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Zeroth
The Commonwealth has changed in the two years since the downfall of the Institute. The Sole Survivor had changed the game. The once timid and small Minutemen had grown in size and influence under the new General. Things were still harsh. Raiders still raided, super mutants still hunted in packs and ghouls still sprout out of nowhere. However, the Minutemen were quick to dispatch aid where needed at a moment’s notice. There was hope in the air.

The sole survivor did what he thought was best for the Commonwealth. He saw, the Minutemen as the one reasonable option for the future. The Brotherhood were outsiders that in effect had invaded the area. The Railroad only cared for synths and they could care less for the plight of humans. The Institute had fostered fear and intimidated the populace. They kidnapped people and replaced them with identical synths that would do their bidding.

However, in order to prevent the Minutemen from going into direct conflict with the Brotherhood, he used the Railroad to bring down The Prydwen. The Railroad wanted the BOS gone as they would hunt down synths and eliminate them. The Sole survivor infiltrated The Prydwen disguised with Railroad agents and planted bombs that brought the dirigible down, along with a large number of BOS personnel. While the agents were installing the bombs, the sole survivor planted evidence that could be later found implicating The Railroad in the attack.

The Minutemen were apprehensive of this plan, but they along with the Sole survivor shared the view in regards to the BOS. However, it was either this plan or going on a full offensive with the BOS and losing many of their men. When The Prydwen fell, the Minutemen immediately dispatched aid and men to help survivors. In the midst of the confusion, the BOS bought the ruse and they blamed the Railroad. The survivors launched an attack on the Railroad, and they were scattered. Most of their leadership was killed. As far as most people were concerned, the surviving BOS retreated from the area.

With the BOS and Railroad handled, the Minutemen could now focus on the Institute. The Sole survivor faced a daunting choice after all; his own son led the Institute. However, he felt that he had been corrupted and abused his position. However, even when faced with the daunting task of bringing down the Institute, he issued an evacuation order and delayed the destruction of the Institute to allow them time to escape.

Now it would be up to the Minutemen to bring about a change to The Commonwealth. Perhaps once again the prospect of a unified government would take hold.

However, to the regular folk, all of that seems distant. You’re focused mostly on survival and settling somewhere safe. While wandering the Commonwealth, you come across the old town of Salem. You head there to take refuge due to the Children of Atom activity being reported south of the area. They have settled an old crater, and control the old lighthouse.

When you arrive, you expect to find the town in ruins, but surprisingly, there are settlers. You’re greeted by a man called Barney Rook. He introduces himself as the leader of the Salem Volunteer Militia and current de facto mayor of the settlement. He informs you that all ae welcomed as long as hostilities are dealt with out of town.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by 2sky11
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Ace Makovich – Salem
Ace stood next to the old pre-war diner. He had worked hard for the last few weeks renovating the diner. He had worked hard in cleaning up the place, sure it wouldn’t be close to its pre-war splendor but it came close to it. Barney Rook was more than glad someone fixed up the old place. It was a welcome addition to the town.

“Place looks mighty fine Ace, I sure know the caravans and provisioners will be happy there’s a place selling food. They’ve been bitching about the lack of such a place for a while now,” Said the old man as he lit a cigarette and adjusted the strap of his rifle.

Ace dusted himself off and shook his head in agreement, “Well as long as you keep bringing that mirelurk meat, I think we’ll do quite well. People seem to like that taste of shellfish. I think most have grown tired of eating molerat or spoiled Brahmin meat.”

“It’s only spoiled cause of the distance from the closest butcher. Just add a little salt or some spices and the taste goes away.” Barney replied.

“Goes away, sure that’s true. But it comes back with a vengeance a half hour later, as you feel like a bomb has gone off in your gut. Then you gotta spend half the night on the shitter.” Ace said as he chuckled.

“Yeah well… well at least it’s better than eating molerat, or worse dog. Foul taste. Plus, personally I’ve grown tired of eating mirelurk. Bad enough it tries to kill me every time I go lookin’ for it.” Barney replied.

Ace shrugs his shoulder and nods in agreement, “Yeah, well I agree. Hate taste of dog, rather starve than eat it. Well, Im gonna go into the woods and go looking for some Radstag. I saw a few this morning, maybe I’ll catch one off guard.”

As Ace started to walk away, barney shouted towards him, “Well make sure to watch for them rad boys from the craters. If you see one, put ‘em down.”

Ace raised his hand acknowledging the warning checked his gun to make sure the safety was off. Barney was right, the children of Atom followers were crazy, and would easily attack anyone they came across.


Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by 2sky11
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Ace Makovich - Woods

He sat on the ground, leaning against a tree. He had been waiting for a while, looking for Radstags. He reached into his pack and pulled out a dirty bottle of whisky. He pulled the cap off and took a long swig. He could feel the warmth of the liquor traveling through his body and could feel himself getting a nice buzz.

As he sat there, he suddenly heard a branch snap. He immediately jumped up but nearly fell as he tumbled. As he gained his footing he grabbed his 10mm pistol and looked around. He spotted a lone radstag grazing. He slowly started walking to it and started to point his gun. He could feel his heart racing, and was feeling the effects of the alcohol as he began to sweat.

He shot a round and missed the creature in front of him. The radstag entered into a frenzied state and soon started charging him. Before he could shoot it again, he was slammed into a tree by the radstag, his head slamming into the bark.

His vision blurred and he could feel the warmth of his blood as it dripped down his face. He could see the radstag running away. He tried to get on his feet, but was having a hard time. But managed to grab a branch of the tree and pulled himself up. The world seemed to be spinning; at this point he wasn’t sure if it was from alcohol or the blow to the head.

He dusted himself off and slowly started to look up as he heard the very familiar sounds of a charging animal. The radstag was charging towards him with its head down. Ace feverishly looked for his pistol and finally saw it laying a fe yard in front of him in the path of the charging radstag. He tried running for it but realized it would be too late.

As soon as the radstag was close to him and about to slam into him he jumped as it thrust its head upwards. Ace flew through the air and landed hard on the ground. He pulled the combat knife from his boot and readied himself for another charge. The creature was furious and it growled as it charged towards him.

As it charged, ace rolled to the side and stuck his arm out with the knife, slashing the left front leg. The radstag crashed to the ground and struggled to get on it’s feet.

He saw a thick branch on the ground that had fallen from the tree. He walked over to it and picked it up. The radstag still struggled to get up, as Ace approached it with the branch in hand. As creatures cried out and struggled, Ace raised branch over his head and slammed it on the creatures head over and over again.

He walked to where he last saw his pistol and picked it up. He cocked the gun and walked over to the radstag and put a bullet in each of its heads. He grabbed a towel from his pack and wiped his forehead. It was covered in blood. Some of the radstag but most of it his own. His head was sore but it seemed he was no longer bleeding. His chest and back ached. He lifted his shirt and his chest and stomach was bruised from the slams he received from the radstag. The area was tender as he flinched pulling the shirt down.

After taking another swig from the whiskey bottle, he grabbed the cord of rope in his pack. He firmly wrapped it around the animal and started dragging it back to town. He decided next time, he'd wait till after he caught and killed an animal to drink.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by SkrtWithAWeapon
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CELESTE BROWN -- entering Salem

Celeste didn't want to admit it, but she was starting to dread spending more time on the road. She'd grown up hearing countless stories of the wasteland and its creatures, pitfalls, and other ugliness, and yet it wasn't until she saw it for herself that it felt much less exciting and far more terrifying. The caravan and its guards kept her perfectly safe against the mutated beasts and drugged out raiders, but she found her enjoyment of the experience draining out with every passing moment.

The wasteland was barren, the water was poisonous, and if it lived, it wanted you dead.

By the tenth day of straight travel, she wanted nothing more than to find a decent settlement with some room and set up shop. She was terrible at travelling, but serving those who did? She was a gosh darned professional.

The crew began muttering about stopping in Salem for some water and a rest. She perked up, immediately. "What's Salem? Is it a town?"

"It's on the map," was all that she got from the leader, Cairn. Celeste also decided that travelling with the same people who told magnificent stories was much less fun than just serving them drinks and socializing.

It would be another hour before the caravan marched into Salem. They paused, standing in the road in front of the Museum of Witchcraft, looking further down the road. Satisfied the place must be empty, they merely squat in the sandy patch just off the road, busted out some provisions, and talked quietly amongst themselves.

"Is it okay if I just go take a walk?" Celeste asked, gazing down the road.

"Just don't go where we can't see ya," chuckled Cairn. The others stifled laughter.

"Great! Be back in a bit," she chirped, making her way down the road. She found herself fascinated by the sight and sound of the ocean. "This place sure is quiet." Celeste meandered east and saw a tall, intact sign that read DRUMLIN DINER. A gruff looking man stood outside the building, leaning against the wall, and puffing on a cigarette. "Hi, there!" she called to him with a wave.

The man turned towards her call and paused. He nodded in response but said nothing.

"That yer diner, there? Also, what is this place? Isn't it a fantastic day!" she chattered gleefully.

Another pause. "This is Salem, girl."

"Salem," Celeste repeated with a happy sigh, making her way up off the road to stand next to the diner, itself. "A proper settlement?"

"With any luck. Ain't you with that caravan up there, though?"

"Hmm? Oh, no. I just paid them to let me travel with them from Niagara Falls to Diamond City, but, ah...well, I just think this place is interesting!" She nodded at the diner. "I've been cooking, baking, and bartending my whole life, if you're lookin' for someone to run the place."

"I'm not. Fella who goes by 'Ace' has spent a few weeks working on the place, by all rights the place is his."

Celeste's face and heart fell at the news. "Oh, I see."

The man gave her another once-over before grinding his cigarette out with his foot. "If you're sure you want to just set up shop, there's a fine set of rooms in the pre-war convalescent home. The inside needs some cleaning out, like anywhere, but the place has got lockable rooms and whatnot."

Celeste blinked.

"You could run an inn, or a motel. Probably could still have a bar and serve some light meals, if you wanted."

Celeste blinked once more.

The man sighed as if he had come to a realization. "If you want to stay in town, you could run the inn. Miss...?"

"Celeste! Oh, I mean, Brown. Celeste Brown." She thrust out her hand for a shake.

"Barney." He did not accept her hand and instead lit up another cigarette.

"So nice to meet you! Now, where's this cova...conva...convent home?"

"Convalescent -- never mind. It ain't that any more. Come, I'll show you."

"HEY!" yelled Cairn from behind them. "What the hell do you think you're doing, Celeste? The caravan's leaving and it's going the other direction."

"Ah, oh. Right! I'm not coming with you!" Celeste replied with a smile.

Cairn rubbed his forehead between his eyebrows. "What?"

"I'm stayin' here! I don't want to go to Diamond City. I don't want to go anywhere. This place has a spot for me and I'm gonna take it. Diamond City might not have even had work for me right away, you know?"

Cairn regarded her for another moment or two. "You sure about this? Diamond City is probably the safest place you could ever be."

"This place looks pretty safe! It's empty, after all. Right, Barney?"

Barney raised his hands and shook his head. Celeste looked back to Cairn.

"I'll be fine, really! You guys will come back through here with the caravan, right? I'll see you lots!"

"Well, all right, then. If you're sure..."

Celeste wrapped her arms around the caravaner and gave him a tight hug. Her head barely came up to his chin. "Sure as anything. I'll be just fine!"

A few minutes later, Celeste was standing in the road, waving goodbye to the caravan as they set off to the south once more. Barney led her to the convalescent home and immediately made to leave.

"You're not gonna come inside?"

"Nah. The place is yours, now! But maybe you should come by the diner later today. Ace is out huntin' as we speak."

"I see. Well, thanks, Barney! You've been really helpful!"

Barney waved her off and walked away. Celeste turned to the double doors, took a deep breath, and pulled them open. The foyer was caked with a layer of dust and grime that she somehow hadn't expected. Sunlight filtered in through the ancient windows, tempered by the dirty glass. There was a ruined couch and an armchair set up in the corner with a small coffee table. On the other side was a broken down Eat-o-Tronic, and a Nuka Cola machine, centuries empty.

"All right...not bad..." she breathed, seeing the potential in the place, once she had cleaned it up. Celeste made her way to the receptionist desk and rest her arms up on the counter. She glanced to the object sitting next to her right elbow.

Please RING for service!

"Don't mind if I do!" She reached over and pinged on the little button, chiming the bell. It sounded quite loud in the emptiness of the foyer.

There was a sudden clattering from somewhere deeper within the building. Celeste jumped, then ducked in front of the counter, waiting.

"Coming, coming right away!" buzzed an amplified voice, followed by the hiss and whirr of hydraulics. Celeste covered her head, not even considering just running back out the way she came. The sounds stopped approaching and sounded as though they were suspended in space. She remained unmoving.

"Hello, there. Are you quite all right? Did you wish to check in?" the voice continued from the other side of the counter. Celeste slowly stood to look across the counter at a fully functioning Mr Handy. She blinked.

"Check in?" she repeated. "No, I was told I could, uh, manage the place."

"Manage? As in, site manager?"

"...y-yes...?"

"Wonderful! That's most pleasant news. We lost our previous site manager ten, twenty..." The robot paused, calculating. "Hrmph. Records indicate it has been over two hundred years since we last had a proper site manager. That just couldn't be right. Anyways!" It turned and began pulling open small drawers beneath the counter before producing a key hung on a chain featuring a miniature, faded plastic Nuka Cherry rocket bottle. "This is yours, and if you'd follow me..."
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Tiberius67
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Mary Hawthorne - Near Salem - The Museum of Witchcraft

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.” ― H.P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu"

"Let me out, you heathens!", Becky shrieked as she struggled vainly against the bars of the cell, "Let me out NOW!"

Her captors, one a hooded figure, who was male by his deeper voice, and the second, a female ghoul in a tattered pre-war dress, standing in a circle of lit candles, ignored her and kept up with their chanting, as they had been doing for seemingly hours. It was all gibberish to Becky...ridiculous words like Ub-Qualtoth and such...and definitely not what she had been promised when the ghoul lured her away from completing her pilgrimage from Javert Brothers to Kingsport Lighthouse with promises about a "Holy Relic" of Atom. She had no idea what they were up to, but she was not so naive that it did not escape her that they did not have her best interests in mind. She was bitterly regretting venturing on her pilgrimage alone, and not waiting another week for Brother Luis and Sister Tabitha to make the journey with her as they had asked. "The Wasteland is dangerous, it's full of Heathens and worse!", Brother Luis had told her. But convinced Atom would protect her, she obeyed the visions she had received and departed alone. Suddenly, the pitch of the chanting became louder, and then climaxed with a loud incantation:

Y’AI ’NG’NGAH,
UB-QUALTOTH
H’EE—L’GEB
F’AI THRODOG
UAAAH!”


At the last syllable, the candles suddenly went out as a strong, foul wind blew towards her, as if it came from the ghoul. She attempted to speak...to demand again to be set free, but found she could not control her body anymore. She suddenly felt as light as a balloon, floating up towards the ceiling. Even though the room was now dark, she could still see by the light of a lantern placed on a chair behind the robed man. To her horror, she could now see her body, where she had been, pressed up against the cell bars, gripping the bars in a deathgrip. Fear began to well up within her as a inky black cloud vomited up out of the ghoul's mouth, traveling at her through the cell bars as if it had a mind of it's own, and and poured itself into her own open mouth. At the same time, another wind began to push her towards the ghoul. She tried to resist it as best she could, but could not and found herself pushed into the ghoul's open mouth........

"Whatever you're doing", Becky shrieked, "stop it right now, you freak!"

As soon as she heard it, she realized that her voice wasn't her own, but the raspy voice of a ghoul. Also, suddenly her sense of sight and smell had dimmed, as if they were muffled somehow. She also now realized she was outside the cell. And her muscles ached with a dull, throbbing ache. She held up her hands to see, and in the lamplight, she could see the bony and partially skinless hands of a ghoul. She looked up to see herself...still standing pressed up against the cell door....and screamed as a terrible look of triumph appeared on the face that she now understood was no longer her own.

"H..H..H...How?", Becky stammered, still not believing what she had just seen.

"Long ago", "Becky" said as she let go of the bars and reached into the cleavage of one of the mannequins in the cell and pulled out a key, "When I was a young woman, about your age, in fact, they called it "Witchcraft". The men this museum was built to condemn were quite right about that...if nothing else. She then unlocked the cell door, pushing it open and stepping out until she stood before her, cocking her head slightly and looking at her in a inquisitive way. It was then that she remembered that the ghoul had a small revolver in her pocket...she had used it to force her into the cell after they got her Gamma Gun away from her. She reached into her pocket, feeling it's reassuring grip. Her fingers tightened around the butt and she pulled it out.

"Atom save me!", Becky shouted as she drew the revolver, aiming it back and forth between "Becky" and the robed man. "When I tell my Brothers and Sisters about this, they'll purge you with Atom's Holy Fire!"

"I had hoped you would see things differently", "Becky" replied, sadly shaking her head. "But I didn't really expect it to. I'm afraid Atom won't save you....or anyone else for that matter. Atom is merely the latest attempt by Man to give meaning to his meaningless existence....he's just as imaginary as the God I was taught to worship when I was your age. There are "Gods" out there...but I've seen some of them, and I can tell you that you really don't want them noticing you."

"You lie!", Becky screamed as she backed away towards one of the doors, the other being blocked by the hooded man, threatening the pair with her revolver as she moved. Once past the door, she turned and ran for her life. As she ran she heard her own, now Becky's voice, echo down the hall behind her.

"It was nothing personal", "Becky" said, "You had something I needed!"

Back in the room, once an exhibit of a 1690s Jail Cell of the type suspected witches awaited trial in, "Becky" calmly waited for what she knew would come next.

"Why did you let her go, Marie?", the hooded man said, "and why did you leave that revolver in your pocket?"

"The bullets were wax, Obediah....theatrical blanks with only a primer behind them", Marie replied patiently, choosing to answer his second question first. A sudden roar, and a shriek followed by four muffled reports, and a second, despairing, shriek that was suddenly cut off was her cue to answer the first. "To answer your first question", Marie continued, "I didn't."

"If you'll excuse me a moment", Marie said as she grabbed the Gamma gun from within Obediah's robes and followed in the direction Becky had fled, "I'm going to get my revolver back." Adding over her back as she headed into the hall, "Don't follow me....there's only one way it won't attack you, and I doubt if your pride would allow me to do it."

Marie walked down the hallway, into what was once the lobby of the old Museum. her nose crinkled in disgust at the stench of manure and rotting meat, a reminder of the pitfalls of her new form. Near the front, an enormous Deathclaw fed upon the fresh corpse that had been her for over six hundred years. It looked up at her, sniffing the air in her direction, then relaxed and returned to feeding. About ten feet away, she saw her .38 revolver laying on the floor. For a moment, she she stood and watched the Deathclaw feed, feeling a twinge of regret, but it passed as rapidly as it came. She was a predator, Becky was prey....it was that simple. It was the way it was, in the Wasteland and in the vast and uncaring universe that she had long ago learned was what was really out there. She had noted that her body was beginning to fail, so she took another one...and a good one this was. The Cult Becky was part of, the Children of Atom, had a large number of members with a very special mutation....what seemed to be a complete immunity to radiation. It had taken several attempts to find a suitable host with this mutation, but it had been worth the effort. She walked over to the dropped weapon and picked it up, the Deathclaw taking no notice of her as if she were another member of it's pack, noting to her satisfaction her back no longer bothered her to stoop....in fact, the aches and pains she had long gotten used to were completely gone. She put the revolver into a pocket of the rough woolen robe Becky had been wearing, then removed the various ornaments and bangles that Children of Atom so loved to wear to show their devotion, and dropped them into a nearby pile of gore, followed by the contents of her pockets, then the Gamma gun. She then turned and walked back to the "cell" where Obediah waited for her.

"Can we go now?", Obediah asked as he removed the robe and draped it over his arm. "I need to get back to the Manor". Marie noticed for the first time that the young man looked quite handsome, though he would look better in the white suits he favored back home in Maryland rather than the mercenary outfit he was now wearing. Thoughts she hadn't had in a long time flashed through her mind. While she had hardly been celibate all these years, much of her activity in that regard was transactional in nature, or done for other purposes than the sheer pleasure of it.

"Hormones", Marie thought to herself, "Another thing I will need to get used to again....especially now that I could find myself with child."

"Yes", Marie said. "Sun should be up, so you can see me into town. If everything goes as it should, you can head home from there." she then looked at him and smiled. "Thanks for your help, by the way."

"No", Obediah said, "Thank you, Marie. For opening my eyes, and showing me the Way....I've learned much from you these past ten years."

"It's been my pleasure", Marie replied. "But, please, call me Mary from now on...Mary Hawthorne. I'm home now, it's time to begin using my true name again."

As you wish...Mary", Obediah said with a chuckle, "But do remember that I'm Zachariah Blackhall, now."


Later


Mary and Zachariah, the latter leading a Brahmin, walked down the main street past crumbling buildings towards the church, passing a active turret, it's generator chugging away as the stubby gun moved back and forth. Soon they reached the Village Common, now dotted with a collection of abandoned vendor stalls...as if some sort of market had been there. Down a cross street, to their right, was an dilapidated Drumlin Diner.....by the look of it, someone had begun repairs on the abandoned structure. Mary remembered when the place was built....in the 2050s....how the old biddies on the Historical Preservation Committee had shrieked about it. "It'll destroy the historical character of the Village Common!", they bleated. If only they were here today...they'd shit themselves to see how all they'd cared about had crumbled to dust and been forgotten. She'd learned a few tricks from Orne and Hutchinson once she had been introduced by her teacher....not surprisingly they had completely escaped detection by her first husband and his fellow oafs during the Trials...it would almost be worth it to raise one of them up and let them see just how futile their lives had been. Almost. They turned left at the Diner, along what she remembered to be Essex Street, and there it was...her house. Somewhat worse for wear, but still standing after over four hundred years. Fortunately, the doors and windows were boarded up so no one was squatting there...that would have complicated things. they approached the house, tying up the Brahmin to a lamp post, where it contentedly grazed off the overgrown yard as, while Mary watched, Zachariah pulled a crowbar out from the Brahmin's pack and began to remove the boards barring the door. As Zachariah made progress, a voice called out from the street.

"Miss", a man called out, "Do ya have a minute?"

Mary looked over to see an elderly man, rather unkempt, standing in the street, a lit cigarette jutting out of his mouth. He had a rifle slung on his shoulder, but made no sign of reaching for it. He did appear to be anxious about something...though she didn't get the impression he had hostile intent.

"Of course", Mary replied, "Mister...."

"Rook, Miss", the man said respectfully, "Barney Rook. I'm head of the Salem Volunteer Militia." He then chuckled. "hell, I pretty much am the militia right now....hopefully that will change as folk come in." His serious look returned and he continued. "We got plenty of room here in Salem, especisally for a young lady like yourself, but I wouldn't recommend moving into that house."

"Why not, Barney", Mary asked, "is it claimed already?" She then placed the palm of her hand against her head. "I forget my manners, Barney. I'm sorry. My name is Mary Hawthorne. And before you ask, Zachariah here is not my husband, he's a friend of mine."

"Oh, no, Miss Mary", Barney exclaimed, "That house isn't claimed by anyone. Even back before the mirelurks swarmed the town a few years back. Hell, for as long as I can remember." He looked both ways down the street, then leaned forward and continued in a stage whisper. "People say that house is haunted."

"Really?", Mary replied, successfully suppressing the urge to laugh. Inwardly, she smirked with satisfaction. The wards she had placed before her trip to Maryland....about a hundred and ninety years longer than she had intended to stay there, had held all this time. Excellent. She put her hands on her hips in a defiant pose, careful to speak in such a way that it came across that she didn't believe him, but wasn't ridiculing him. "Well, Barney, I don't believe in ghosts, or spirits, or "Gods" named Atom for that matter. I'll take my chances...thanks for warning me though. If there turns out to be something in there that needs shot, I'll come running."

"Hopefully it won't come to that", Barney said with a grunt. "but if it does, I'm usually at the Diner, the Militia HQ over on the corner where the turret is, or in the basement of my old house in the north end of town. Ya can't miss it, it's the only one with power." He then added, "If you do visit, mind the fence...it's electrified. Welcome to Salem, by the way." His duty done, he waved goodbye, and walked back towards the Diner.

"Haunted?", Zachariah asked sarcastically as he levered off the last board, revealing the door. Mary wordlessly waved him aside, pulling a key hanging on a cord around her neck from her robe and inserting it into the lock. "Should I wait outside here, too?"

"Not any more", Mary said as she turned the key in the lock, feeling the spell..a minor cantrip...dissipate as she did so. She then pushed open the door and stepped inside, coughing at the dust disturbed by their passage. A quick check showed all was largely as she had left it...if crumbling from two centuries of neglect and under a very thick coat of dust. A quick check of the attic revealed the roof looked in serious need of repairs...a few more years and the interior would have been ruined. She'd have to do something about it, and soon. Perhaps she could hire Barney?

A check of the basement showed it to be dry..which she expected given the structure was on the top of a small hill, and the more substantial wards she had placed on the hidden sub-basement were undisturbed. Satisfied for now, she went back upstairs, and then up to the second floor and began opening windows. The housewife deep inside her was appalled at the dust and crumbling furniture...not to mention it bothered her new form physically, making her sneeze constantly.

"Think you could stay one day, Zachariah", she asked between sneezes, "I really need to do something about all this dust!"
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Callyx
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It had been a few days since he had arrived here. He knew he was not usually welcome within the confines of Salem proper. He found a shack near the edge of the city, and he had to clear out the Mirelurks that rested within it. The eggs had been easy enough, it was the King that suddenly showed up that gave him issues. The red and black monster had torn out of the water like it owned this shack... And maybe in a way, it did.

When claws hit steel however, it was a very different reality. In his full suit, he might as well of been in powered armor, like those Brotherhood fellows, and the claws of the beast simply clattered and scraped along welded steel. Rook pulled back his fist and slammed it hard into the face of the Mirelurk King. He had seen what that sonic attack of theirs could do, and he would rather not have to be on the end of it. Stepping into the next strike, he pushed it back towards the water, blackish blood flowing down it's face.

The beast pulled back, ready to unleash that attack that it was known for, and that was when the blade came down. The heavy weapon that Rook had spent years trying to cobble together, the blade was heavier than he wanted, but overall, it worked. The halberd like weapon sang out through the air, found the flesh of the King, and in one motion, ended it's life. He would need to harvest the meat before it went bad, but he couldn't help himself.

“Rook takes King. Checkmate.”
He said, looking to the remaining few eggs, the dead king, and the shack. “Yes... This will be a good place for Rook to live.”

That was nearly a week ago. He had cut and cooked the body of the King, making a simple stew with that he had left. Fish stew got old however, and he knew he had to do more. He had cleaned out all the muck that had been left behind by the Mirelurks, pulled up the truck from the water and let it dry before working off the steel and using that to make a better foundation for himself. His armor was put up on racks, the age old diamond plate steel had long ago lost it's luster, but he knew it was still as useful now as it was back then.

Grabbing the small bag of caps, Rook would count out what he had left. He needed supplies. He had seen other Super Mutants eating humans, but he couldn't ever bring himself to do that. He used to be one. As terrible as the wasteland was, he knew he could find food if he was willing to work for it, or had the money to get it. He had some caps, but not enough for every much. With a sigh, he would grab up the tattered cloth he had found what felt like years ago.

White, frayed in spots, holes in others, but it got the point across. Tried to what used to be a flag pole, he walked out with that on his shoulder. He wasn't in his armor, he had no weapons, but he was still an eight foot tall green man walking towards a town. He was sure he was going to make some people scared, hence the flag. It should make them wonder, or stop if they knew it was for surrender. Wearing only a simple pair of pants, Rook walked up the beach and around the rocks, heading towards the town of Salem proper, looking to trade, offer his muscles for caps, or just generally prove he was not like most of his kin.

“Rook is here for trade! Not to fight! Please do not shoot at Rook!” He called when he was on the main road, heading towards the town his one arm up, the other holding the flag.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Crimson Paladin
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Inquisitor Carver - The Lisette

Ian Carver stood at the starboard doorway of a small fishing boat, looking out across the water towards the small settlement that grew ever closer. The sight of the settlement brought him relief- boat travel did not agree with him, and Ian was anxious to be on dry, steady land again.

Over the last few years, he had served Atom loyally as a Zealot, protecting His faithful from the inhabitants and creatures of the holy island. Tensions had risen and fallen, the holy Fog waxed and waned, and with the peace with the unbelievers at Far Harbor brokered by the High Confessor, they had prospered. But recently, disturbing rumors had begun to reach the Nucleus concerning the Children of Atom elsewhere- rumors of His faithful attacking any strangers they come across, attempting to force His light upon all rather than inviting them to bask in it. In response, Tektus has appointed Carver to the station of Inquisitor, and sent him to the Commonwealth to investigate these rumors, and, if there is any truth to them, to correct these free radicals.

"This is the place," spoke Giraud, the Harborman at the ship's wheel. "A little up-and-coming town called Salem. Good trade opportunities to be had, for those willing to work for it. Devil knows if it'll last, the wasteland has a way of killing off promising towns."

Giraud was one of the inhabitants of Far Harbor, an older chap who made his living fishing, hunting, and trapping whatever lurked in the water, and currently intended to investigate trading opportunities in Salem. The man never went far ashore, partially because he preferred being on the water and partially because he had trouble walking ever since a Mirelurk (although Giraud insists that it was a seagoing Fog Crawler) mangled his right leg. He was an alright fellow despite his tendency to exaggerate and embellish his stories, having been willing to take Carver along to Salem on his boat, the Lisette.

"What sort of trade opportunities? Guns? Food? Medicine?" asked Carver as he continued to stare at the settlement.

"Not sure. A little of everything, I reckon." the Harborman answered, now maneuvering the ship in preparation to pull into one of the docks. "Good time to find out, though."

The fishing boat pulled into one of the docks and came to a rest. The Harborman picked up the pole hook he used as a walking cane and exited the cabin to tie the boat down, while Carver walked to the back of the cabin to fetch a large military bag. Given the rumors that the Children of Atom were actively and brazenly attacking folks in the region, it would be unwise to wear his armor on in town, yet if the rumors were true, it would be even more unwise to not wear his armor when making contact with Atom's local believers. He would be unable to hide the markings on his face, however, so he would still need to tread cautiously.

"This is where I get off. Thanks for the ride, Giraud," he said to the boatman as he climbed out of the boat, bag in tow. His first step would be to find out who is in charge, and learn more about the threat posed by the Children of Atom. This behavior- openly attacking all those whom they come across, as the rumors went- was unacceptable, and would need to be ended. Carver dearly hoped that they would comply; to further refuse would be heresy, and as Inquisitor, it was his duty to judge and punish heresy within the ranks. After setting them straight, he would be responsible for protecting his family from those whom they had erroneously wronged, and would almost certainly have to work toward mending relationships with the locals.

One step at a time Ian, he told himself as he begun to feel the weight of his duty, as if his armor had been strapped to his very soul. First I must find out where they are. If my information is correct, the troubles are coming from somewhere in this area, meaning the strayed faithful shouldn't be far.

His first step would be to figure out whom to speak to. Anyone with the knowledge of where the unruly Children of Atom were would be sufficient, although any additional information on them may prove useful...
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Tiberius67
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Mary Hawthorne - Her House

Mary sighed contentedly as she relaxed in the old claw-foot bath tub...her first hot bath in many years. As a ghoul, hot baths weren't a good idea as it just accelerated the skin flaking off. Being alone at her shack in the Swamps, she just bathed in the nearby river when she felt the need. But the warmth of the water...and the fallout in it...was deeply relaxing after two days of cleaning the dust and junk out of the house. she wished she had learned of the Children..and their gift...years ago, the longer lifespans of ghouls came at a price...a price she no longer had to pay, thanks to Zachariah and his followers. He had been a very apt pupil...once she showed him he had been playing with things far beyond his understanding at the time...she hoped he would heed her advice to limit his trafficking with the Outer Gods, such as Ub-Qualtoth, to a minimum. They have their own agendas, and they weren't in the interests of their human followers. And then there were the Witch-finders...or whatever they were called now...that were drawn to Cults devoted to such worship as flies to honey. A group of determined mortals with sufficient knowledge could overcome even the most powerful sorcerer...something she had witnessed from the sidelines repeatedly over the centuries...and she had no intention of falling prey to them herself.

With one hand, she poured herself another drink....Whisky and Nuka-Cola as they had run out of wine...then took a sip as she turned her attention back to the ancient tome she was reading. The Malleus Maleficarum...1660 printing in Latin...the very book that had poisoned her husband's mind, and, ironically, led to her being here today, instead of forgotten under a crumbling gravestone in the churchyard with John and poor Abigail. The book itself was almost pure nonsense....a product of a diseased mind that had no exposure to the Mythos that she could tell beyond hearsay....but it gave insight to the mind of her mortal enemies, and the illustrations of witches consorting with demons still had an perversely erotic appeal to her. The reality of it hadn't quite lived up to her imagination, but some of the beings she had made such bargains with could be coaxed into performing adequately.

Obediah...Zachariah...had made use of the portal in her basement to return to Blackhall Manor, so she had the house to herself. Most of the furnishings were useless now, her and Zachariah had piled them up in front of the house until she could find someone to carry them away. At least she was able to salvage a set of box springs and a mattress that wasn't too disgusting....with a sleeping bag it would do until she could find better. She needed to look around, and see what other people had gathered here, perhaps find a way to make a living so she did not have to dip into her supply of caps....a considerable sum....she was going to need them to find what she had returned home for. Rook was a name she remembered....that family had been prominent in Salem even before the War, but from what little Barney said there were few if any people here at all, which did have it's good points. She effectively had a clean slate here, no-one could possibly know of her links to Salem. That suited her just fine.

Faintly, outside, she heard the Brahmin mooing from the crude pen Zachariah had set up alongside the house for her.

Damn....needs to be milked.


Mary reluctantly closed the book and put it on the battered chair next to the tub, getting up and climbing out. She couldn't help but notice herself in the dusty full length mirror attached to the door. A comely wench she was now...that would get attention from men. While not unwelcome, it could be inconvenient, not to mention deadly. She dried off, then put up her hair, then picked up the book and walked out into the bedroom to dress. Placing the old tome on the dresser, the only one she had been able to salvage, she put on a tan button down dress and then socks and boots. she turned to leave, then turned back to the rough woolen robe laid out on the bed. She picked that up and placed it in the empty bottom drawer of the dresser, making a mental note to burn it later. After placing a sheathed combat knife in her right hand boot, she went downstairs to the kitchen to retrieve a bucket and a stool, then exited the house from the front door. She walked around the side of the house, noticing a boat had arrived at the pier and a man carrying a large green bag was trudging up the hill. He didn't seem to be behaving oddly, sho she paid him no further mind and and entered the makeshift brahimin pen as the brahmim mooed at her.

"Calm down, Bessie", she said as she put down the stool and placed the bucket under the protesting brahmin. "Mary's here to make you feel better."

She then started to milk the brahmin.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Andronicus23
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Dr. Arthur West, Arriving Into Salem

The walking had become unbearable, and Arthur had stopped to rest at a lonely rock alongside the broken highway leading up to Salem. The heat of the wasteland sun was beating down, and his hazmat suit was not keeping him cool whatsoever. Gently, he removed the helmet and breathed heavily as he tried to cool off,

"Damn the sun," He muttered to himself, as he wiped off his glasses which had become fogged up and laced with sweat. Now more than ever, he was missing the perfectly climate controlled environment of his home. Of The Institute. He missed his favorite little spot in the Bioscience atrium, where he would just sit and read for hours on end. Sometimes he'd wait until quiet hours began, and the artificial sunlights dimmed and the stars would come out, twinkling on the domed ceiling above him.

Arthur closed his eyes and tried to picture it. He could see it as clear as if it was yesterday. When he opened his eyes however, instead of being back home, he was still in the blasted hellscape that he'd entered of his own free will. And his home was a radioactive crater in The Charles.

His fists clenched for a moment in rage. Rage at the savage that had destroyed it all and sent his people to scavenge in a half-finished underground Vault. His grip quickly lessened however, when he reminded himself of just why such a fate had befallen them. And his own hand in it. Perhaps that was part of the reason he'd left Vault 88. It was difficult for him to face his colleagues knowing that his own actions had caused this whole mess to begin with.

"I did what I was told to do," He whispered quietly, "The lab wasn't my responsibility. I was just a researcher."

Arthur knew that wasn't true though. He remembered how much he'd initially enjoyed working for the program. How he and Dr. Virgil both had excited themselves with the possibilities of what they were doing. The FEV had seemed like such limitless potential, and they told themselves that, indeed, it would be a crime not to continue developing something so scientifically important.

He sighed, and placed the hazmat helmet back on his head, before getting up to continue walking onward. As the ruins of the town approached, he popped a fresh microfusion cell into his pistol and examined it briefly. He'd gotten the pistol after successfully requisitioning it for personal defense once the regulations had been lessened. That had been when SRB had determined the volatility of things above ground might require such measures. He never thought he'd actually need to use it however. Now, it was literally the only thing keeping him from certain death in this terrifying place.

With his pistol ready, he entered the town slowly and cautiously.

It seemed surprisingly quiet enough. He spotted the occasional wastelander here and there, seemingly new arrivals coming into the town just like him. They certainly didn't seem hostile and Arthur breathed a sigh of relief. He was tired of having run-ins with raiders. Which usually ended with him running as fast as he could in the opposite direction.

He made his way over to the church, as it seemed like a good place to start and he made his way up to the second floor of the building, finding a small rectory office there, which had probably served as the tiny living quarters for the pastor of this church back before the war. Happy to have someplace to rest for a bit, Arthur began unpacking his things and setting up shop. He also changed out of the dirty hazmat suit he'd been wearing and put on the clean Vault-Tec labcoat that had come from a locker in Vault 88.

Arthur didn't know how long he'd been staying here but he figured it was at least be a few days. Enough time to rest and resupply, speak to the locals, and assist with any of the settlement's immediate medical needs. He figured he might as well make himself at home for the time being though.

His satchel had a number of odds and ends in it. Mostly medical equipment and surgical effects, but also his personal items. A few books he'd managed to salvage from his quarters, a journal he'd been trying to keep, and most importantly, a few seeds taken from Institute Bioscience. Which he was saving for the right time. These he all unpacked and place neatly in the rectory room.

Finally, he unpacked the last nutritional packet he had. The Institute seal was still boldly printed on the outside of the box, and he ran it over with his fingers. He'd been saving this last one as long as he could. Surface food was downright awful, but he stomached it when it could and rationed out his nutritional packets as much as possible. He hadn't eaten anything for nearly a day and a half now though, so he gently broke the seal on the box and examined its contents. Rows of various colored pills were laid out neatly within it, and Arthur selected one of them with a tiny number 77 print on it. He plucked the supplement from the box and popped it into his mouth. He savored the rush of flavor it brought on and remembered better times. He felt much more energized now as well.

Arthur closed the box back up and hid it away back deep within his satchel. The box was risky to keep around, but for some odd reason he couldn't bring himself to toss it, even if it was the obviously sensible thing to do.

Now that he was feeling better, he made his way back down to the lower level of the church and talked to the man who look to be directing people to different parts of town. The man said his name was Barney and said he was part of the "Salem Milita" whatever that was.

"My name is Dr. Arthur West," He said, introducing himself to the man, "If anyone needs medical attention, would you direct them to the second floor of the church? I'll be setting up a little clinic there for a few days while I rest here."
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by SkrtWithAWeapon
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CELESTE BROWN -- Sandy Coves Inn

The robot led her through the nearest door and down the hall. They passed a dining hall to the left, and a ruined room on the right. Up ahead, a portion of the upper hallway had collapsed, blocking the way. The robot paused. "Huh. That's...odd." It spun around and began going back down the way it had come. Celeste merely followed. It led her back through the foyer, up the stairs, through the rest of the facility, back down on collapsed flooring, into the foyer, and...back through the nearest door, past the dining hall, to the destroyed section of the hallway.

"Huh. That's...odd," the robot repeated, turning to go back down the hallway yet again.

"What's odd?" Celeste panted, feeling winded from having to tail the robot's quicker pace. It stopped and turned around to face her.

"You see, Manager Celeste, there used to be a manager's office right around...here..." It turned around slowly, seemingly distracted by its own thoughts. "I was certain it was here. It seems strange that it would just disappear."

"What about that room right there?" she pointed. "I don't need an office, just a room like that. Wouldn't that be okay?"

"I do suppose that might be all right. Let's ask Mr. Orleans what he thinks, hm? It's his room, after all."

Celeste followed the robot into the room. It was as dusty and ruined as the rest of the building, but the window was surprisingly intact and the furniture was in decent condition.

"Ah, Mr. Orleans! It appears that you are in. Manager Celeste is in need of some accommodations and she was asking about your room...if you don't mind relocating?"

Celeste popped out of the small bathroom, unused for centuries, turned the corner, and screamed. "Mr. Orleans" was no more than a dried out skeleton, still slumped in an armchair. Blood spatter stains were sprayed behind its head, the .44 pistol in its lap. "Oh my god!" she shrieked. "He's dead!!"

"He's what?" the robot asked, leaning forward to peer curiously at the skeleton. Processes within the robot whirred and clicked, suddenly it rose and turned. "Indeed you are correct, Manager. Many apologies for this oversight! It would seem my last system check is quite overdue. Please stand by..."

Celeste blinked. She had no idea what was happening as the robot suddenly became very quiet for several moments. Eventually, it's "eyes" opened wide and the robot was back online.

"Ah, there we are. It seems my temporal sensors had been frozen for quite some time." It turned and looked at Mr. Orleans' skeleton once more. "Poor bastard. Well, let's get this cleaned up then, shall we?"

It took a good few hours for Celeste and the robot (mostly the robot) to get the skeletons of humans and broken down robots alike tossed out of the back door and into a trashy looking pile outside. Celeste flopped onto the couch in the foyer, letting out a deep breath and wiping sweat off her brow. The robot produced a Nuka Cherry from its stores and offered it to her.

"What should we do next, Manager?" it prompted. Celeste sighed.

"Oh, I don't know. I'm pretty tired."

"Ah, that is understandable. Humans do have a tendency towards physical exhaustion, it's only natural. I'm here to assist you, just say the word, and I'll do it."

"Huh." Celeste took a sip of the soda while she thought. "Well, it's dusty all over the fixtures and the floors. It probably makes sense to get those cleaned up, first, so we stop just pushing it around while we work." She tapped her chin as she spoke. "The linens are filthy. Those should be the next to be changed."

"If I recall, there is an overstock of clean linens in the basement with the laundry facilities. I will begin cleaning the rooms and then change the linens. Any other requests, Manager?"

Celeste took another swig of her soda. "Not yet. I might go take a walk to get some fresh air. Get those things done, and we'll go from there."

"Most reasonable, Manager. See you soon, then!"

Celeste exited the double doors and took a deep breath of the outside air. It had an unfamiliar, tangy scent and taste to it, but it was still refreshing compared to the dust and death of the interior of the inn. She walked across the road and onto the sand, perching herself onto a rock. She had lived near water her entire life, but the shoreline was rocky and unfriendly. Something about the sandy beach was thrilling. She stretched her legs out in front of her, sighed contentedly, and sipped on her soda.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Crimson Paladin
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Inquisitor Carver

As he made his way up the hill from the docks, Ian came across a young woman with a Brahmin inside of a ramchackle pen. A settler, from the look of it, probably come here to make a life for herself.

"Calm down, Bessie, Mary's here to make you feel better," the woman reassured the Brahmin as she begun to milk it.

I suppose she's as good a person as anyone to begin asking about the Children of Atom, he concluded.

"Excuse me, ma'am, but I trouble you for a second?" he asked, walking up to the makeshift fencing. "I've only just arrived here from up north and I fear I am lost. Could you please help me out?"

He didn't want to lie- such was unbecoming for one of Atom's faithful, especially one tasked with seeking out the truth- but it would be necessary to mislead somewhat, to omit some detail to avoid turning the town against him. They would eventually be privy to the truth of his affiliation and intentions, but for now, he would have to keep it under wraps, lest a misunderstanding arise that could cost him his life.

"My friend Giraud is looking to do some trading, but we've heard that this place has had some...trouble. Specifically, trouble involving the Children of Atom making the area outside the town less than safe. Might you know anything about them? And more importantly, can you offer us any information on how we might avoid running afoul of them while we're in and around Salem?"

All of that was technically true, and he didn't necessarily need to know where to find the Children of Atom; it would be enough to know how one would avoid them.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Tiberius67
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Mary Hawthorne - Her House

"Excuse me, ma'am, but I trouble you for a second?" a voice called out to her. Mary looked up from her milking to see that the stranger had walked up to the edge of the enclosure. He was a tall, red haired man with familiar tattoos on his face. "I've only just arrived here from up north and I fear I am lost. Could you please help me out?"

"Certainly, Mister", she replied, not showing a even flicker of recognition. "Where are you fixin' to go?"

"My friend Giraud is looking to do some trading", the man continued, "but we've heard that this place has had some...trouble. Specifically, trouble involving the Children of Atom making the area outside the town less than safe. Might you know anything about them?

"The Children of Atom?", Mary said. "I've heard tell of them. The tenets of thier Faith are certainly novel, to say the least. They don't seem to be very friendly, haven't heard a kind word about them since I got to the Commonwealth. They seem to keep to themselves, though....if you steer clear of the places they like they don't go out of their way to vex you none."

"And more importantly", the man added, "can you offer us any information on how we might avoid running afoul of them while we're in and around Salem?"

"Certainly", Mary said as she stood up. She pointed down the road south, past the Diner, where in the distance a large brick structure loomed, shimmering in the afternoon sun. "they don't come in to town that I've seen, as far as gettin' past them jes' follow the road there. The road forks just outside of town, stay right or you'll walk right into them. Follow the road 'til you get to the old Witchcraft Museum there....it's the big brick building down there. Speaking of that, it's safe enough to walk by, but it's not the safest place for prospectin', even in daylight, if you get my drift. The road branches just beyond that, keep going South and you'll get to the Cannery. East of the road is pretty much the Children's...west of it isn't any better, though....Raiders and Gunners, I hear."

"Anything else you need, Mister?" Mary asked.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Gingy
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Lorelei Jones - Outside of Salem

In the landscape of her imagination, Lorelei was home again. As per usual, she dreamt about the most horrifying catastrophe her life would ever know – the harrowing pillar of smoke over the horizon, on that unforgettable afternoon near Silverton. After seeing the same dreadful afternoon more than a hundred times, she was no longer shocked to bear witness to the unsubtle signature of the fire that consumed her family. She did not sprint to the source, as she had in the original memory; instead, she slowed her steps.

All the previous iterations of the recurring nightmare had ended in the exact same way; no matter how she proceeded, she would find her way to the burned husk of her home and the charred silhouette of her daughter. But, if she could at least try to slow her steps; try to delay the inevitable flagellation her mind had in store for itself, then perhaps she could alleviate the dream in some way.

No. There would be none of that. Lorelei was not allowed to play bystander to her own memory. It was against the rules. Whether she wanted to or not, she found her way to the house – her once beautiful, refurbished Levittown quarter-acre, now reduced to rubble. The second floor of the house had collapsed, leaving a pile of debris caged inside the skeleton of the house’s frame. It had become something far too grotesque to be a home – it was a giant tombstone dedicated to her attempt at a new life.

Lorelei stepped onto the rubble. Her subconscious brain flawlessly recreated the atmosphere – the same ash-infested air pricked at her lungs. Her mild attempt at rose-garden had been demolished by the collapse. The patio she built had withered into nothing underneath the flames. Everything about this place had dissolved.

Inevitably, Lorelei stepped into the skeleton of the house and the crown jewel of the dream lay before her. The burned form of a small human lay before her. No. No. No, no, no. She could not see this again. She fell to her knees, the rocky terrain scraping against her knee. No. Not again. She tried to cover her eyes, but the image had been burned into her brain. It had always been there. It had come to define everything about her. Not again. Please.

Right on cue, Lorelei’s real eyes fluttered open and her conscious mind jolted awake – a portal from one nightmare to another. These episodes had become slightly easier to shrug off over the years, but put in perspective, this meant nothing. She still viciously fought the urge to sleep, and as per tradition, once she had been deprived for long enough, she lost. She kicked off the blanket and rolled onto the hardwood floor. Dream-torment aside, she had set up camp in a tall building a half-mile from the hollow shell of a town that was once known as “Salem”, many years before her time.

Lorelei recalled her father's musings about the ‘witch trials’ somewhere among his final days. He was fascinated with the brutality and mystery of it. He was superstitious. She was not. But the fact that dozens of nobodies were picking this strange slice of ruin to call home captivated her interest. She had been watching them, through her scope. She grabbed her rifle resumed her watch. There was little of interest; a few other newcomers had happened by, but there seemed to be no chance of dark magic on the horizon. Boring.

God rest his soul, but father was wrong about this place. Lorelei collapsed the blanket and shoved it into her pack. There were no cruel energies at work here. But maybe—just maybe—the enigmatic mythology of this town would make for a good place to hide. She’d given up on rebuilding her life. She had to wipe the slate clean. She had to begin again. For a third time. She grabbed her things and abandoned her makeshift watchtower, starting toward the town. It didn’t take long for her to run into ‘civilization.’

“You there!” hollered a hoarse male voice. A figure emerged from one of the ruined buildings on the outskirts of the town.

Lorelei simply stared him down. An older bloke, armed with a rifle not terribly unlike her own and wearing a smug look on his face, carefully shuffled toward her.

“Are you here to help us build the future?”

Is that what they’re calling this? Lorelei narrowed her eyes at him and gave a very slight shrug of her shoulders.

“Do you even know what you’ve stumbled upon, lass?”

Lorelei nodded.

“Then I’d suppose I should welcome you to Salem, then.”

She nodded again.

“The name’s Barney. Pleased to meetcha’.” The oddly friendly and cordial man offered his hand.

Lorelei stared at the extended arm and did nothing. She looked him dead in the face and nodded a third time.

“You mute or something?”

“No.”

“Then can you tell me your name?”

“Lorelei.”

“A rather pretty name, if you don’t mind me saying,” Barney muttered.

“Hmph.” Lorelei folded her arms.

“You’re probably wondering if you can come in.”

Lorelei nodded again.

“Yes. I implore you to explore the possibilities this slice of Boston has to offer. A great home could be waiting for you,” said Barney.

“Uh huh.” Lorelei. Her gaze darted past the older bloke and toward the mass of buildings behind him.

“You are free to choose one of the empty houses and give it a test run. You like it, you can stay. You don’t, and you can leave! It’s failproof.”

“Nothing is failproof,” said Lorelei. Her rather morbid assertion did not seem to dampen Barney’s spirits at all. The man smiled at her and pointed toward what she presumed to be the “Salem” in question.

Lorelei bowed her head in quiet thanks and brushed past Barney. Past the forgotten ruins and toward the cursed town. This was it. Her third life. Try not to squander it.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Lewis251
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Steve Cooper - Several days earlier- Dulwich Borers quarry

“I’m getting too old for this shit...” Steve signed as he sat watching Johnny cook up another batch of Breeze whilst Daisy... err Rose? Or was it Mandy? Was between his legs “paying” for her next dose.”

“Not referring to that, continue” Steve said to girl before turning back to John “... it’s just that I’m 40 years old living in an smelly and fucking dark quarry, surrounded by fucking morons who can’t aim a gun or fucking Suck without being properly guided and led by some crazy bitch who instead of properly leading the gang moans about some stupid dagger she dropped down the hole.”

“Get some fucking rope and go fucking get it.” Steve shouted down the quarry tunnel as he grabbed the girls head.

Fēng nǚrén

John looked up from his work, ignoring the delicate process before him for a moment. "The place certainly has a charm of its own. I've barely slept in days." John paused, seemingly losing himself in thought. "I miss having an actual roof above my head. Remember those days?"

“Bloody Goodneigbour, sure it wasn’t as good as DC and I had to spend most of our money bribing every "Gangster" jackass with an fedora but it was clean, mostly protected, had easy access to food & water and best of all customer, proper customers not these morons but people who'd actually pay top caps came to us... “

if only you could remove the wise guy infestation

"And you didn't have to walk ten miles to find the nearest book," John mumbled under his breath.

“If only we could find get to a town first." Steve muttered on as he turned back to face the girl "Would be the bigshots for once instead of the hired help... Ah but all the big towns have their owns gangs... “

Would be rather risky to try and muscle in on another gangs territory... alteast without a shitload of hired help to back us up.

“Salem.” mumbled Edgar, who had previously been trying to read a tattered children's book, saying words aloud from time to time.

“Holy shit he’s right” Steve replied in shock as he deposited another load “... Salem got wiped out by the cabbies but people are moving back, if we get there quick enough we could establish our own little empire...”. John looked up again, suddenly interested.

“Edgar you mutated freak! You deserve to be rewarded for this good idea.” Steve said as he turned to another addict awaiting to give her “payment” and pointed at her “You...entertain Edgar.”

“Ugh... fine but I’m getting double for this” the raider addict replied as she approached Edgar. Edgar, for his part, stood from the bench he had been crouched down upon and stepped back, the giant man suddenly afraid of the small, bone-thin woman. John waved her away.

Doing up his trousers up Steve turned around to face Johnny who handed Rose or whatever her name was another dose of Breeze “Just think about it Johnny, no more living in caves or scavenging for food... we would be the bosses for once.”

John thought for a bit, considering the prospect for a moment. Finally, he nodded. "This could work. Edgar and I went down that way a week or two back. It's serene... defensible too, with some intact docks. It'll attract a crowd in no time, and people need pleasure"

“Should start of small, maybe a playroom or something shit where they can get some lady company as they party and to make sure they don't do something stupid like fall of an cliff like Bob did in Radport but we both know your drugs are good... Once word gets around people will be come for miles to taste you shit.”

“And hell if we get big enough we could start exporting it to them!”

"Tomorrow. We'll leave before dawn."
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Fisheye
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John “Cook” Kaye- His Room, The Den

John laid back in the moth-eaten recliner, ignoring the groan of protest from the age-old springs of its interior. His hand shook slightly as he put the steel lighter and bottle of Breeze down, content with just one taste to start his day. Jet had helped wake him up, but he had hardly felt a dose that small. He had to kick the Jet soon- he felt his body withering away more and more each day.

Now was not the time for worrying however. Now, all of his thoughts were replaced by pure, unadulterated bliss. John let out a groan rivaling the sound of the chair’s just moments ago as he was plunged deep into the depths of the chair’s dirty green fabric. He couldn’t help but smile as the familiar feeling of Breeze set in. Such a glorious, holy thing it was, and all because of him. He had brought Breeze into this world- it was his baby, and it treated him well.

John looked up from the bottle which was now sitting on the ground by his side. All around him, the colors of the dilapidated room seemed to rush towards him, increasing impossibly in their brilliance. The wall opposite John, mounted with a humble cross but otherwise unadorned, slowly crept away from him, causing John’s vision to swim.

He blinked, momentarily glimpsing the great darkness hidden within him. He tried not to close his eyes when he took Breeze. It was… better than way. As John rocketed up, gripping the fabric of his chair tightly, he could not help but think of this darkness, his mind suddenly fixated on the dingy truths hidden within him. John physically shook his head, the motion sending a tingling down his back as the air of the room tickled his cheeks. He could not think of that now- not today.

It was too late, though. Even as waves of serenely warm pleasure washed across the small man’s crippled form, his mind was cast back. Back towards that which still haunted him. Back towards Catherine. Her smile, her laugh… her whimpers in those last terrible moments. John continued to shake his head, struggling vainly against the path which he was headed down. Breeze was an angel and a devil, and in both ways it was above man’s will. Its duality was beautiful… and terrifying.

John felt his head turn, though he couldn’t remember telling it to. He opened his eyes, not even knowing until now that they had remained closed, and found himself looking at the room’s dingy mirror. The room’s colors and proportions were off- oversaturated, elongated… unrealistic. At times it would be brilliant, but for now it was the most unnerving thing he had ever witnessed, a fact made so much worse when the image within the mirror slid slickly all over until it became his sister, just as he had seen her last. In a scene of cartooning images, she remained perfect- an anchor to reality in the suddenly cruel world he inhabited.

She looked like John, really. Pale, pretty, with dark hair and somehow darker eyes. Foam marred her face, dripping from the corner of her mouth. Shockingly, she moved, stepping through the liquid pool that the mirror had somehow become. Her feet slowly plodded towards John, who seemed to be bolted to his chair now. Time had stopped, and now nothing else was, nothing else would be. It was just John, Catherine, and a world of shame.

“Why did you let me go John? I never let you go.”

Her voice was sad, and it echoed out of her in waves which were somehow made visible to John’s gaze. He couldn’t move. On his face, he could feel something wet and warm, unable to wipe it away as it dripped down onto his button-up. John was paralyzed with regret. He’d killed his sister, the only person who had ever loved him. One bad batch was all it took for the endless depths of hell to rip her away. These talks they had now were Catherine’s bony, ethereal fingers trying in vain to cling to this world, John just knew it. They had always been one-another’s anchor.

“Come with me, John. It isn’t so bad. Just like all of your labs- dark, hot, noisey… like home.”

In a moment of clarity, John saw what was happening. A bad trip, that was all this was. He should’ve known better than to take a hit after he actually slept last night. The nightmares were what did it. He needed to stop sleeping if he could help it. This clarity came and went, though. This was his reality, his nightmare, his hell. This was what he had earned, and it was just as real as anything he had ever been victim to in his life.

“Come home.”

At once, the pupils of Catherine’s eyes became brighter, a glare held within their dark depths suddenly expanded to become a pair of shining beacons within the room. For the first time, John truly glimpsed at the old cross hanging on the wall opposite of him, a relic from before the war. His attention fixed on to it, and in a moment it silently erupted into a mass of spiders, whose numbers steadily grew until they nearly covered the entire wall. John entered a frenzied state, all alarms in his head going off at once. He stared at whatever lay beneath and his sister called out to him, beckoning him into the dark depths.

John heard a voice in the distance, though he couldn’t pinpoint the location. It sounded like a man’s yell, one of fright and terror. John suddenly erupted from his chair, his frail form lunging toward the mirror from which his sister had emerged. John hit it, again, and again, and again. His hand cried out in pain until finally the image of terror before him shattered. He found himself on the floor now, and arms quickly lifted him up, as easily as one would lift a child.

Before him was Edgar, John’s slave, who had seemingly plucked him from the ground. The face before him, like that of an innocent, concerned child looked odd on the mutated brute’s pale face. Edgar spoke up now, his speech deep and meticulous as always.

“Master is okay, master is okay. Master is bleeding too.”

John realized now that the yelling he had heard had been his own. He was suddenly flush with embarrassment, his trip momentarily killed by this realization. Edgar said there was blood…

John looked down at his favorite white button-up, bought a year back in Diamond City. “Fuck!”, he groaned. The shirt was spattered with the familiar sight of his own blood, soaked through with blood in the front and spattered with a much smaller amount on both of his arms, with these stains having come from fresh cuts beneath his shirt. John reached up to touch his face and found it covered in both blood and tears. Sometimes he hated these damn nose bleeds.

As John wiped his face with a handkerchief he’d produced from his pocket, Edgar looked on. The brutish man examined the now-broken mirror, keeping his mouth shut. Master didn’t like when Edgar asked too many questions, after all.

After having Edgar fetch him a fresh shirt from the newly-stocked set of drawers within the room, John quickly changed. Already, John felt a come-down in the works. He cursed himself. These bad trips didn’t happen often, but when they did they were the stuff of pure nightmares. And his sister… Leave me be, Catherine. I’m not ready yet.

Now changed, John grabbed his bag from beside the door, retrieving his 12.7 from within and sliding the cool metal into the waistband of his jeans. Satisfied, he hoisted the bag itself over his shoulder and exited his room. Outside was a hallway, with two doors set onto the opposite side. One of the doors was ajar, with Rose standing perfectly in its center, as if she was the subject of some lewd painting.

“You alright Cook? Sounds like you had a bit of a fit.” Rose’s voice was soft and young- exactly what you would expect from a woman her age. She wasn’t a bit over 5’2, making even John appear tall, though they likely weighed about the same at just over 100. She was modestly curvy, with her attire helping to show what she had, and her face was best described as cute. She didn’t fool John for one minute with the innocent look she tried to keep up, however. She was all raider, still yet to be domesticated.

“I’m fine, I just…” John coughed weakly, quickly finding himself unable to stop. He produced the same handkerchief from his pocket, and proceeded to soak it through further with blood. John grew frustrated. He was tired of falling apart, this damn cough would never leave him. He needed air.

“I’m going to walk around town a bit, maybe see if that diner opened up yet. Edgar, bring up a few buckets of water from the cove and boil them. I want a bath drawn for me when I return, if you’d be so kind, Rose.”

Rose rolled her eyes. She knew Cook meant an actual bath- he wasn’t usually in a mood for anything else, especially when his health was poor. “Gotcha Cook, bring some party favors if you really want to relax.”

John waved her off, weakly making his way towards the stairs. The old complex they had all set up shop in was huge, really. Three separate buildings connected together- an old tailor’s, and insurance company, and some sort of bait and tackle shop, all of them with living space on their second floors. It was perfect, though after two days of work the four of them still hadn’t even gotten the tailor’s and its rooms restored.

John made his way downstairs, both his joints and the stairs creaking. Breeze’s peak usually came and went quickly, but he knew he’s have a manageable afterglow for a few more hours. It would do well enough to see him through the rest of the day. Downstairs, he found Steve hammering away at an old wooden chair, seemingly trying to bring it back to usable shape. While he was older, John’s companion was still much healthier than him, looking every bit a warrior.

“Place is looking good, Steve.”

“Thanks." steve replied as he stopped working and turned to face John "This place is big, haven't even cleared out let alone started on the tailor shop yet but the party room and Rosey's Bedroom are pretty much done so we can start accepting customers."

“I was going to take a walk around town, get some fresh air. I made sure Edgar and Rose stay busy. Want to tag along? There might be newcomers around already.” John hoped so, at least. They’d arrived a couple days ago and were greeted by just a pair of people who had set up shop in the shell of a town. Everyone expected newcomers to show soon, however.

"Sure could use an little break." Steve stated as he put on his old leather jacket and began to pack up his tools. Ever since Edgar had accidentally cut of Bob's toe he had made sure not to leave anything sharp out around the mutated giant.

The pair made their way outside, with the bright sun eliciting a sneeze from the bone-thin John. He detested the sun, really. His craft had always required him to be more active after twilight, and John had adapted to this nocturnal lifestyle just fine. The two made some small talk as the walked down the cracked streets of Salem, heading first towards the Church, then on towards the diner. They were stopped, however, by Barney Rook, the closest thing this place had to an official authority so far. They’d met briefly, but Barney seemed to have suspicions about their rough little group.

“Hey folks, Steve and, erm… John, right? Nice day isn’t it?” Barney examined the pair shortly, resuming his speech before they could even respond. “You look a little cut up there, John. You don’t look like you’re in any shape to lose more blood. Don’t want to be loosin’ settlers before we even get this place started!”

"He's always looking like that." Steve chuckled "but don't worry I'll make sure he doesn't lose anymore... today."

Barney chuckled cheerfully, and John looked down and examined his arms again. Now dressed in a black short sleeve, the long, shallow scratches that the mirror had gouged in him were easy to see. “I suppose you’re right Barney, got any clean bandages I can trade you for? I had a bit of an accident while we were cleaning up the place,” he lied.

“I can do you one better. Man just walked into town claiming he’s a doctor, told me to tell anyone who needed medical attention. He’s up in the church on the second floor.”

"If he's setting up an clinic in there he should move it to the ground floor, not everyone can get upstairs easily,” said Steve.

John nodded. He hadn’t seen an actual doctor since Megaton, when he worked under Doctor Hardin. John had his doubts about the actual credibility of this supposed stranger, but if he knew anything about doctor-types in the wasteland, the man would be in desperate need of good chems in one way or another.

“Might be able to shake some money out of this guy if I’m lucky,” John said quietly to Steve, who stood well above him. “I’ll be back in a bit. It might not be a bad idea to check out more of the town. We need to get the word out that we’ll be opening soon.”

"Good luck, I'll head to the dinner and get us some drinks along with finding out if anyone else has arrived in town yet..."

John nodded and said his temporary goodbyes to Steve, making his way into the dilapidated church and up its creaking stairs. John wasn’t sure how he felt about the Old World’s God. They didn’t get along too well, it seemed. Sometimes he thought something else had taken an interest in him though.

John shook off these thoughts, he didn’t want to accidentally have a repeat of his episode earlier. Within moments he was outside of the rectory room Barney had directed him too. The neat, intact door was closed, and John hesitantly rapped on it a couple of times before simply letting himself in and peaking through.

“Excuse me sir, I heard you were a doctor,” He stepped further into the man’s new room. “You don’t happen to know anything about the heart, do you? Been a few years since I’ve gotten a proper check-up.”

Now fully within the small quarters, John extended a skeletal, pale hand towards the man. “John Kaye, though most just call me Cook. I’m a bit of a self-made chemist, myself. Used to practice under Doctor Hardin in Megaton. You don’t happen to need any chems for your arsenal, do you?”
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Callyx
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Rook had not been shot at this far. So far, so good. He walked into town, still holding his white flag, and looked at the various buildings. There was... A lot of work that needed to be done here. When he had arrived at first, it was late, and he had not ventured very far away from his shack in the last week or so. It was not his place, and he had what he needed... But seeing this place, the terrible state it was in... He had resolved himself.

In his years, he had picked up a few skills here and there, perhaps he could put them to use here. While he was far from the best at things, being as strong as he was, he could carry things, help move heavy things, and generally help clean up. He knew some basics of black smithing as well, it's how he made parts of his armor, so there is that too. Nails and the like are always needed.

He had seen the ugliness of the Wastelands, and if he had his way, he was not going to let this place get swallowed up by it either. Stopping at a stall, he had seen it was long since abandoned. How many years ago did this settlement try to stand up only to falter and fall? He ran his hands over the well worn wood of the stand, it had a story to tell, one he wished to know, but that would come in time. Lifting back up his flag, he would look around. Was there a posted board for jobs? Was there a trader looking for someone to trade with? What was currently here?

At the moment, Rook just stood in the center of town, holding his white flag, bag of caps, and looking somewhat lost.

“You... Are not what I expected...” Barney Rook said, holding his rifle and looking at the Mutant. “But... You are not looking to be causing trouble... So as long as it stays that way, I think I can let you pass... But the Salem Volunteer Milita is always watching. Know that...”

“Rook will do as human says. Rook is seeking to trade, seeking to help. Rook wants home of his own. Does not like other Super Mutants. Does not like to hurt humans unless he has to.” Rook said, holding his flag tightly. “Rook wants to help town, Rook wants to stay in Rook's Roost.”

Barney looked confused, then realized the mutant was talking about itself. With a nod, Barney moved off, leaving Rook still wondering what he should do in order to start.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by Gingy
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Gingy Schizophrenic Coffee Mug

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Lorelei Jones - Outside the Jones Residence

Lorelei folded her arms and stared down the withered two-story home at the edge of the town. Barney had pointed her toward the various empty plots, and particularly recommended this one. She could see why. This house was a lonely one; a perfect fit for a gradual misanthrope like herself. It was nothing like the home she had lost, but it would do. She meandered over the door and opened it, the ruined wood porch creaking underneath her light steps.

This will need work. The place was a disaster. There were a few amenities, namely a leftover couch, broken television, a ruined kitchen, and a few armchairs, but the rest was disgusting. Trash and grime had built up just about everywhere she looked, and the paint that once resided within the house had been shed off by the walls that once wore it.

Lorelei gingerly tiptoed upstairs, carefully testing the ground for nails and dislodged pieces of wood. The second floor featured two bedrooms, a restroom, and what appeared to be some sort of office space. More old world furniture rested here. Both bedrooms were equipped with dusty old doublebeds and the office held a desk, pointed at the back window which faced the ocean.

This was an underrated amenity, Lorelei realized – the ocean rested directly behind her home. A weak, inconsistent fence sat between her house and the slight rocky outcropping which overlooked the water, but she had an unobstructed line of sight toward the ocean wherever she looked. She tossed her pack onto the bed and sat down, scanning the room for the work she would have to do. Nonsense. This would come later. For now, she had to introduce herself at least somewhat to the town, even if it meant standing around the square and watching the others talk.

Lorelei left the house and lazily strolled toward the square, where the local tenants darted to and fro, moving in their belongings and laying claim to the town. She looked up at the massive apartment structures and perused the various abandoned vendor stands in the center. She could imagine them filled with people, a town clutching to life. However, now was the time for them to lay down the bricks, to which she had little interest. She was at her best when she was wandering – the house would just be a formality.

After a few moments of standing at the edge of the square, Lorelei decided to sit on a park bench and watch the passersby as she cleaned the barrel of her rifle atop her lap.
Hidden 2 yrs ago 2 yrs ago Post by SkrtWithAWeapon
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FRIEDA RICHTER -- entering Salem

First, it had been Highway 28. Then, 114. Ancient signs said she was heading southeast to Salem, MA, and she hoped for the best. It had been nearly 7 days since she crashed in the terrible rad storm she had neither predicted, nor plotted correctly.

She would be the first to reflect on the irony of one of the Enclave's best pilots being waylaid by a mere bout of bad weather. Frieda would also, for a moment, allow herself the luxury of admitting a lesser pilot would be dead, whereas she merely stepped out of the wreckage with scratches. She had become a little sloppy, as of late. The loss of her brother made for a terrible distraction. He had been one of the best at what he did, too, and yet the wasteland had won.

It would score another point from her, and soon, if she didn't find some water, work, and some more goddamn cigarettes.

She plodded on. She wouldn't let the wasteland claim her without a fight.

The general lack of population was confusing, to her. Frieda had been in the field several times but always had some inaccurate idea that the wasteland was just flooded with tribals and mutants. That had not been the case on her journey from the southern border of what had been New Hampshire, into Massachusetts. She passed a handful of homesteads, but none of the residents would give her the time of day, let alone the chance to earn some caps or trade. The rest of the buildings were in shambles, or just simply unoccupied.

Signs beckoning travellers to ancient tourist attractions in Salem began to pop up more frequently as she walked along. Frieda could only imagine that she were coming up to the place, and soon. Her skin felt greasy and dirty, not having had any real bath since she broke ranks, and the heaviness of how much she had taken for granted was starting to weigh on her, too. She shifted her knapsack uncomfortably, one of its straps snagging on a piece of armour she relieved from a corpse off the side of the road.

Disgusting. It's all disgusting.

She sniffed. Homesickness? This won't do. You'll survive this. You trained your whole life, for this.

In her brooding, she nearly missed the turnoff to enter Salem, almost tripping over the low, ruined fence outside the Museum of Witchcraft. She looked down the road and was impressed to see some signs of life: various figures moving between and around the buildings down the way. Glancing back to the south, the rear end of a caravan was shrinking into the scenery. Perhaps there was some hope, after all.

Frieda walked down the road, sand and gravel crunching underneath her boots. She noticed a woman sitting on the beach, drinking a soda and humming to herself. She raised an eyebrow but continued on. I'd rather avoid what looks like the village idiot. She passed the diner, but paid it little mind, though she noticed a tall man with dark hair and a moustache walk towards its entrance. She'd try the diner later, if the rest of the place seemed empty.

Frieda rounded the corner, and passed the ruined church to enter a town square, proper. She thought she saw someone at the back of the church, too, but on second glance, no one was there.

The town square was quaint, if anything. Ramshackle, and abandoned, trading stands stood proudly in the sun. It looked as though some giant child had placed them there as part of a play-village setting. Once the cute thought had passed, she sighed, heavily. A breeze echoed her, stirring up dust and debris at her feet, to blow down the pathway.

A figure in a touque was retreating past the back of the church -- but more importantly, they were chugging on a cigarette. Frieda's mouth practically started to water at the sight of it. I'm sure I've got something I could trade for a single smoke. "Hey!" she called, thrusting her left hand into the air and waving. "Hey, excuse me! Hold up!"

The figure she called to seemed not to hear a word she said. What did surprise her was what she had thought was an old tree turned around, instead.

Worse. A goddamn greenskin! Frieda's right hand dropped like a flash to her plasma pistol, popped it from her belt, and squeezed off a single round to land in the dirt next to the creature's feet by way of warning shot. "I don't know how you got into town without anyone noticing, but I'm giving you this single chance to get the hell out of here, before my next two shots take out your knees. Do I make myself clear?"
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Callyx
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The woman walking up was a nice sight. She was here to trade perhaps? Oh! Maybe she needed help with something and was going to ask... Or shoot at him... And yell. That was cool too. Rook frowned, looking at himself and then at her. He wasn't exactly trying to hide, and he had just gotten permission to be here. Why did he have to go now?

Old man said Rook could be here! Rook is here to trade! Why lady shoot at Rook? What Rook do now?” He yelled, waving the white flag once. “Flag mean no shoot! Why lady shoot anyways? Does lady not know what flag means? Flag... White... No shoot at Rook.

He didn't move, like he was rooted to the ground and unwilling to budge. The old man with Reba came running fast around the corner, rifle raised towards Rook... Then saw he hadn't exactly moved in the moment he was gone. He had a puzzled expression before seeing the woman with the plasma pistol. Then it clicked.

“Woah! Ma'am! Relax. Rook here just got here. We here at Salem are all about giving people a chance. He has been living near by for about a week. While I don't trust Super Mutants usually, Rook here isn't looking to cause any trouble. I saw him in his armor on his way here, was worried for a while. Then he killed a Mirelurk king and claimed it's home for his own. Damned sight that was. Can we lower the guns and talk this out?”

Yeah! Rook not do anything bad. Rook has caps to trade. And muscle to move things!” He said, as if rather proud of those two facts.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by SkrtWithAWeapon
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FRIEDA RICHTER -- town square

“Old man said Rook could be here! Rook is here to trade! Why lady shoot at Rook? What Rook do now?” He yelled, waving the white flag once. “Flag mean no shoot! Why lady shoot anyways? Does lady not know what flag means? Flag... White... No shoot at Rook.”

Frieda grit her teeth, narrowing her brow. "My mistake," she replied cooly, "where I come from, we're not familiar with the notion of surrender." She kept the gun trained on the mutant, unconvinced of the truthfulness of his words. "I don't see any old man."

The mutant didn't move. Suddenly, figure from before came tearing out from behind the church, a rifle in his hands and aiming at the mutant...then he paused. The man turned to address Frieda, directly.

“Woah! Ma'am! Relax. Rook here just got here. We here at Salem are all about giving people a chance. He has been living near by for about a week. While I don't trust Super Mutants usually, Rook here isn't looking to cause any trouble. I saw him in his armor on his way here, was worried for a while. Then he killed a Mirelurk king and claimed it's home for his own. Damned sight that was. Can we lower the guns and talk this out?”

“Yeah! Rook not do anything bad. Rook has caps to trade. And muscle to move things!” He said. Frieda thought the mutant had puffed up as he spoke.

"This is insane," she muttered to herself. "You're telling me you're just letting this...mutant...integrate into society? As if he's harmless?"

The man chuckled. "Way I sees it, you shot first, did you not?"

Frieda balked. "Well -- sure -- what else would any other, reasonable person have done?"

"Reasonable folk use their words."

Was he smirking at me? He most definitely is smirking at me. Frieda felt an angry flush rise within her cheeks. She put her pistol back into her belt. "I'm not going to apologize."

The man shrugged. "S'fine. Just don't do it again, or next time, someone's gonna shoot back."

She mumbled something rude sounding but unclear.

"Now, welcome to Salem. I'm Barney Rook of the volunteer militia, and that there is...er, Rook. No relation." He looked over at the super mutant. "No offense."

"Motherfucking insane," she breathed. She readjusted her bag once more. "I'm Frieda. Been travelling for a spell looking for work, if you think you could use another member of your...militia, was it?" She glanced between the mutant and Barney as she awaited the response.

"Depends. We don't let just anyone join up."

"Did you not just say you were a volunteer militia --"

"We still have a screenin' process. Gotta have some standards. Folk are gonna depend on you to defend life and limb, you gotta be competent."

"Fine, fine," Frieda waved him off. "I'll do the screening. Then I can watch our friend here more closely," she finished, glaring at Rook.
Hidden 2 yrs ago Post by Andronicus23
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Andronicus23 Rogue Courser

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Dr. Arthur West - Salem Church

Arthur was busying himself setting up his small makeshift clinic when he heard a few sharp raps on the door of the rectory office. He'd expected to have some patients soon after informing Barney that he would see anyone needing aid so this was not unsurprising. Usually, these wasteland settlements lacked anything approaching a real physician and their medical needs could sometimes be quite substantial. Arthur was about to open the door when a pale thin man stepped into the office and offered a polite greeting.

“Excuse me sir, I heard you were a doctor,” He stepped further into the man’s new room. “You don’t happen to know anything about the heart, do you? Been a few years since I’ve gotten a proper check-up.”


Arthur sized the man up and down. He was frail and thin, unhealthily so and many of the veins along his arms were visible through the paper thin skin, which was sickly translucent.

Malnourishment with signs of partial rhabdomyolysis. Likely chem addict. He thought, making a mental note.

The man extended one of his thin bony hands and offered his name,


“John Kaye, though most just call me Cook. I’m a bit of a self-made chemist, myself. Used to practice under Doctor Hardin in Megaton. You don’t happen to need any chems for your arsenal, do you?”


Oh yes, definitely a chem addict.

"Ah....one moment...."

Awkwardly, Arthur reached into his pocket for a pair rubber gloves he'd just recently unpacked and snapped them on, before returning the man's handshake. His general aversion to germs and disgust to the surface's tendency for filth and squalor hadn't changed at all since he'd departed The Institute, which made his travels and medical work more than uncomfortable at times.

"Dr. Arthur West," He said as he shook John's hand with a smile, "A general check-up then? I daresay I should be able to help with that. I can't say I am a self-made Doctor but I'm more than qualified."

I'm an actual Doctor after all. Not a glorified wasteland butcher.

"As for your offer...well..if you're referring to chems of the recreational variety. I can't say I have much use for them. But I could always use more Stimpaks and Radaway. Along with Med-X, Rad-X etc. Oh and any bottles of antiseptic as well, my stocks of that have run dangerously low I fear."

Arthur adjusted his glasses and motioned to the nearby chair, "Please sit and remove your shirt if you would" He said politely, and reached into his medical bag to pull out a stethoscope along with a very, very well-worn blood pressure gauge. He slung the stethoscope around his neck, pulled out a metal folding chair that had been leaning up against the nearby wall and sat down next to John.

"Now, lets start with that heart shall we?" He said, raising the cold metal chestpiece of the stethoscope to John's skin.

OOC: I'll leave it to you Fish to decide what sort of health problems John does or doesn't have.

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