civilians.
    Hope is quickly diminishing, and the elusive Enclave is coming ever closer to completing their revenge!

    Thats the story, the cities are the same as in Fallout and Fallout 2, there have been many new towns and villages that have been built in the 30 years that have passed leaving room for the imagination of the writers in this RP. The following is my character, and the character creation template.

    Character name- Jack Graves
    Age- 30
    Place of Birth- New Reno

    Features- Jack is a man of average height and build, he has short black hair and a large scar that crosses his throat ear to ear.

    Attitude- Jack is a cold man, he has little interest in things that are trivial, one of these things are friends. He has no personal relationships other than business.

    Backround- Jack was born in New Reno and had a hard time growing up. He made his way as a hired gun and then made the jump to hitman. He was once made by the Mordino family and worked for them for almost 10 years, until just a month ago when he murdered the former leader of the Mordino family- 'Lil Jesus' Mordino. His reasons for killing his longtime employer are unknown and he has since been on the run from Mordino's loyal supporters.

    Alright thats about it for now, I will get the first post up tomorrow and hopefully the story will get going, I hope that others out there will want to join in on this much darker time in Fallout's future.
  2. Trag

    Trag First time out of the vault

    Aug 8, 2005
    The first post...

    The wind whistled through the barren, scorched lands like an injured wolf's agonizing howl. The canyon before the two men in mark II metal armor howled loudly and its foreboding cliffs and long dead trees seemed to want to muster them away with its timid visuals.

    "What the hell would make him go in there?" The man on the right asked the other.

    "How the hell would I know Wedge, but he's in there. There is no doubt about that." The taller man replied.

    "Biggs...I don't want to go in there." Wedge replied, a look of childlike nervousness was etched upon his face.

    Biggs rolled his eyes and turned to his fearful companion, " We are going in there because its our job! We chase him, he runs from us, thats the name of the game. You do want to get paid don't you?" Biggs asked.

    Wedge scratched his head and seemed to be mulling over his choices, " Well, of course I want to get paid. But I just don't want to go in there."

    Biggs quickly smacked Wedge across the face, " What do you think that Mordino will do if she finds out that we found him, we had the chance to get him in this canyon but we couldn't do that because you didn't want to go in?"

    Wedge paused for a moment and made a gesture like he was slitting his own throat.

    "Exactly, so lets get in there you moron! It's get paid or die, I think that I would rather get paid!" Biggs griped.

    The two well equipped men began walking into the canyon, each brandishing a combat shotgun and a few fragmentation grenades. Biggs had two plasma pistols holstered on his hips. The wind howled through the ancient cliffs sending shivers up the hitmens' spines, the metal armor not exactly built to keep its wearer warm from the elements.
    The two alert men jumped when they heard some rocks in the distance collapse off of one of the cliffsides. They quickly ran to the source and carefully scanned the area for any human presence.

    "You see anything?" Wedge asked.

    "Trust me, if I saw anything you would know about it!" An aggravated Biggs answered.

    Around them were the charred remains of trees that were scorched so hot from radiation that the inside of the tree had been hardened into a cement-like state.
    Wedge turned to his left and saw something hanging from one of the tree's branches with a note attached to it. He slowly walked over to the round object and pulled it off the tree, and then opening the note that had been attached to the object with what looked to be a piece of string.

    "What the hell?" Wedge said to no one in particular. He showed it to Biggs who was just behind him looking at the uppermost areas of the canyon.

    "Oh shit!! Throw it!!" Biggs urged quickly jumping away from Wedge after reading the large bold letters that read 'BOOM' on the note.

    Wedge threw the plasma grenade but not soon enough, the explosion engulfed one half of his face and knocked him unconscious to the ground.

    Almost immediately Jack exploded from underneath the sand and ash next to a tree within safe distance of the explosion. Biggs, now collecting himself from the blast quickly aimed his shotgun in Jack's direction and unloaded.
    Jack dove to his left and began returning fire with his 10mm SMG. Biggs rolled across the ground, bullets crashing into the wasteland floor around him. The metal clad hitman stood up and dropped his shotgun, he unholstered his two plasma pistols and began firing rapidly at his target.
    Jack ran behind a small hill and layed down flat taking cover. The former hitman waiting until his hunter's weapons went dry. And they did.
    Jack quickly stood up and set his gun to burst mode and unloaded a full clip into Biggs' chest. The taller hitman fell backwards on the ground, no motion continued.

    "Should have stayed away Biggs." Jack said under his breath. The marked man turned north toward the now walled up city of Redding and began the 3 day trek to his destination.
  3. Trag

    Trag First time out of the vault

    Aug 8, 2005
    Arrival at Redding

    The city of Redding had been the subject of many attacks from infected wanderers of the wastes, so much so that the inhabitants of Redding constructed a forty-five foot wall around the city in order to protect its citizens and limit the spread of infection. Redding city was now working hand in hand with Vault city to try and find a cure for 'Redemption'. Vault city had undergone changes and radical reform since the death of First Citizen Lynnette eight years earlier.
    With a new First Citizen, who happens to be the ghoul Harold himself, racism has been all but obliterated, Gecko and Vault city in the past thirty years united under one banner and have become a much more benefit to society as a whole.
    The search for a cure has still not turned up any helpful breakthroughs minus one. A doctor who once traveled with the Chosen One thirty years ago named Myron, who lives in Vault city now and is lead scientist in the search for a cure, has created a serum that when injected can postpone the effects of the 'Redemption' virus. The only problem is that the serum is very expensive to synthesize, most people can't even afford one dose which only seems to stave off the effects for a matter of days.

    The three guards standing outside the large steel gate leading into the city of Redding observed the dark figure moving closer on the horizon. Within a few minutes the figure was in sight, a man walking steadily in the heat of the wasteland. His black leather trenchcoat scraping the ground behind him, the barren winds blew hard but were no relief from the heat.
    As Jack approached the gate the three guards took up arms, two holding miniguns and one producing a Winchester rifle. Jack stopped in his tracks.

    "State your business!" The guard holding the rifle ordered.

    Jack paused a second and then responded, " Just passing through."

    One of the guards caught the sight of injection tracks in Jack's jugular, " Your infected! Get the fu-"

    "I have a healthy supply of the serum, about a month's worth. I just need to resupply before heading to Vault city." Jack replied.

    "Your heading to Vault city? What for?"

    "None of your damn business!!" Jack snapped.

    The guards seemed to jump back and nervously ready themselves for action. There was a long pause.

    "I just need to resupply, I'll be out of here by nightfall." Jack reassured the seemingly trigger happy defenders of the gate.

    The guard holding the rifle lowered his gun, " Ah shit, let him through. Just remember, we'll be watching you."


    One of the minigun guards walked over to a small com box on the wall next to the gate and ordered that the gates be open. Within a few seconds the large heavy steel doors squeaked and grinded open with such a loud sound, even the guards that had heard it so many times before winced.
    Jack continued his walk into Redding city.
    The city was bustling with activity, so many years ago this city was a small mining community, but now Redding was a large industrial city, rivaling the size of Vault city. Redding was still heavily a mining community though, the city's power was run on fusion and coal. Most of the people living in the city either worked as a miner, a guard, or a worker in one of the many reactors that generate the city's power.
    Jack's reason in town was exactly as he stated to the outer guards, he needed more water, some food, and of course more ammo for the long trip to Vault city. He thought, if he could get this information that he stole from Mordino's vault to the city, then maybe he could be cured. The plague was coursing through him, he could feel it, a warm sickly sensation that made him feel as if he wanted to vomit. He was barely able to pay for his last few doses, and he was running low. He lied to the guards, he didn't have a month's worth, he barely had enough to make the seven day trip to Vault city. He had to hurry and buy what he had to buy here before his window of opportunity escaped him.
  4. Trag

    Trag First time out of the vault

    Aug 8, 2005
    On the road to Vault City...

    Jack had been walking for about four and a half days and was tracking his trip on his pip boy, which was in surprisingly good condition. He salvaged it from a Brotherhood of Steel base that had been attacked by infected humans. The pip boy had a wide variety of patrol maps, details on surrounding environment and locals. Even what kinds of mutated creatures had been seen in the area. This piece of technology had become very useful in Jack's travels, and more often than not saved him from otherwise unpredictable entanglements.
    The sun was going down over the horizon, the skies were lit up like they were a blaze. The ex-hitman knelt down on one knee and pulled out his cantine, he wet down his parched throat and looked on at the horizon.
    Just in that moment Jack spied what looked like a caravan that happened to be in his path. He wondered if they were from Vault City? Possibly, Gecko? Or maybe they were delivering supplies from Redding City and were on their way back. Whatever the case, Jack could always use a bit more water, and he had money to pay for it as well.
    The leather clad wanderer began in the direction of the caravan, as he got closer he could see a couple of guards in metal armor, and a few men dressed in the usual bland clothing that is found on many wasteland inhabitants.

    "What you want?" One of the men asked as Jack approached.

    "Just wondering if you had any water for sale, are you coming from Vault City?" Jack replied.

    "Yeah, we got some water. We just delivered a shipment of FEV in containment barrels to Vault City." The man answered.

    "What the hell are they messing around with that stuff for?" Jack asked puzzled. Why anyone would want anything to do with that ghastly stuff completely eluded him.

    "Them scientists are doing some tests on it, said that it may hold the key to 'Redemption' or something like that." The man responded.

    Jack paused for a moment and pointed at the wagons, "You don't have anymore of that shit with you? Do you?"

    "Hell no, I was happy to see them scientists take that stuff off my wagons, no good can come outta' that shit."

    Jack felt a bit relieved until he spotted several men carrying weapons approaching from behind the caravan, guns aiming right for Jack and the members of the caravan.
  5. Trag

    Trag First time out of the vault

    Aug 8, 2005
    The story continues...

    (Hello everyone, my internet has been down for some time and is the reason why I haven't been able to continue the story. I will post regularly from now on.)

    Jack stepped back from the merchant and rested his hand on his gun.
    The men quickly gained everyone's attention by firing off several shots, each shot penetrating the armor of two of the caravan guards.

    "Look what we got here!" One of the men howled, he wore what looked like a makeshift coat of bramin hide and dirty torn clothing. It was obvious he had not been out of the wasteland for a long time. The others were dressed in similar garb, except one of them who was wearing a battered suit of combat armor; more than likely stolen from some poor fool they had ambushed .

    "So boys, what'cha haulin'?" The man said pointing his shotgun at one of the guards.

    The caravan master quickly answered, " Nothing, we already unloaded in VC. You can look if you want, we won't stop you."

    The dirty thief sneered, " No shit you won't stop me, I do what I want out here." With that the man ran over and hopped onto the back of one of the wagons, he set his shotgun on the wagon tarp and drew back the tarp.

    The wagon was filled with food, ammunition and water. With an angry look on his face the man looked up and began to say, " You lying sonofa-" the loud sound of a gunshot cut him off and split his head open, his body fell lifelessly to the ground.

    Jack quickly fired off two more shots, one fatally wounding a bandit and the other embedding itself into the other bandit's combat armor, leaving him unscathed.
    His action gave the caravan employees to take cover behind the wagons. Jack and the caravan master took cover together at the front of the caravan.

    "Thanks for the quick moves friend, I'm Artie, Artie Scott and if we get outta' this I'll give you all the water you can carry for free! Those other few guys won't be a problem, but that one in the armor might be difficult." The caravan master exclaimed.

    Jack smiled, " Don't worry yourself, I have plans for him."

    Jack checked his clip and his grenades, and readied himself for the violent shootout that he started.
  6. Mr. Handy

    Mr. Handy Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 5, 2006
    New character

    I'd like to join in. I have an idea for how I can introduce my character at this point in the story. I'd like to write the next segment, but might not have time for a few more days. Here's my character:

    Character Name - Eldon Storch
    Race - Ghoul
    Age - 220 or so (he's lost count and doesn't remember)
    Place of Birth - Bakersfield/Necropolis

    Features - Eldon is a somewhat short green ghoul, about 5' 4". Like all ghouls, his skin has all been burned off and he looks rather gruesome. He does not glow.

    Attitude - Eldon has lost so much over his long lifetime that he takes life in stride and shrugs off further losses, knowing that he can always start again since he has done so many times. He values solitude and wants only to be left in peace and tinker with high-tech devices, though he does sometimes get lonely and misses the company of others. He wishes there were someplace where he could fit in and be valued.

    Background - Born in Bakersfield, California in the 2050's, Eldon excelled in technical areas from a very early age, building his first robot when he was only 5. He graduated early from high school and immediately sought to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces to defend his country from the Chinese aggressors. The military brass, however, decided that his skills were too valuable to risk sending him into combat and so sent him to work at a military R&D facility in the Bakersfield area, where he worked on several vital projects and was part of the team that designed the first Power Armor.

    On October 23, 2077, the War broke out and, like many others, Eldon took shelter in Vault 12 beneath Bakersfield. The door, however, did not fully seal and Eldon was one of those transformed into what would later become known as a ghoul. When the people emerged from the Vault and founded the city of Necropolis in the ruins of Bakersfield, Eldon became the chief technician.

    In the early 2160's, the first Super Mutants arrived in Necropolis. Eldon recognized that trouble was in the offing, packed up his things, and set off to the north, thus missing the Vault Dweller's arrival in search of the water chip and the Master's brutal retribution against the ghouls.

    Eldon wandered for a long time looking for a place where he could be accepted, finally settling in Gecko. However, he was plagued by a series of mishaps that culminated in his exile and he resumed his life as a vagabond. He lived in various settlements throughout the wastes, but always one disaster or another caused him to pull up stakes and leave.

    After leaving Broken Hills in early 2241, Eldon finally decided he had had enough with civilization and would live the life of a hermit. He built a small house on a secluded plateau in the wilderness, not far from the main caravan trail between Redding and Vault City so he could trade when needed, and worked privately on various gadgets, using whatever odds and ends he could scrounge or trade for. There he has lived in peace and quiet for the last 30 years or so, having little contact with the outside world.
  7. Stompie

    Stompie Mildly Dipped

    Apr 2, 2006
    I too, would like to play - I loved fallout 2- so - sounds good- my chera is currently an inhabitant of Broken hills- (Who woulda' guessed) :!: :!:


    Name Gabriel "Stompie" Ruddiker

    Race Super Mutant

    Age 103 years

    Build Roughly 9 ft, Skin color, chartreuse, Eye color, Brown, weight, 502lbs,

    Weapon (s) 4.5 caseless Vindicator Minigun, SunBeam Lazer Rifle- and a length of steel pipe.

    Equipment an unlabeled holodisk, a hand radio, a small piece of paper, with door access codes, and an old post card- from his home town (The Bone yard, AKA Los Angeles)

    Hand to Hand / melee Style - Modified Koga/ Street fighting

    Bio - gabriel "Stompie" Ruddiker, Was born in the Bone yard, or - what was once known as Los Angeles. He was the youngest, among 7 sisters, and 10 brothers. His Father, a local farmer, a caravan driver, had known and taught Gabe in the ways of combat. Compelled, he joined a local watch-dog groupie- at the age of 15. he then, was taught basic combat skills, though- he illaberated on these, with various books, that he had found, in the local hang out for a group known as the blades, whom had held up in a library, which they retrofitted into a bar of sortes. he, had taught him self too read at the age of 13, against his fathers will, calling reading a waste of time. By the age of 20, he had honed his body and mind, to a fine point. He decided too work as an escort for his father, on a caravan drive, too the hub- but they were ambushed by super mutants. He faught valliantly, but was knocked out, by the commander. he- was then taken to a large super-mutant controlled complex. He woke up in a small cell - seperated from the mutants by a force wall - he was then processed. after a brief speach from the super-mutant commander, he realized that there was no hope- and went willingly to the vats. He was dipped in an un-identified ooze - which - had twisted his body - his muscles, his bones, his form - he awoke in a white room - too see that he was a freak- a super-mutant... Three months later- after further prosessing- he found it easy too resist- the constant leminal bantering... Further story shall be revieled
  8. Trag

    Trag First time out of the vault

    Aug 8, 2005
    And they're off...

    (Thanks for joining guys, with your help we can get this story progressing in some interesting directions. Mr. Handy you said that you wanted to write out the next event, perfect timing. Jack and the caravan members are at a stand off with the thieves and are pretty much just exchanging gunfire back and forth. They all have sufficient cover at the moment from each other.)
  9. Mr. Handy

    Mr. Handy Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 5, 2006
    A Very Big Explosion

    Jack leaned around the edge of the wagon, squeezed off a shot, and ducked back as the bandits returned fire. He couldn't afford to keep trading shots with them, or he would run out of ammo. What he needed was a distraction - and here one came. A narrow trail behind the bandits led up to a plateau with a small cabin on it, and a greenish, elderly ghoul was shambling down it. He had a laser pistol on his belt and was carrying a bottle of some kind.

    "Keep it down!" he shouted. "I'm trying to concentrate!" When the bandits ignored him and continued shooting, he flicked a lighter and ignited a rag sticking out of the bottle. Then he hurled the bottle at one of them. It smashed on his back, sending flaming oil flying.

    "Aaaaaaaugh!" screamed the man who had been hit by the Molotov cocktail. His clothes aflame, he panicked and ran smack into another bandit, scorching him. Then he collapsed, his screams fading to moans, and then silence.

    This got the two remaining bandits' attention. The ghoul ducked behind a large rock on the trail and drew his laser pistol as they turned to face the new threat. Jack, who already had a plasma grenade in his hand, lobbed it right at the feet of the armored robber. The man in combat armor, spurred by instinct or perhaps the grenade striking his ankle, jumped away a moment before it detonated. Even so, he was wounded by the blast. The other bandit was not so lucky. He was fairly close to the blast, was already injured, and had no armor to protect him. Unlike his charred partner in crime, his death was instantaneous.

    The last robber, seeing that the tide had turned and wanting to survive, made a break for the trail. Jack whipped out his plasma pistols and fired at his retreating back, blowing a couple of chunks out of the ground just behind him. The ghoul fired his laser pistol as the bandit bore down on his position. The blast hit him in the chest, but he just grunted and kept coming. He tackled the ghoul, knocking the laser out of his hand, and put the barrel of his 14mm pistol to his head.

    The ghoul, Eldon Storch, closed his eyes. After his long life, after surviving the War that had obliterated most of the world's population and the deadly, chaotic aftermath, this was how he was to die. Just as he accepted his fate, the man snarled "Get up! Get up, you idjit!"

    Eldon blinked, then hauled himself upright. The bandit stood behind him, wrapped his left arm about his waist, and kept the gun at his head as he walked backwards up the trail, glancing back every couple of seconds. "Don't nobody follow me, or the freak gets it!" he shouted.

    Jack hesitated. Any shots he took at this range were just as likely to hit the ghoul as his captor, and far more likely to harm him. Even if he hit, if he didn't kill the bandit in one shot, an unlikely proposition at best, he could kill his hostage. All he could do was watch as the two of them backed up the trail and went inside the cabin.

    "Siddown," growled the bandit, pointing at a chair and shoving Eldon. Eldon dropped into the chair as the bandit peeked out the front window and back at him. "So this is your place, huh? Whatcha got here?"

    "Probably nothing you'd be interested in, sonny," said Eldon. "Just a bunch of old junk I like to tinker with."

    "It must be worth something. Any stimpaks?"

    "Sorry, fresh out."

    "You better not be lying. You'll regret it if you are." The man in armor started searching through drawers, shelves, and a large workbench while keeping an eye on Eldon and the trail. From his movements, Eldon could tell he was hurt worse than he looked. No wonder he was so interested in stimpaks. He was glad he didn't have any.

    <center>* * *</center>

    Down below, Artie Scott was treating his wounded guards. It was too late for one of them, but the others looked like they would live. He looked up as Jack approached. "Thanks again, stranger," he said. "Shame about that ghoul, though."

    "He's not dead yet," said Jack. "He helped us out. The least I can do is return the favor."

    "You're not thinking of going up that trail, are you? That'd be suicide! That guy's got a clear line of sight almost all the way down."

    "Who said anything about the trail? I'm going to climb up to that house from behind. I was hoping you had a rope and grappling hook I could borrow."

    "Right in back of that wagon." Artie pointed. "You can keep it. If you need some more ammo, take some of that too."

    "Thanks. I was running a bit low." Jack hurried off to the wagon.

    "Good luck!" called Artie.

    <center>* * *</center>

    The thief pulled out a red toolbox from the workbench. "Well, well!" he said. "A Super Tool Kit. This should be worth something." He walked over to a counter, where a gray box with a speaker in the side and two slots on top rested. "What the heck is this thing?"

    "That's an atomic-powered toaster," said Eldon. "Made it myself."

    "Why would you make an atomic-powered toaster?"

    "I happen to like toast."

    "But atomic-powered?"

    "I happen to like it slightly radioactive."

    The bandit started to lift it, then set it down. "Oof. Heavy sucker."

    "That'd be the lead."

    The robber pushed it onto its side and inspected its underbelly, where a computer chip was embedded. "Ah! Now we're getting somewhere. Hardware like this is hard to come by." He pulled out a switchblade, opened it, and started to pry the chip loose.

    "What are you doing?! That regulates the neutron flow! If you remove it-"

    The man gestured menacingly at Eldon. "Shut yer piehole! I can take whatever I want! Gonna do something about it?"

    Eldon shook his head. "You'll be sorry."

    "Hmmph." He popped the chip out and pocketed it. "See, nothing happened. Now what else you got? Any more chips?"

    Eldon noticed Jack pop his head over a windowsill at the rear of the cabin. The thief couldn't see him since he was facing the front. Jack tilted his chin toward the front door, and Eldon nodded slowly. "Uh...yeah, I've got one or two more. I keep them in a little box, under the floorboards there." He pointed.

    The man bent down, and Jack stood up and leveled his 10mm submachinegun, loaded with a fresh magazine of armor-piercing bullets. He fired a burst through the window as Eldon made a break for the door. The man howled as the rounds punched through his armor and into his thigh. He whirled around and fired his pistol, but Jack was already gone. He popped up again at a side window and fired another burst, then ducked and rolled to the front door at the same time that Eldon emerged. "Run!" shouted the ghoul. "We don't have much time!" The two of them hurried down the trail as fast as they could.

    The bandit's leg gave out and he fell to the floor of the cabin. A computerized voice said "Your toast is ready." Startled, he fired in the direction of the voice and his bullet struck the now vibrating toaster. "Your toast...your toast...your toast..." The vibration built up to a crescendo. His eyes went wide with terror. "Aw, sh-" was all he had time to say before a massive explosion incinerated him and the entire cabin. A pillar of flame and smoke rose from the crater where it once stood.

    "Hit the dirt!" shouted Eldon. He and Jack threw themselves to the ground, helped along by the powerful blast wave. They could feel the heat on their backs as it passed over their heads. They dragged themselves upright as the column topped out. "Um...you might want to stand upwind a ways."

    "Why?" asked Jack, dusting himself off. "It doesn't smell that bad."

    "It's not that. There were radioactive materials in that explosion. My toaster basically became a small dirty nuke. While I don't mind the radiation, you smoothskins tend to be a mite sensitive about it. Once that fallout starts to settle-"

    "You don't have to tell me twice!" Jack was already running down the slope towards the main trail.

    "Go on ahead, sonny. I'll gimp along and catch up to you."

    Jack raced back to the caravan and found Artie, who stood behind the wagons peering at the newly forming mushroom cloud with his hand to his forehead. "What in blazes was that?" he asked.

    "That," said Jack, "was a radiological device going boom."

    "Holy crap!" Artie rummaged through one of the wagons, pulled out a Geiger counter, and turned it on. He scanned the area, then ran it over Jack. Only a handful of clicks emanated from it. "It seems to be clean here. Well, as clean as it gets out in the wasteland, anyway. We should be okay as long as we don't get any closer."

    Eldon reached the foot of the trail. He picked up, reloaded, and holstered his dropped laser pistol, and limped over to the caravan. "Howdy, fellas," he said.

    "Thanks for your help, both of you. The name's Artie Scott." He turned to Jack. "Like I promised earlier, you can take all the water you can carry. That goes for both of you. And whatever those punks had is yours too. To the victor go the spoils and all that."

    "You're welcome. I'm Eldon Storch, by the way. Say, do you have a large board and some paint? I'd better put up a radiation warning sign."

    "Yeah, I've got some in one of the wagons. Sorry about your house and all."

    "Ah, don't worry about it. Easy come, easy go. I can always make a new one. I've lost too many homes to keep track of them all." He turned to Jack. "Thank you for coming to help me out, stranger. I didn't catch your name."

    "That's because I didn't give it," said Jack. He thought for a second. His first name was common enough that he felt he could use it, and he was pretty far from New Reno anyway. "I'm Jack." He shook his hand.

    "Where are you heading?"

    "Vault City. This caravan just left there, bound for Redding."

    "Vault City's probably a better place for me to restock. They won't let me past the courtyard, though. They don't cotton to my kind there."

    "Times have changed. Just how long have you been living out here?"

    "Oh, about 30 years or so. Why?"

    "Vault City's much more welcoming nowadays. In fact, the First Citizen is a ghoul now: Old Harold."

    Eldon brightened. "Well, that certainly changes things. I've always liked Harold. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about me. There was an...incident back in Gecko, a long time back. I almost caused their reactor to melt down. It wasn't really my fault, I've just had a run of bad luck." He glanced back at the ruins of his home. "Guess you can see that for yourself. Story of my life, really. That's why I came out here to the middle of nowhere. Figured I'd cause less damage. Shows what I know. Used to live in Broken Hills, but I accidentally broke the uranium mine's air purifier. Shut the whole mine down. Then this psycho named Manson ambushed me from behind with an SMG."

    "How did you survive?"

    "Didn't. Got killed. Heh heh. I love that joke. Love it so much I stole it from Harold. Well, Manson's first burst wounded me, but his second jammed the gun. By then I had old Betsy here out." Eldon patted his laser pistol. "The coward ran away, but a Unity patrol nabbed him before he got far. Marcus and Zaius asked me to stay on and repair the purifier when the replacement parts came in, but I knew when I'd worn out my welcome. As soon as I was healthy enough to travel I packed up my stuff and came out here. So, what's your story?"

    "Nowhere near as interesting as yours. I'm just a traveler, trying to stay alive the same as anyone else."

    "Why don't I tag along with you, at least as far as Vault City? Safety in numbers, you know."

    "Hmm." Jack considered it. Not only did Eldon have a point, but anyone who was looking for him would probably expect him to be traveling alone. "That's not a bad idea."

    Artie brought Eldon a board and some spray cans of yellow and black paint. He painted the words "Danger! Radiation!" and the trefoil symbol on it, then planted it at the base of the trail leading up to the plateau. He and Jack searched the dead bandits. They didn't have much: a few dozen gold coins they split evenly between them, some jerky, a couple of knives (one for each of them), a few 10mm pistols and some ammo for Jack, and a shotgun and some shells for Eldon. Jack and Eldon collected the promised water from Artie, said their goodbyes, and continued on the path towards Vault City.
  10. Stompie

    Stompie Mildly Dipped

    Apr 2, 2006
    ~Grasping his steel rod- he swing it; with all of his might- a golden gecko recoiling- and then hissing- advancing at the super-mutant- He swung again - knocking the gecko onto the rockey ground - it hissed- rearing its head, whilst on the ground- he then swing again - ending the life of the gecko. He inhaled, and secured the pipe to his back. he turned; standing staight~

    (Maria) Thank-you So much; Gabe - these damn gecko's are everywhere nowdays
    (Gabe) Its not a problem Maria; I' love too help neighbors
    (Maria) How much do I owe you?
    (Gabe) Free of charge;
    (Maria) Thankyou Soo Much
    (Gabe) *Chuckles* someone has too pickup the slack for marcus
    (Maria) I suppose
    ~Gabe turned arround - looking to maria's house~

    (Gabe) do you know where the gecko's are coming from?
    (Maria) Ive seen them come from the east- I've seen them on main street before-
    (Gabe) Fauna's going nuts lately; Last night - I found a pig rat in my kitchen
    (Maria) Oh- My;
    (Gabe) something needs to be done.
    (Maria) Yes it does
    (Gabe) Maria- I must be going- I need to go make my rounds
    (Maria) Yes- one second gabe
    (Gabe) yes?
    (Maria) ~ Hands gabe a small stack of 20 coins~ I want you to have this- those gecko's are a damn neusince
    (Gabe) Thankyou maria- I will see you later

    ~Gabe turns away from maria- and grips the gecko's head with his right hand- picking the ragdoll up - and walks tward Dawn, the towns tailor - bringing the gecko to the front of his shop- opening the door - with his left index finger and thumb- pushign the door- he crouches- and enters the building ~

    (Gabe) Dawn?
    (Dawn) ~Walking from the back of the shop~ Gabe! What have you got for me this time?
    (Gabe) Golden Gecko
    (Dawn) Excellent! May I see?
    (Gabe) ~drops the gecko on the front counter~
    (Dawn) Beautifull! I' will have your pelt in three houers- do you want the rest of the gecko?
    (Gabe) no; thankyou - I hate gecko meat.
    (Dawn) ~warps arms around gecko - strugeling to lift the creature- throws it over his soulder- and vacates too the back~

    ~Suddenly- A gunshot- and sounds of screaming- Quickly- Gabe dashes thru the door- and twards the sound of the fray- seeing maria on the ground- he herd more screaming - he ran back up mainstreet- as another gunshot rang out- he saw a broken hill's inhabitant limping away - and then another gunshot- the inhabitant fell - he continued on - fearing the worst for maria- but he knew that he must stop the gunmen- He stopped- and picked up maria' - he then took her too the relitive safty of her home- she began breathing swiftly, and shallowly- he set her down - and called for help - as a ghoul, Ryan - came limping too his position -he continued too the gunman - sprinting- his feet thumping on the paved walkway- he turned a corner- to see the gunman - only a stones throw away~
    (Gunman) *Screaming* Sung-Grah-Thue!
    (Gabe) *Withdrawling steel pipe- looking puzzled at the gunman*
    (Gunman) *Hisses* SHAAAA! ~in his left hand, a 10mm Automatic- in his right- a bloody combat knife~
    (Gabe) ~Charges the gunman - rod in hand~
    (Gunman) ~Fires two rounds at gabe- and stops to reload-~
    (Gabe) ~ Pounces on the gunman - ignoring the 10mm round lodged in his left abdomonal muscle- quickly- he brings the pipe down on the attackers head~
    (Gunman) ~Recoils- and attempts too lung with knife~
    (Gabe) ~Screams - as he brings the pipe down on the gunmans skull with enought force too break a deathclaws femer - killing the gunman~

    ~ Gabe- reaches down - grabbing the man by the neck - and then throws him against the fince- and runs back to maria- as ryan sat beside her- attempting CPR- he looked up - as he did chest compressions- and shuck his head, with a grimmis~
    (Ryan) She's dead...
    (gabe) ~paused - with a blank expression~
    (Ryan) she...didnt stand a chance....
  11. Trag

    Trag First time out of the vault

    Aug 8, 2005
    On the way to Vault city, land of Radioactive Brotherhood!!

    (Great introduction, nice work. The story is finally picking up :)

    The travelers were about a day and a half out from Vault City, they had decided to get some rest for the night and the campfire that was put together was still burning and shedding warmth in the chilly wasteland night.
    Eldon was fast asleep, the thought of a Vault City that would not burn a hole through his brain on sight was still quite a shock to him. Even though it did please him to know that the human spirit wasn't completely corrupted and good still did exist in the world.

    Jack stood up quietly and walked about ten paces away from the sleeping ghoul and the warmth of the campfire. He reached into his jacket pocket and felt around until he felt the cool metallic sensation of his serum injector. He retrieved it and held it up to his face, glaring at the glowing silver liquid inside.

    He took a deep breath and placed the end of the injector on his jugular vein of his neck where he had plenty of other injection marks. Jack pushed forward on the injection delivery system and felt the liquid explode into his veins. The overwhelming pain of this strange serum instantly dropped the ex-hitman to his knees, and through clenched teeth he groaned in agony as the fluid coursed through his infected blood system.

    "You some kind of junkie, friend?" Eldon's voice cut through the cold like a knife.

    Jack didn't answer for a long moment, he was still gaining his composure from the serum. After a few silent minutes Jack took a deep breath and slowly stood up. He turned around to face his ghoul companion and walked back into the warmth of the campfire. Still a bit dazed, he sat down and looked over the fire into the curious man's eyes.

    "Like I told you before, times have changed." Jack grabbed one of the water jugs that he had set off to the side and took a long drink.
    "You've been gone a long time from the news of the world, but I'm sure you know enough to know about the Enclave?" Jack continued.

    Eldon shook his head, " Shit son, I may have been under a rock for thirty years, but I know enough to know that EVERYONE knows about the Enclave."

    Jack continued, " They manufactured a virus, something that causes the mind to revert back to primal instincts and amplifies the rage of those infected until they just can't control themselves." He paused, " We never saw it coming, one day it was just there, it was everywhere. It spread faster than a wildfire."

    Eldon took a deep breath and eyed Jack curiously, " What was that stuff you shot into yourself?"

    Jack smiled, " Thats what separates me from them. I'm infected. You see they can easily spread it just by breaking the skin of their victims with a simple scratch."

    "It only takes a matter of days before you turn into one of them, unless you have the serum. There just isn't enough to go around, and there is no known cure. The virus is called 'Redemption' and so far the Enclave's super weapon has been living up to its name." Jack concluded.

    "So why Vault City?" Eldon asked.

    "Thats where they make the serum, Vault City is where all the research for a cure happens. I've been thinking. That Artie said that they had just delivered a bunch of FEV to the city. Now no one in their right mind would voluntarily come within a mile of FEV unless it was for a good reason, I wonder if they are researching FEV, maybe for a cure?" Jack pondered.

    Eldon scratched his head, still a bit perplexed about the whole thing. There was alot going on in the world and Eldon was eager to hear about it.

    Jack shook his head, " When we get to the city, we will talk to Harold, just like you- me and Harold have a history. "

    Eldon rolled his eyes, " Well I'm not sure how happy he is going to be to see me!"

    The two travelers chatted for a few more minutes, and quickly went to sleep. Vault city would soon be on the horizon.
  12. Mr. Handy

    Mr. Handy Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 5, 2006
    Welcome to Vault City

    Two figures in black cloaks and Stetson hats stood on a hilltop overlooking the entrance to Vault City's courtyard, watching as a man and a ghoul approached it. One was at least nine feet tall, obviously a super mutant, with bulging muscles and a small arsenal concealed beneath his cloak. The other one, slender and only about five and half feet tall, let a cigarette fall to the dirt and stubbed it out with a dusty leather boot, then took a piece of paper out and unrolled it. The stranger glanced at it, at the man below, and back at the paper.

    The human nodded, rolling the paper back up and tucking it away. "That's him all right. I knew he'd come here."

    The mutant cracked an evil grin and slipped on a pair of spiked knuckles. "Let's get 'im."

    He was stopped by a hand on his arm. "Don't be an idiot, Mongo. If we try anything here, the guards will be on us like flies on a dead brahmin - and we'll be just as dead. Vault City has only one way in, and one way out. He has to leave sometime."

    "Ah. Den Mongo kill 'im!" Mongo rubbed his hammy hands with glee.

    "No, at least not yet." The human lifted the Stetson's brim with one finger, revealing an attractive, feminine face flanked by long, black braided hair. "There's more to this than meets the eye. If the Mordino Family is offering such a big bounty on Graves, he must be worth even more."

    Mongo scratched his head. "Course dem offered a lot. He aced Li'l Jesus."

    The woman smiled and shook her head. "Anyone would have taken the job for half the amount, or even less. There must be something else to it. If he's worth that many chips to Mordino, someone else will pay more. Maybe one of the other Families, maybe some other group entirely. We need more information first, and he's the only one who has it."

    "Den what we do?"

    "Simple. We camp out here and wait until he leaves, then follow him. If he still has that ghoul with him, I don't think it'll be much of a threat. Clever of him not to travel alone like you'd expect, though. We bide our time, wait for the right opportunity, and then close the trap. We take Graves alive and make him talk. We can always kill him later." She gazed at Jack from under lowered eyelids. "Be a real shame though. He's handsome, in a rugged sort of way."

    "Gee, you so smart, Amy."

    Amy chuckled softly and patted Mongo's arm. "Thanks, big guy. We'll trail him from a distance, so he won't catch sight of us. There's no chance of him losing us. I'm the best tracker this side of the Rockies. By the time he knows we're there, it'll be too late. He's as good as in the bag. Amy Velasco always gets her man."

    <center>* * *</center>

    Jack and Eldon strolled up to Vault City's courtyard gate, completely unaware of the pair observing them. A squad of heavily armed guards in metal armor stood by the sealed entryway. With Redemption running rampant, they needed to take precautions to safeguard the city.

    "Hold for inspection!" called out the sergeant, a tall black man with sunglasses. "What is your business in Vault City?"

    "I have important information for the First Citizen," said Jack.

    "Really?" The sergeant looked skeptical. "And just what kind of information do you have?"

    "Information that could be helpful in developing a cure for Redemption."

    Two of the other guards examined Jack and Eldon closely while the others covered them with their assault rifles. The one inspecting Jack saw the needle marks on his neck and jumped back in alarm. "Sarge! This one's infected!" Instantly all of the soldiers' weapons trained on Jack, and he heard the ominous clicks of safeties disengaging.

    Jack slowly raised his hands. He had anticipated difficulty entering the city, but not this extent of paranoia. It was probably warranted, but that wouldn't make him any less dead if anyone's trigger finger was itchy. "I'm on the serum. I just had a dose this morning, and I'll pick up some more here. I really do have vital information, and if you shoot me you'll lose it."

    The sergeant growled. "You make one wrong move and your infected guts will be leaking out from a hundred holes! Not a day goes by when someone doesn't try to gain entry by claiming to have a cure or somesuch. Let me make one thing perfectly clear: there is no way in hell you are getting through this gate! I can't afford to let your disease-riddled ass into my city!"

    "You can't afford not to, Sergeant. If I'm telling the truth and you don't let me in, the cure will be lost and it will be all your fault. The First Citizen knows us. Look, just tell Harold what I told you and that Jack Graves and Eldon Storch are here. Let him make the call."

    The sergeant frowned, then pulled out his radio and activated it. "Captain, I've got an infected man and a ghoul out here. The man claims he has information that could help cure Redemption and is insisting on speaking to the First Citizen. He says their names are Jack Graves and Eldon Storch." A pause. "Uh-huh. I'll stand by, ma'am."

    Five agonizing minutes passed before the radio squawked back into life. The sergeant's frown deepened as he listened. "Captain, I don't think-" He stopped speaking for a moment, then continued. "Yes, ma'am, I understand, but-" Another pause as even louder noises came from the radio. "No, ma'am, I'm not questioning your orders. I'll open the gate. Stark out." He sighed and put away the radio. "An armed escort is just inside the gate. They will take you to the Greeting Center, where the First Citizen will come out to meet you. If you step out of line, you will be shot on sight. Both of you. Have I made myself clear?"

    "Perfectly, Sergeant Stark. You're even more of a hardass than your father, you know that?"

    "You watch that tongue of yours. It might get you killed." He spoke into the intercom by the entryway. "This is Sergeant Stark. Open the gate!" The steel gate rose up with a loud rumble. Inside stood eight more guards in combat armor carrying combat shotguns and AK-112's. "They're all yours, guys!"

    Jack and Eldon walked carefully through the gate, which sealed behind them. The guards quickly surrounded them, with two in front, two behind, and two to each side. They marched the twenty feet or so into the Greeting Center, where a balding, middle-aged man sat behind a desk. He stood up as the entourage entered. "Hello, my name is, uh-" He glanced down at his nametag. "Steve. Welcome to Vault City. Please, have a seat."

    Jack and Eldon sat on metal chairs while the soldiers covered them and the exits. A few minutes later, one of them answered his radio. "Eff-cee has arrived," he announced.

    The two new arrivals turned their heads as First Citizen Harold shambled in. He looked odd wearing a blue Vault suit, but the tree growing out of his head was instantly recognizable. "Hello, Eldon, you old bonehead," he said. "What disaster have you brought to my fine city now?"

    "Harold, I'm really sorry about the reactor," said Eldon. "All those dials looked the same. I did manage to catch and stop it in time."

    Harold waved his hand. "That's ancient history. I'm more concerned with current events. A few days ago, a Vault City patrol reported a large explosion southwest of here spewing radiation. You wouldn't happen to have had anything to do with that, would you?"

    "Well, yes, but it wasn't my fault-"

    Harold shook his head. "It never is, Eldon. It never is." The old ghoul sighed. "Look, maybe I have been a little hard on you, but regardless of whose fault it is, you're a trouble magnet. You seem to have a talent for blowing things up. Maybe it's time you put that talent to good use. If you help us cure Redemption, find the Enclave, and finish them off once and for all, then when this is all over I might - might, mind you - grant you Citizenship."

    Eldon almost couldn't believe it. Could he finally have found a home in which to live out the rest of his days? Of course, the remnants of the Enclave still stood in his way, but now he had something to fight for. He hadn't felt like this since that infamous day when China had invaded Alaska and he had run down to the Bakersfield recruiting center to sign up. "Thank you, Harold. You have no idea how much this means to me."

    "Don't thank me yet. You might not survive." Harold turned to Jack. "And you. Bringing Redemption to Vault City. Well, I'm here now, so let's hear what you have to say. You'd better make it good. You have five minutes."
  13. Trag

    Trag First time out of the vault

    Aug 8, 2005
    Initial shock

    Jack smiled at Harold and reached slowly into his jacket. The armed guards around him tensed up and readied their itchy trigger fingers.
    He slowly retrieved what looked like folded documents from his leather jacket and threw them on the desk that 'Steve' sat at. Harold reached out and began examining the dirt and blood stained papers.

    "I took those from Lil' Jesus Mordino's safe in New Reno, they detail the shipping routes of the Enclave 'Redemption' suppliers. With this information, you can see that there are two main manufacturing bases, one is just south of New Reno. The other seems as though it is very close to the radiation of the Glow." Jack paused for a moment.

    "Overheard Mordino talking with his daughter, who by the way has taken over the Mordino family in her father's...absence." Jack looked around the room at the men pointing guns at his head and smiled. "I heard them talking about how helping the Enclave was in their best interests, and that they would be getting a shipment of the antigen for themselves and their men."

    Harold's eyes widened, "The Enclave have a cure!" He didn't look up from the documents as Jack continued.

    "I may be a killer, but I'm not a total monster. After his daughter left I confronted Mordino about the cure and the deal with the Enclave." Jack took a deep breath, "He deserved what he got... Angel Mordino is after my hide, she is working hand in hand with the new leader of the Enclave. Whoever this guy is, he is keeping his identity more secretive than a new Star Wars script during pre-production." Jack looked to Harold, "I know we have had our problems in the past Harold. But, I'm on the level here. 'Redemption' is only the beginning of the Enclave's plans, there is something more going on here. They are allying themselves with the worst of the worst, and are making the cure available for them."

    Harold kept eying the figures on the page and looked at Jack, "They are preparing for war..."

    There was a long, long silence in the room after Harold's last statement, and suddenly the grim silence was broken.

    "Not to be rude, but do you think we could get some food? I'm starvin' over here!" Eldon blurted out. In that moment, everyone in the room's attention was on the ghoul that seemingly lightened the mood in the room filled with grim thoughts of an oncoming doom.

    * * * *

    Angel Mordino stood outside the radioactive zone of the Glow flanked by two armed guards. Her long black hair whipped in the wasteland wind, her leather armor was cut short revealing her natural curves, and her multitude of weapons.

    "How long we gotta' wait here?" One of the men complained.

    "Shut the fuck up!" Angel snapped, "We wait as long as it takes"

    On the horizon a mass of figures approached, the clouds over the Glow area made it seem like night had come early, it sent a chill up Lady Mordino's spine.
    The men in Advanced Power Armor approached quickly, led by an imposing figure, his armor made from the bones of long dead individuals, a mixture of many races. He had strapped to his waist, a sword made of a strange alloy, and an RPG strapped to his back. His eyes glowed orange, the color of 'Redemption's rage effect on the host. He wore a helmet made from a Deathclaw's skull, and it fit perfectly, masking much of his face.

    The squad of men stopped barely five feet from Mordino and her men and the demon moved closer to her.

    "Report" His voice was like a smash in the face, it cut though the whipping winds like a sonic boom and shook the soul.

    "W-W-We are still looking for Graves, but it doesn't matter now, right? We are almost finished?" Angel stuttered.

    The imposing, demonic figure moved closer, uncomfortably close, "The cities may rise up if they get that information, it will give them a spark of hope and that spark may ignite much more." He walked behind Mordino and gripped her shoulders hard.

    Angel winced, his skin was hot from radiation, and his grip was debilitating. Her knees became weak and she struggled to stay on her feet.

    "He killed your father, and you make excuses.... No excuses. Kill him and cut the flow of information before any other cities can get it." He paused for a moment, then let go of Angel's shoulders. Fingerprints had now been scorched into her skin from his radiated grip. He made a motion with his arm and his men began the walk from whence they came. He followed.

    "I will take care of Vault City in due time, there is a certain scientist there that I would like to have a... chat with." He said walking away.

    "Yes, master Reins" Angel replied, she took a deep breath and gripped her shoulders, they were still hot.
  14. Stompie

    Stompie Mildly Dipped

    Apr 2, 2006
    ~Gabe looked to maria's lifeless, bloody corpse- and then to ryan - he then looked to the metalic rod in his right hand- he then whiped the gunman's blood off of the steel - onto his pantleg - and then attatched it to his back~

    (Ryan) ...Do you know if she had any family?
    (Gabe) Yeah - In new Reno -
    (Ryan) sould someone notify them?
    (Gabe) Yeah... I guess I could go notify them
    (Ryan) mother? father? ciblings?
    (Gabe) her parents are long dead- its just her little sister.
    (Ryan) when are you going?
    (Gabe) I think I will go with the next caravan -
    (Ryan) good idea-
    (Gabe) can you defend yourself if this happens again?
    (ryan) me? are you serious?! I cant fight- Ive never fired a gun-
    (Gabe) Ryan - you may need to defend yourself- bechause no one will be able to defend you...
    (ryan) what do you mean?
    (Gabe) none of these people know how to fight- except the super muties- but- there are only three... minus myself.
    (Ryan) Understood.
    (Gabe) give me a second...
    (Ryan) ...Kay...

    ~Gabe walked to his home- opening the door- greated by his domesticated Infant Mole - Fluffy - he quickly walked to his bedroom - opening his metallic footlocker- grabbing a bag - a seuvineer from his childhood- carrying the bag with his thumb and index finger- he walked back out - handing it to ryan~

    (Ryan) Whats this?
    (Gabe) Open it....
    (Ryan) Ok.... ~Opens the bag- withdrawling a Combat Shotgun - and a box of 20 Shells~
    (Gabe) Defend yourself...
    (Ryan) I...I cant use this!
    (Gabe) I'll even load it for you
    (Ryan) ....How the?!
    (Gabe) -Point the barel at what ever you want dead- and pull the trigger.... its- not that hard...
    (Ryan) ok...
    (Gabe) tell the others that Im going too New Reno.
    (Ryan) yeah... I'll...See you later... Gabe...
    (gabe) I'll be seeing you ryan

    ~Gabe turns - back tward his house- heading for his weapons locker- a refinished pre-war heavy weapons locker- punching in the combination - he pulls the lever- opening the locker- inside rested two weapons- a Vindicator Minigun - and a Sunbeam Laser Rifle- 2000 4.5 caseless rounds, and 500 micro fusion cells- he grasped an oversized satchel- and loaded the microfusion cells - and then grabbed his ammunition belt- standard issue for the footsoldiers of the masters army- he loaded the belt down with his ammunition- and then grabbed food from his pantry- jerkey- fruit- and some bread- he then grabbed a 5 gallon drumb- and walked to the well - filling it with the bucket- he he then capped it, placing it in the now full giant satchel - he then walked back to his home- grabbing his mini-gun - fassining it to his right arm - he then loaded the weapon - and racked it.

  15. Mr. Handy

    Mr. Handy Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 5, 2006
    The Doctor Is In

    As the group finished eating lunch, a thin man in his forties wearing a white lab coat entered and looked around.

    "Ah, good," said Harold. "Just the man we need to see. Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet Dr. Myron."

    "I'm glad to finally meet you," said Jack. "I've heard a lot about your work. If anyone can help, it's you."

    "Well, naturally," said Myron. "These other yo-yos they call doctors don't know a bacillus from a retrovirus."

    "Uh-huh." Jack could see that Myron's legendary ego wasn't exaggerated. Hopefully he could live up to his own hype. "How did you come up with the idea of using FEV in your research towards a cure for Redemption?"

    "So you've heard about that. Heh. Stroke of genius on my part, really. I was looking through these copies of pre-War holodisks I got once from the Brotherhood of Steel. It turns out that FEV was originally intended to enhance the human immune system, but the War broke out before the project could be completed. That's when it hit me: if I could make FEV work the way it's supposed to, humans would be immune to all diseases. Not just Redemption, which is an accomplishment in itself, but every illness imaginable!" He turned to Harold. "He's been infected, I see. Is he here to volunteer as a test subject?"

    "Uh, no, Dr. Myron," said Harold. "Mr. Graves here has brought us some information I think you'll find very helpful." Harold showed him the documents.

    Myron's green eyes widened and his jaw dropped as he skimmed the papers Jack had brought. "This is...unbelievable. Too bad these papers don't detail how to synthesize the cure."

    "Do you think you can work out how to make it based on this information?"

    "Hmm. Maybe, given enough time. But it looks doubtful. If you could get me a sample of the cure, though, I could analyze and reverse engineer it and start manufacturing it. Even though this cure exists, my work with FEV won't go to waste. There are plenty of other ailments that we can eradicate-"

    Harold cut him off. "Dr. Myron, the only reason I even approved research into FEV in the first place was because of the desperate situation Redemption has placed us in. If we can obtain the Enclave's cure, I'd just as soon as get rid of the stuff. I know all too well what it can do."

    Myron looked crestfallen. "But...but...what if we can't get a hold of their cure? We still need to pursue both research tracks simultaneously!"

    "Agreed, with extreme reluctance. However, the moment we have another cure in our hands, all research on FEV will cease and all of that goo will be disposed of. Understood?"

    "Eh...sure, sure, First Citizen. Hey, I'd better get to work on this stuff right away." He handed the documents back. "You should run off a copy of this and have it sent to my lab ASAP. If you'll excuse me, I have to go save the world." With that, Myron raced out.

    "Cocky little bugger, isn't he?" said Eldon.

    "That he is," said Harold, "but he's also worthy of all the praise he showers on himself. He's more than proved himself to me and to the people of Vault City over the years. If he's even one-tenth the genius he makes himself out to be, he's the best hope we have. Now then, we have to plan our next step. Clearly that involves getting the Enclave's cure for Redemption. We don't know where the Enclave itself is based now, but since they were foolish enough to give it to the Mordino Family, there is one place we know for certain we can find it."

    "That means going back to New Reno," said Jack. "I'm not looking forward to that. I'd be walking right into the Deathclaw's lair. Still, if it means getting a cure, then that's what we've got to do. On the plus side, they'll never expect it. With the Mordinos looking for me all over the wastes, there won't be as many of them on their home turf. Though there will still be plenty to deal with, since they've got that facility south of town those papers mentioned."

    Harold nodded. "We'll have to deal with that too."

    "That means blow it up," said Eldon. "I can help with that. Like you said, I've got a knack for that sort of thing. It could also serve as a nice distraction to draw the Mordinos away from the city."

    "Even so," said Jack, "it'll be far from easy. Every lowlife in New Reno who wants to make some quick cash will be out for my blood, and everyone there knows who I am. Even if I disguise myself, people are bound to recognize me. Fortunately, I know my way around the city and who all the players are. We're going to need some allies to pull this off."

    "Who? One of the other families?"

    Jack nodded. "Most of them can't be trusted. The Salvatores worked with the Enclave before, so they're out. The Bishops would kill me just as soon as look at me, especially since I've whacked more than a few of their guys. I also wouldn't put it past Angela Bishop to cut a deal with the enemy.

    "That leaves the Wrights. They're okay for the most part. I haven't messed with them, and they haven't messed with me. If I could get in to see old Keith Wright we might be able to work something out. Even though there's been relative peace between them and the Mordinos, there's still no love between them. I only hope they can look past the fact that I used to be one."

    "Then it's decided," said Harold. "I suggest setting out as soon as possible, though you can rest and restock here if you need to. Time is of the essence. The sooner we get that antigen, the more lives we can save."

    Jack nodded. "The shipment they were expecting hadn't come in yet when I had to split from New Reno, but they should have it by now and they certainly will by the time we get there. If I can get multiple doses, then I can take one to rid myself of this plague right there. If I can only get one, though, I'll have to bring it back."

    "We'll supply you with as much serum as Vault City can spare, just in case that's necessary. Enough to get you to New Reno and back, and a little extra in case of unforeseen difficulties. We can also provide you with some other equipment, including explosives for taking out that manufacturing base. It's the least we can do considering what you've brought us. Hope in a hopeless world is priceless."
  16. Trag

    Trag First time out of the vault

    Aug 8, 2005
    Onward, to the lion's den and the hell that awaits...

    Jack and Eldon were given one night in a bed before they were to head off to New Reno, and a world of trouble. Jack hadn't been in a comfy bed in a long time, and he savored the feeling knowing that this could be the last time he would get to sleep in such comfort.
    Eldon on the other hand had scavenged so many things from the wastes over his thirty year streach as a hermit that he had become accustomed to sleeping comfortably in a soft bed.

    The next day the two travelers now tasked with an almost impossible mission gathered their gear and left behind Vault City, both realizing that this could be the last time they see the now united, shining beacon of the wastes.

    On a cliff side, not far from those departing from the city, two assassins watched and waited for their time to strike.

    (This entry was short on account that Mr. Handy introduced these two assassins to the story, I thought that he might want to write the next part, since the time they have been waiting for is at hand.)
  17. Mr. Handy

    Mr. Handy Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 5, 2006
    Three's a Crowd

    (Thanks, though the ambush I planned for Amy and Mongo to carry out could happen anywhere during the long journey between Vault City and New Reno. I haven't written that part yet, since I need some sleep first. Feel free to write another segment describing part of the journey if you want to and have a chance before I write the ambush, which I plan to do in the afternoon or evening)

    As Jack and Eldon left Vault City, a patrol walked up behind them. It was led by a woman with red hair streaked with gray, clad in Mark II combat armor. Accompanying her were Sergeant Stark and four other soldiers. "Hold up!" called the woman.

    Jack and Eldon stopped walking and waited for the patrol to catch up. "Yes?" asked Jack.

    The woman walked up to them. Though she was getting on in years, her obvious strength and force of will were unhampered. "I'm Valerie, Captain of the Guard for Vault City. The First Citizen decided that you should have a little company."

    "What, is this whole patrol going to come with us? That kind of takes stealth off the table."

    "Not the whole patrol. Just one hand-picked man I know I can depend on." Valerie said this with a slight smirk. "Sergeant Stark will join you on your mission."

    "What?!" choked Stark. "Aw, hell no! I'm not traveling with him!"

    "Fine by me," said Jack. "I don't want to travel with him either."

    "But, Sergeant," said the captain, unable to keep from smiling, "you have not only my personal recommendation, but that of the Council. Your father, Senior Councilmember Stark, agrees that you're the best for the job."

    "Captain, if you're trying to punish me-" started Stark.

    "Punish? No, this is a reward for your good service to Vault City. It's your chance to be a hero. I hate to pull rank - no, actually, I enjoy doing it - but you don't have a choice, Sergeant. You will carry out your assignment, and that's an order." Valerie handed him a pack of supplies for the trek ahead. "Good luck, Sergeant. Vault City prevails!" With that, Valerie and the rest of her patrol marched off.

    Grumbling, Stark joined Jack and Eldon as they resumed walking.

    <center>* * *</center>

    Amy Velasco stood with her hands on her hips, not far from the twin Desert Eagles on her belt, watching Jack, Eldon, and Stark head down the trail. "They're definitely heading south," she said, "but also a little west. They're probably heading to Broken Hills, but we'd better trail them a ways before I can be sure. That Vault City guard...complicates matters."

    "I can handle 'im," said Mongo, beating his chest.

    "I'm sure you can, but if word gets out that we killed a Vault City guard we'll never be able to operate in that area again. The reward is worth it if we have to, but if there's another way I'll take it. Our best bet is to separate them. Let's go."

    "Hokay." Mongo dutifully followed along behind her.

    As the day wore on, the route they were taking became clearer. "I almost don't believe it," said Amy. "They're not going to Broken Hills at all. They're making an almost direct beeline to New Reno!"

    "Why? Dat make no sense!"

    "Given what we know, it sure doesn't. They're either crazy, or stupid, or both. I'm going to have to have a little...talk...with Graves to find out what we're missing. We're still too close to Vault City to risk attacking now, but in a couple of days we'll be beyond their patrols' range. We'll have to make our move before they get to New Reno, or there's a good chance someone else will get him first and steal our bounty. And I know the perfect spot for an ambush. We passed it on the way to Vault City from New Reno. They'll never know what hit 'em." Amy smiled.
  18. Stompie

    Stompie Mildly Dipped

    Apr 2, 2006
    ~Gabe turned his back on the town of broken hills- and began to walk to the east- his two day trek wouldn't be a tough one- but he remembered that the area around new reno wasn't a safe place. the Yakuza and the several crime familys, and factions still battled for control, and turf expansion. He stoped- hearing the cries of a human child in peril - he switched the electronic safety on his vindicator minigun to the off position - as he began to sprint- the closer he got- the louder the cries were - he stoped - his jaw gaping- he inhaled deeply- "Sweet Jesus" - to his horror - he saw two canibles eating a corpse- another corpse- only meters away- and a young boy watching in horror- as his mother and father were being devoured - he pointed the minigun in the general direction of the canibles; but stoped him self- he feared that the child would be hit by stray bullet(S);

    (Gabe) Kid! Run!
    (Young boy) *Dosent respond*
    (Gabe) RUN DAMNIT!
    (Young boy) *Continues crying- not responding to gabe*
    (Gabe) GO! GOD DAMNIT! GO!
    (Canible 1) This is none of your consern; Mutie!!!
    (Canible 2) Yess... Turn around and walk away...
    (Gabe) Shit...

    ~Gabe secures the minigun to his back -as he grabs his steel pipe- he grips the piece of metallic tubing- raising it above his head- he charges the nearest canible- running at full speed- he positioned the pipe- inbetween his right arm, and his torso - extending it as though it were a lance- he pointed the end of the pipe at the first canible's back - he made contact- impaling the first canible- it began to scream; and flail- the second canible stood; readying its self for combat- he withdrew a sharpened pole. Gabe- watched the canible at the end of the pole- he then reached over his shoulder- gripping the minigun - without securing it- he used his arm as a support- as he aimed the weapon upward- pointing it at the first canible's center of mass- the suspended, impailed canible; flailed- in an attempt to free himself. Gabe then depressed the trigger- the 60,000 RPM Vindicator minigun shreaded the canible- and the end of the pole- as he dropped the pole- he turned to the other canible, that had charged him - the second canible was greated by the 6 muzzled shreading machine from hell- he depressed the trigger- the minigun severed the man's toreso from his waist.

    Gabe slouched- and secured the minigun to his arm with his right hand - and then turned to the child- who had watched, as a supermutant had slaughtered the murderer's of his perrents- gabe lowered the gun- pointing it to the ground - and approached the child slowly ~

    (Gabe) ...Hello....
    (Child) *Remained silent- With fear in his eyes*
    (Gabe) Dont worry; Your safe now...
    (Child) *Remained silent*
    (Gabe) ...Come on... Lets get you.. away from this place
    (child) * looked to gabe*
    (Gabe) * he motioned for the child to fallow*
    (Child) *stands up; and slowly walks tward the supermutant*
    (Gabe) *looks down to the child- as he continues east* do- you have a name?
    (child) *Remains silent*

    ~the child had fallowed gabe about three miles, without a sound, with a blank emotion on his face- his eyes wide- his face pale; at the three mile mark, the childs eyes began to well - gabe; knowing what the child was going thru; simply picked him up with his right and, and carried him~

    (Gabe) so... Were are you from?
    (child) *Stops crying momentearly- looking to gabe's face*
    (Gabe) do you know where you were born?
    (Child) th...The Den
    (Gabe) is that where you lived?
    (child) n-no
    (Gabe) did you live in a city; or town?
    (child) R...Redding
    (Gabe) How long did you live there?
    (Child) I...Dont know....
    (Gabe) do you have any family there?
    (child) My Auntie
    (gabe) yeah?
    (Child) My...Mom said that... super mutants eat people.... is...is that true?
    (Gabe) ~Chuckled~ Of cource not; What would give her that idea?
    (child) Sh-she said that If I turn my back for just one second, a super-mutant will turn me into dinner.....
    (Gabe) *Began to laugh* I assure you... Im not going to eat you.
  19. Mr. Handy

    Mr. Handy Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Apr 5, 2006
    Devil's Canyon

    Three days out from Vault City, Jack, Eldon, and Sergeant Stark came across the ruins of a ghost town. Decaying and collapsed buildings lay half-buried in the desert sands. Scraps of wood, metal, and canvas littered the area. Anything of value had long since been salvaged.

    Stark whistled. "Time was not kind to this place. I don't know how many of these towns have been abandoned since the War."

    "Actually," said Eldon, "this town is much older than that. Unless I miss my guess, it's about 400 years old. It probably dates back to the Old West. Towns like these often sprang up like weeds when gold or silver was discovered nearby. Then, when the ore was all tapped out, the people just up and left, leaving the buildings to fall apart."

    "Interesting, but irrelevant. There's nothing for us here. Let's keep moving."

    The trio kept walking, arriving at the edge of a very deep gorge about ten minutes later. It stretched as far as the eye could see to the left and right, and the far side was a few hundred feet off. The only visible way across was a rickety wood and rope bridge with ropes for handrails.

    "I've got a bad feeling about this place," said Jack.

    "For good reason, too," said Eldon. "This area is known as Devil's Canyon. It's been a barren waste as long as I can remember. Nothing grows here, nothing lives here."

    "I can believe it. It sure looks godforsaken. That bridge looks none too steady. It should support the weight of one of us, but I wouldn't want to chance two of us crossing at once. Can we go around it?"

    Eldon shook his head. "It would take days to find a way around. Time is critical here."

    "Yeah, I guess we can't spare it. I might not have enough serum to make it back to Vault City if we tried. We'll have to cross one at a time. I'll go first."

    "Shouldn't I go first? I'm the lightest."

    "Yeah, but if there's trouble waiting on the other side I'm better equipped to handle it. You can go second, and Stark can bring up the rear." Jack gingerly made his way across the bridge. It creaked alarmingly with every step, but he reached the other side without incident. After looking around and seeing nothing but sand and boulders, he signaled for Eldon to start across.

    Eldon slowly walked over the old wooden planks. He was about halfway across, where the bridge sagged to its lowest level, when a loud crack rang out. Jack clapped a hand to the back of his neck, where a needle had embedded itself. He pulled it out as the world seemed to spin and sway nauseatingly. His vision got hazy and the needle fell from his hand. He dropped to his knees and then collapsed on his face.

    "Nighty-night," said Amy Velasco, leaning around the edge of a boulder and holding an HN Needler rifle with a scope mounted on top. "Mongo, now! The bridge! I'll cover you!"

    The super mutant emerged from behind another boulder and lumbered over to the cliffside. "Get down!" shouted Stark, throwing himself flat as another crack rang out and a needle passed right through the space his head had just occupied. Eldon dropped to his hands and knees.

    Mongo pulled out a Ripper and revved it up. "Heh heh heh," he cackled. Stark sighted down the barrel of his AK-112 and fired. The round struck the mutant in the shoulder, but he barely noticed. Mongo raised the Ripper over his head, and Eldon realized with horror what he intended to do with it. He barely had time to wrap the ropes around his wrists a few times and grip them tightly before Mongo brought the blade down on the end of the bridge, severing it cleanly in one stroke.

    "Nooooo!" screamed Eldon as the bridge swung back the way he had come. It collided with the northern wall of the canyon, the impact jarring him but failing to dislodge him.

    "Dammit!" shouted Stark. He aimed and fired again as Mongo retreated from the bridge, but the shot went wide. Another needle thwacked into the dust inches from him. Mongo scooped up Jack's unconscious body and slung him over his uninjured shoulder. Then he and Amy ran behind a boulder and around a bend in the trail, disappearing from sight.

    "This is not happening," Stark muttered, regaining his feet and walking up to the canyon's lip.

    "Um, a little help down here?" called Eldon. Stark peered over the edge and saw the ghoul entangled in the bridge's ropes about 150 feet below. He replaced the rifle on his back, grabbed the bridge with both hands, and started hauling it up while Eldon clung tightly to it, gritting his teeth. Finally, Stark pulled Eldon over the canyon's edge and untangled him. "Thank you, Sergeant. I'm okay. What happened to Jack?"

    "The mutie grabbed him, and he and that woman took off." Stark bent down, picked up the bent needle that had just missed him, and examined it. "These needles are loaded with tranquilizers. He's still alive."

    "We've got to get across this canyon and get him back."

    "Yeah, good luck with that. As you said, it'll take days to go around. By then, they could be anywhere, and Jack could be dead. I guess we could use the bridge as a ladder to climb down to the bottom of the canyon."

    "But it could still take days to find a way to climb up the other side - if it's even possible. Those walls are pretty sheer."

    "You got a better idea? It's not like we can fly across."

    Eldon's eyes brightened. "Maybe we can."

    Stark shot him a dubious look. "Are you on Jet or something?"

    "I'm serious. All the raw materials I need are back at that ghost town, and I've got the Super Tool Kit they gave me in Vault City." He pointed to an elevated, flat rocky outcrop off to the side. "We can launch from there."

    Stark laughed. "What are you going to do, build a Vertibird?"

    "Not exactly. Have you ever been hang gliding, Sergeant Stark?"

    "No." He eyed the ghoul warily. "Have you?"

    "Well, no, but how hard could it be?"

    "Aw, hell no! You're crazy, you know that?"

    "Look, do you want to rescue Jack or not?"

    "Not particularly, no."

    "Then maybe I should remind you that we're going to need him when we get to New Reno. He's the only one with the contacts we need to get the job done."

    "This is insane! I'm not flying on some makeshift glider!"

    "You're not afraid, are you?"

    "Hey, I'm not scared of anything!"

    "Good, then it's agreed. Come with me and help me collect the stuff I'll need."

    Stark followed Eldon, shaking his head and wondering just what he'd gotten himself into.

    <center>* * *</center>

    Water splashed Jack in the face, and he gradually woke up. His mind was still foggy, but he managed to collect himself. He was tied securely to a wooden chair in a torchlit cave. Directly in front of him was a dark-haired woman in Mark II leather armor with a pair of Desert Eagles on her gunbelt and the needler rifle she had shot him with across her back. She was rather good-looking, too, he thought. She held a blue water flask with a yellow number 13 emblazoned on it, which she pocketed. Behind her stood a massive super mutant. Jack licked his lips, letting the water soothe his parched throat.

    "So you're the fearsome Jack Graves," she said. "You weren't as tough as they said you'd be."

    "Untie me and I'll show you how tough I am," said Jack. He looked at her face again as his vision cleared and recognized her. "Hey, I've heard of you. You're that bounty hunter, Amy Velasco. I never expected to see you on Mordino's payroll."

    "I'm not." Amy crossed her arms. "This is a freelance job. I won't compromise my independence for anything. So why did you whack Little Jesus Mordino anyway? He shortchange you on a contract? Or maybe you just got sick of him twirling that knife of his." She pulled out the serrated blade he had originally taken from his late boss, and she had evidently found when she had searched him.

    "That's none of your business. What happened to my companions?"

    "The last I saw them, they were taking a header into Devil's Canyon. Nobody's coming to rescue you."

    "Something's been puzzling me. How come I'm not dead?"

    Amy leaned forward and pressed the blade against Jack's cheek. "Are you complaining? That can be remedied, if you like." She paused for a second, then pulled the knife back. "No? Just keep in mind I'm the one who asks the questions. You answer them."

    "I'm not saying anything."

    "Oh, I think you will. I have many ways of...persuading you to talk. Perhaps you'd like Mongo here to play squeeze toy with you?" The super mutant growled happily.

    "I can take a beating."

    "No doubt. But how long will you stay quiet if I start cutting off fingers?"

    "Mine, or yours?" Jack said flippantly.

    Amy leaned in very close and gave him an icy stare. "Yours."

    "Go on and do your worst, then. I don't think you've got the stomach for it."

    "Fortunately, none of that will be necessary. Every man has his weakness, and I already know yours." Amy stepped over to Jack's backpack, lying next to another chair beside a small table. She reached inside and pulled out a hypo filled with glowing silver fluid, then walked back to Jack. "I know you're infected with Redemption. That's how I knew you'd go to Vault City, to get this stuff. It's worth almost as much as you are. I also want to know how you got them to part with such a large quantity of the serum."

    Amy waved the needle under Jack's nose. "You want this. You need this. How long since your last dose?" She looked into his eyes. "Quite some time ago, by the look of things. Within hours, the symptoms will start to show. What's left of your sanity will start slipping away, and that terrifies you. You'll do anything to stop that from happening."

    "You'll get nothing from me, you cold bitch," snarled Jack. "If I don't get that, I'll just get angry. You won't like me when I'm angry."

    "You're feeling a bit cranky now. That's understandable. You just need to chill out a little. I'm sure you'll start feeling more cooperative. Then you'll tell me everything." Amy replaced the hypo in the backpack, sat down at the table, and pulled out a deck of cards. Mongo sat across from her on the floor, and they began playing.
  20. Trag

    Trag First time out of the vault

    Aug 8, 2005
    Redemption rearing it's ugly head...

    It had seemed like hours, Amy had beaten Mongo at countless hands of poker but the mutant's short attention span kept him playing, and losing with each and every deal of the cards. Amy wasn't cheating, she just knew that it didn't take much to bluff the thick headed mutant.
    Jack sat with his head down and his eyes closed, he could feel Redemption surfacing, trying to explode within him,and every moment that passed brought it closer to breaking Jack's will. He clenched his teeth and balled his fists tightly. He could feel the rage, he could feel the darkness inside him wanting out, telling him to just tap into it just for a second so that he can break the bonds that hold him to the chair. But he couldn't, he knew that he could not listen to this urge, if in fact he did, Redemption will have won.
    Jack knew that by letting his urge prevail he could easily escape his situation, but then again if it came to that, Jack Graves would be gone. Replaced by his darkness, all of the anger and hatred inside would become him.
    Jack closed his eyes tightly, he began sweating profusely. He concentrated on keeping himself aware of his surroundings and on controlling his breathing. Everytime he thought about his captors his rage flared, wanting to break free and tear them asunder. He couldn't think about them.

    Amy stood up after bluffing Mongo into thinking that she had a better hand than his full house when in fact she only had a pair of sevens. The young woman walked over to Jack, who was trembling trying so hard to contain himself, to keep his sanity from being swallowed by Redemption. She moved close enough to him that he could smell gunpowder eminating from her. He realized that his senses could be getting effected by the virus, getting hightened, preparing him for the hunt. His primal urges getting the best of him.

    "You don't look so good, Hitman." Amy said with a smile. "You ready to talk to me?"

    Jack didn't answer, he tried not to pay attention, but her words cut through his mind like a knife through butter.

    Amy moved closer,she moved face to face with Jack, he could hear her breathing. Time seemed to slow down and Jack realized that he could hear her heartbeat, it thundered in his mind like a loud drum. He glanced over to Mongo, the same could be heard from his lumbering person, an erratic thumping sound, but a heart beat none the less.

    "Its taking over, isn't it." Amy observed, "Its becoming too hard to resist, you almost want it to win... Don't you." She said with a grin.

    Mongo let out a laugh, "He's gettin' mad!"

    "Yes, he is." Amy confirmed, "Look Jack, your serum. Its in that bag, its less than ten feet away from you. Your sanctuary, your savior from madness, and all you have to do is give in. Just for a moment." Jack realized that Amy talked as if she had experienced the feeling before. But he couldn't ask about it, he coudn't say anything. If he spoke he would lose his concentration, all he could do was listen to his breathing. He had to control his breathing.

    The thundering sounds of the bounty hunters' heartbeats reverberated in his mind, everytime they beat he could hear the blood pumping though them, he could hear their veins shooting the blood through the body and he could smell it as if he were a hungry wolf. He wanted to rip their hearts out, he wanted to rip them apart to stop the sounds; the overwhelmingly tempting sounds of life that needed to be destroyed.
    But, he had to control himself, he had to control his breathing...