The Jaded Empire: A couple weeks before the conference
”, yelled Cap from the tower.
Reggie’s chest rose as she took a deep breath before pushing her cowboy up, her boots dropped one at a time to the concrete. She rocked her head side to side with a small pop, I needed that
, with a quick roll of her shoulders she stood up, “YEAH
“BEST GET UP HERE
,” Cap yelled while motioning with his hands.
Reggie’s boot clopped on each step up the tower’s staircase, “Reggie, there’s a vessel approaching,” the old ghoul said as he closed the tower’s tinted window.
“Lemme see,” Reggie took the binoculars. It was a large ferry, similar to The Honey Badger down at Ludington, used to ferry whatever Calypso wishes to the Wisconsin border. She zoomed in on the vessel’s bow at its name, “Thunder 1?”
“Thunder 1?” Cap said as he pressed his tongue against the inside of his lips; he quickly snapped his fingers, “Bet they’re coming from Thunder Bay. Calypso sent out those scouts awhile back remember?”
“Yep,” Reggie remained focused on the vessel.
“I heard those bastards have those damn vertibird deals,” Cap gestured towards the sky.
“Yep, so I’ve heard,” Reggie put the binoculars against Cap’s chest, “Wait for my single, gonna see what they’re up to,” she left the tower returning to her station and picked up the radio, “Shelby do you copy?” she paused, “Shelby, DO YOU COPY?” another long pause, “GOD DAMMIT SHELBY…DO.YOU.COPY?
The radio crackled, “Wha…th…THE FUCK YOU WANT? You fucking woke me up,” Shelby snarled.
“Wakey wakey asshole, you need to get Calypso and head up here now,” Reggie took annoyed breath, “I mean NOW SHELBY, don’t you fucking lay your hungover ass back down.”
,” Shelby snapped back and then banged the receiver on her nightstand causing Reggie to pull back from her radio.Fucking brat
, Reggie shook her head as she laid the receiver on the desk; fetching her monocular she checked the ship’s position.
The Grand: Mackinac IslandAHHH, fuck me
, Shelby groaned as she slid out of bed and made her way to the bathroom. She splashed cold water on her face and looked in the mirror, a sly grin formed on her lips, “you were a bad, bad
She pulled on her leather armor pants, jiggling them up to her waist before putting on her matching leather top. She made her way to the balcony to find Calypso reclined in a towel covered chair; Aponi was filing her fingernails, “Calypso, Reggie called, says we need to get up there, they have a big ass ferry approaching.”
Calypso opened her eyes, “Is that so?” Shelby shrugged, “Well then we shall leave immediately, Waylon, do fetch Alexis and prepare the catamaran.” Waylon simply nodded disappearing back into The Grand. Calypso looked at her hands, “You shall finish when I return.”
“Yes Empress,” Aponi bowed as she gathered up the nail files and black polish.
Calypso stood and sheathed her sword; Shelby followed her closely down to the dock where Waylon and Alexis waited on board The Star. The engine growled as the catamaran left the dock, outside the break Waylon throttled it up throwing the pre-wat famous rooster tail and the ferry skipped across the waves towards The Gateway docks where a chopper spun to life.
“What’s up Boss?” Lexi asked.
“It would seem as though we have a trespasser that must be tough a lesson,” Calypso informed her as she climbed into the shotgun seat.
,” Lexi looked over to Shelby, “Possible dinner?” Shelby just grinned back.
The pre-war news chopper dipped down to the old parking lot that now doubled as a helipad. A little overkill don’t ya think
? Reggie thought as she stood off to the side holding her cowboy hat. She approached the chopper, “Boss, Shelby, Waylon, Lexi,” Reggie greeted them, “Boss, we have a vessel approaching from the west, Cap and I are pretty sure they’re from Thunder Bay.”
“Did they procure admittance to The Passage?” Asked Calypso as she lowered her sunglasses and glanced around.
“Nope, not a word Boss,” Reggie shook her head, “You’re looking a lil rough there prissy bitch.” Shelby just flipped Reggie off and kept walking.
“Allow them entrance into the lock, but only lower them midway,” instructed Calypso.
Reggie put her pinky fingers in her mouth and whistled loudly then motioned towards the lock, Cap acknowledged with a thumbs up from the tower observation deck. The vessel slowly made its way toward the lock after Cap signaled with the spotlight. The purple and gold flags on each side snapped in the wind. “DROP IT,” ordered Cap. The large steel wall creaked to seal the vessel in the lock. Reggie stood at the edge of the lock and pointed down twirling her pointer finger.
Reggie reached into her back pocket and pulled out a portable radio (walkie talkie) and she held up four fingers next to the radio, “Welcome to The Passage in The Jaded Empire, I need all of your personal on deck.”
Her radio chirped, “Ahoy, we seek passage to Ronto, I will assemble my crew,” replied the vessel’s captain. Then the PA system cracked to life, “ALL HANDS ON DECK.” Nineteen men shuffled out onto the sunny deck of the vessel.
“You too,” Reggie spoke into the radio again while pointing at the captain. She could see him waive back. Calypso and company stood back and allowed Reggie to handle the situation as of now. Up in the tower Cap flashed his hand for her to change to channel one, “What is it Cap?”
“That there ain’t no ferry like I’ve ever seen,” Cap’s scratchy ghoulish voice implied, “It seems to have been modified, look at the deck Reggie, it looks like it’ll open right up.”
Reggie leaned over the rail as the ship lowered until she had a clear look; noticing the crew standing near the center, “Good Job Cap,” she whistled at the men working the gate. She shook her head no and with a quick motion slid her hand across her throat. “Hey ya Captain, ya said you were sailing south to Ronto?”
“Yes Ma’am, correct,”
Reggie bit her lip for a second, “Whatcha hauling?”
“We have some iron and wood, mainly empty containers for the supplies we are needing,”
“Is that so?” The Captain nodded back to Reggie, “Then ya wouldn’t mind if we board and have a look then?” Suddenly the Captain got tense, she watched him wipe sweat from his upper lip, “BOARD INSPECTION,” yelled Reggie to the workers on the other side of the lock.
“I love this shit,” Shelby nudged Waylon who simply grunted back. Shelby, Waylon and Lexi joined in, climbing down the ladder on the side wall of the lock and went on deck.
Reggie walked up to the Captain, “Just routine shit, we can’t have people doing sketchy shit in our waterways ya know?” The Captain swallowed and nodded, three of his crew watched intently. “Ya know what sir, I think today may be your lucky day, I hate how stuffy these vessels can get, and I was about to eat lunch anyways so fuck it, just show me your manifest and we’ll be good to go.” He handed her a few sheets of stapled together paper, she scanned through them and unfolded a creases upper corner, 5/17/2002
, “WRAP IT UP.”
The workers that had climbed down to the deck drew pistols as a horn from the tower blared with all the workers rushing to the railing with rifles and shotguns in hand. One of the vessel’s crew drew his pistol and was stabbed in the back, “Not today sweetheart,” Shelby mocked as the rest of the workers fired on all but the Captain.
Reggie tossed the manifest aside and strut up to the Captain as he cowered on his knees covering his head, she drew her trusty .357 and pointed at the Captain’s head, “Welcome to The Jaded Nation,” she pulled the trigger.
Calypso applauded in approval, “Well done Regina, well done. It pleases me to have you as my Passage keeper. Now let us reap our rewards.”
“Thanks Boss, Cap, get this vessel to port and open the cargo deck,” ordered Reggie. Reggie stayed aboard as Cap captained the vessel to port.
Once the vessel had been secured, the crew of The Passage made haste to scour the bowels of the vessel. “Reggie you have got to see this,” exclaimed Zach, one of the workers as he ushered her to the cargo bay.
“What the hell?” a surprised Reggie questioned as she gazes upon a vertibird in the cargo bay. Cap pushed a lever and the deck cracked open to reveal the bright sky. Reggie smiled; she knew full well Calypso would be very happy with this treasure. The propellers were strapped to pallets, but the vertibird seemed to be alright.
Calypso watched as the deck opened up, her eyes lit up and she clapped her hands together and rubbed them like a child on Christmas morning, “A most amazing gift they have bestowed upon me. Regina, you have given the means to travel to New Vegas, for gratitude I shall allow you to accompany us out west.”
Reggie returned on deck, “I could use a vacation back home, it’ll be a good time Boss,” she raised her brow, “you will enjoy the Gomorrah.”
“Very well darling, do see that my vertibird it readied for our trip.”
It took Reggie, her crew along with Knuckles, the ghoul mechanic just over a week to reassemble and attach the propeller units to the fuselage of the mighty black bird. The Empire’s flag also were carefully painted on each side of the rear section of the vertibird. The vertibird was packed and Calypso, Shelby, Waylon, Aponi and Reggie all boarded. Reggie had made sure that Cap had The Passage under control and that Arthur, the pilot, had tested the vertibird before departure. The propellers thumped proudly as they cut through the air beginning to spin up to launch RPM.
The vertibird neared McCarran airport, Shelby was sleeping, a bad of drool clung on for life from her lip when the vertibird banked for approach Shelby’s head was planted firmly against the wall, “What the fuck?” It took a moment to regain her senses after taking the medicine to knock her out because she hates flying. Her knuckles went white as the vertibird lowered its altitude until it finally landed after what seemed like an eternity.
Calypso and Shelby changed into their dresses, Calypso’s was designed after a Victorian style floor length in a satin black with a very low cut neck that revealed an ample amount of bosom while Shelby’s sequined red dinner dress, was cut down to reveal her cleavage, the back cut went to her waist revealing her tattooed battered wings that covered her entire back. Reggie wore her typical cowboy boots, blue jeans, light brown leather jacket over a white shirt with her cowboy hat. Waylon drew on his sport jacket to match his black suit pants, his pistols on each side under the coat. Aponi was allowed to wear her own Native American jewelry but was told to wear a simple blue dress. Aponi helped Calypso fluff her hair. Shelby tightened up her bun and put two metal chopsticks in to hold it tight.
The cargo ramp opened coming to a rest on the asphalt as the hot Nevada heat swarmed the interior eager to greet them, “This heat is wretched,” scowled Calypso.
A strange looking robot rolled up to them and Reggie and Waylon reached for their weapons, Calypso raised her hand midway when the robot welcomed them. That was interesting, but the monorail system piqued Calypso’s interest. “The Gourmand used to serve humans, not sure if they still do or not,” informed Reggie.
“How delightful, I do hope that still holds true,” Calypso made way for the Ultra-Luxe behind the securitron. She marveled at the city, jealous of its power and jaw dropping splendor. Shelby was amazed at the lights and business as people scurried about.
The crew very reluctantly relinquished their weapons, Waylon sat with Reggie outside of the conference; the pair promptly ordered and threw back shots of whiskey. Aponi carried a wooden crate filled with a dozen jars of Brandy’s Papa’s Potion moonshine, a mid-size arm bag hung from her arm.
“Please welcome The Jade Empress and her protégé from The Jaded Empire,” called the doorman.
Both women scanned the room, “What the fuck?” Shelby said under her breath when she noticed Sam. Calypso grinned at the redhead and made her way over to Marie.
“Marie darling,” Calypso opened her arms, gracefully kissing each cheek of the young woman, “It satisfies me greatly see you my dear. I request an audience with you at your earliest convenience Love.”
“Look at the brickhouse ass on her,” Shelby whispered as she walked by a man wearing a grey suit and fedora, “she gestured towards the skimpily dressed tribal.
Calypso shash-shayed around the table introducing herself but her focus remained on Brother Martin of the Midwest Brotherhood. She waltzed to the seat next to him, Aponi pulled out the chair. Calypso straightened her dress and sat down next to Martin, flipping her hair back over shoulders and fanned her chest; Aponi quickly responded by pulling out a small delicate Chinese hand fan and began fanning Calypso lightly. “I will have Scotch with three ice cubes,” she told the waiter.
“I’m good,” Shelby told the waiter as she pulled a small flask from her cleavage, “plus we brought refreshments from The Empire for everyone. She gestured at the wooden crate filled with mason jars, “That’s some good shit right there, Brandy knows what she’s doing.”
Calypso reached over and took Brother Martin’s hand in hers and squeezed, drawing her pointer finger up between his fingers to his first knuckle pressing hard, “I do wish to discuss your occupancy of Chicago and my waterways.” Shelby stood behind at the ready.