FALLOUT: VAULT DWELLER [Fan Novelization of Fallout: A Post-Apocalypse Role Playing Game]4 RepliesAdd A Reply
Fan Novelization of Fallout: A Post-Apocalypse Role Playing Game
“Maybe you’ll think of me when you are all alone.
Maybe the one who is waiting for you.
Will prove untrue, then what will you do?
Maybe you’ll sit and sigh, wishing that I were near.
Then maybe you’ll ask me to come back again.
And maybe I’ll say “Maybe”.
Maybe you’ll think of me when you are all alone.
Maybe the one who is waiting for you.
Will prove untrue, then what will I do?
Maybe you’ll sit and sigh, wishing that I were near.
Then maybe you’ll ask me to come back again.
And maybe I'll say “Maybe”, maybe maybe…”
War, war never changes.
The Romans waged war to gather slaves and wealth.
Spain built an empire from its lust for gold and territory.
Hitler shaped a battered Germany into an economic superpower.
But war never changes.
In the 21st century, war was still waged over the resources that could be acquired. Only this time, the spoils of war were also its weapons: Petroleum and Uranium. For these resources, China would invade Alaska, the US would annex Canada, and the European Commonwealth would dissolve into quarreling, bickering nation-states, bent on controlling the last remaining resources on Earth.
In 2077, the storm of world war had come again. In two brief hours, most of the planet was reduced to cinders. And from the ashes of nuclear devastation, a new civilization would struggle to arise.
A few were able to reach the relative safety of the large underground Vaults. Your family was part of that group that entered Vault Thirteen. Imprisoned safely behind the large Vault door, under a mountain of stone, a generation has lived without knowledge of the outside world.
Life in the Vault is about to change.
CHAPTER 0: VAULT 13
The old man read to his students eager to learn more about the history of the world before the war, before the vaults. His students raise their hands eager to learn more of this world. He calls out the youngster closest to him. “Yes , Ms Raka Takashima?”
“So who bombed America?” the half Japanese girl asked curiously.
“That history has been lost to us, but many theorized that it was the chinese that dropped the bombs first, any other questions?”
Elsewhere in the vault a handsome man with black combed back hair, about 27 years of age was in a heated discussion with his colleagues involving the current state of vault 13 affairs.
“I believe we should leave the vault and start living outside like the good old days,” said Albert Cole.
“Albert, you're going to get in trouble again with the overseer,” said a meek looking man.
“You know what I’m going to have a little chat with the overseer,”
“A little chat?” said the meek man.
“Negotiations are my speciality, if we were living before the war I would have been a perfect lawyer” Albert chuckles.
He briefly stops in front of a body length mirror, the man was wearing a light blue skin tight vault suit with golden trims on the collar and sleeves. On his back was a golden number 13, he checked on his slick hairdo before walking off to the overseer’s office.
A large and stout man with a square jaw and a shaved head was working in the disposal facilities on the lower levels. Maxwell “Max” stone was his name. Physically he was unrivaled in the vault but his lack of IQ made life difficult for him. However he always volunteered to do jobs that no one else wanted to do, especially if manual labor was involved. His genuine demeanor allowed him to make many friends, especially among the laborers and mechanics. He was seen talking to his two burly friends, Arnold Black and Barney Black.
Max was walking down a dark hallway, illuminated only by the computer terminals that monitor the subsystems down here. He looked through a small port window, the deep blue interior was filled with fresh clean water. He glances at one of the consoles. “Hmm what does this button do?” he presses a key on the terminal.
“Hey don’t touch that!” one of the egghead technians rushes over to the terminal. He sighs before giving Max an accusatory glare, “Max, you're lucky I got here in time. What will I tell the overseer if you shorted out the water chip!?” The technician lectures the brute.
“D’oh I’m sorry, but what is da water chip?” The big man scratched the top of his head. Giving the technician a puzzled look. The technician sighs irritablely, Maxwell reminded the technician of a big dumb ape he had seen in old vids and zoology books.
“It's the thing that makes the water clean” the technician growls.
“Oh, dat is pretty neat,” Max replied.
A pale woman with black bob haircut poked her head around the corner. Her name was Natalia Dubrohsky, she was of russian descent which made life in the vault somewhat difficult for her family. She was the vault’s number one trouble maker, always playfully taking things from her fellow vault dwellers out of sheer boredom. She was with her friend Tanya MacMillien
Meanwhile at the local diner, a young man with short black hair was in the middle of fixing the vault’s Mr. Handy, but he was getting nowhere with it. He lets out a sigh before grabbing a mop. He spilt water on the diner’s checked floors before mopping the floors between the boothe seats cleaning up leftover food from the dinner’s patrons. He sighs as he sweeps up a half-eaten sweet roll.
“Hey Clark, it's almost closing time” said the cook.
“I’m almost done,” Clark Lewison, the humble vault mechanic.
The lights flicker in the diner. Clark looked startled by the sudden and brief loss of illumination. The technician in the water reservoir monitors the water’s status. He quickly shuts down power to the broken water chip to prevent contamination.
“Err what just happen?” Max asked.
“Overseer isn’t going to like this” the technician locked his computer terminal as he took the spread sheets with him.
Natalia gave the technician a wide berth, she looked around the corner only to see Max staring off through the window into their drinking water.
“Look at all dat water, it makes me thirsty,” he said to himself.
Cole enters the Overseer’s office. He sees an elderly man in his early sixties sitting off in his overseer chair. The overseer stares off at the monitors as he contemplates his how to carry out his various duties. He spots something on the monitor, the overseer’s face grimaces when he has the camera zoom in on the couple being surveillance. He presses a button on his chair’s console.
“Overseer sir,” Albert Cole makes his way to the overseer. The overseer lowers his round elevated chair back to ground level.
“What is it Albert?”
“Are you busy, sir?”
“Yes, in five minutes Mr. Frank Charles Luciano will be coming through that door to explain himself”
A short man arrives through the door with a huge grin on his face. That grin slowly disappears as he reads the expression on the Overseer’s face. The overseer and Frank were conversing judging from the atmosphere in the room. It looked more like an angry father chewing out his daughter’s boyfriend; which incidentally it was.
“Sorry Albert but it seems Mr. Luciano has volunteered to clean the waste facilities as punishment for…”
The automated slides open as the water technician comes racing in with a spreadsheet in his hand, “Mr. Overseer, sir!”
“What is it, it better be an emergency” the overseer warns.
“It's not an emergency sir,” the water technician replied.
The overseer grumbles incoherently.
“It's a MAJOR CATASTROPHE!!!” the water technician added, “sir,”
“Over dramatic ass…” Albert was cut off by the overseer. “What is it?”
“The water chip, it's broken,” the water technician replied.
“Broken?” The Overseer asked.
“Broken?” Albert added.
“Broken?” Frank wanted to join in.
“Yes, broken, I estimate that we have 525 days before we run out of water”
The Overseer sighs, he looks over to Frank and Albert. “Albert I want you to gather some of the residence and look into finding us a new water chip”
“I’ll see what I can do, sir” Albert then grabs Frank by the shoulder as he escorts him out with himself.
“Our dream is finally coming true man, are you excited?” Frank asked Albert.
“Oh, you have no idea, I’m ecstatic” Albert replies, “Okay we will need some muscles, someone who can shoot good, a thief, and some wise guys”
“Well we already got the wise guys,” Frank points at himself and at Albert.
“Okay, Wiseguys check,” Albert replied.
Albert and Frank were at the diner secretly interviewing a select few vault dwellers who wanted to leave the vault to fix the water chip. Clark was eavesdropping on their conversation but he was called into the kitchen chamber by the cook.
“Okay we hired those two security meatheads Arnold and Barney Black” Albert was checking off his list,”So we got our security team”
“And don’t forget that one with the nice ass,”
“Okay now we just need,” Albert looked up and saw a large man with a square jaw.
“I want to come too,” Max interrupted.
“I guess having one more burly guy to our list couldn’t hurt”
“I know someone who can also help ya with yo problem” Max added.
“Like who for insistence?”
“Me,” Natalia stepped out from behind Max.
“Oh the local thief,” Frank said while cringing.
“Well welcome aboard I guess,” Albert shook her hand.
“Just don’t steal our water while we're asleep,” Frank added.
“Can I come too,” an overly enthusiastic teenager called Ed asked.
“****, I mean sure,” Albert replied.
The rectangular door slides open as the vault dwellers enter a boxy room. They see a large curricular door on the other side of the room. The room is illuminated with red lights as the vault door is pushed open. A large mechanical arm grabs the back of the circular door as it pulls down the gear-like teeth in the floor. The vault is now open for the first time in 82 years. Cold air rushes into the boxy-shaped room. The vault dwellers observe their surroundings, it was a cave.
From that day nobody knew what became of the first wave of brave vault dwellers. After an entire year passed with no sign of the scout party, the overseer grew worried of his scouts' progress. His engineers had exhausted all attempts to get the water purification systems back online. Overseer Jacoren glances over at one of his private terminals, OVERSEER EYES ONLY. It was time to send another outside the vault.
CHAPTER 1: WATER CHIP
The overseer made his way to the hydroponic greenhouse room, he spotted the man he was looking for, “Ah, you’re here, good. We’ve got a problem, a big one,”
“What is it, overseer?” Clark asked.
“The controller chip for our water purification system has given up the ghost,” Overseer Jacoren sighs.
“Can’t we fix it or make another, sir?” Clark asked.
“Can’t make another one, and the process is too complicated for a work-around system. Simply put, we’re running out of drinking water. No water, no vault. This is crucial to our survival,” he pauses while briefly looking up, “And Frankly, I… I think you’re the only hope we have. You need to go find us another controller chip, we estimate we have four to five months before the vault runs out of water. We need that chip, we have marked your map with the location of another vault. Not a bad place to start, I think” Overseer Jacoren sighs again as he tilts his head slightly, “Look, just be safe… okay?”
The Water technician hands the vault dweller a note, “Remember you only have only 160 days, please we urgently need that water chip”
Clark nods to the overseer and the water technician. A large metal computer operated door with the number 13 engraved on it begins to crack open in a zigzag pattern from top to bottom. The door splits open as both sides slide within the door frame. Red siren lights glean as Clark enters the cold dark rectangular box-shaped room. The floor was grated, the walls were covered in dusty and beyond that was a circular metal door.
Clark made his way through the dark hallway when the cylindrical lights placed between where the ceiling meets the walls began to illuminate the room. Clark turned to face a computer terminal that sprang to life with its green letter interface. Clark tapped the enter key as pressure from behind the circle door was released. Red siren lights blared as the computer began talking to the circle door.
The circle door pushed itself out of the boxed-shaped room, leaving a cog shaped frame in its place. A thick robotic arm grabs the circle door by its protrusion before rolling it out of Clark’s way. Beyond the door was a dark cave. He slowly approaches the exit. The door slides close behind him as he takes his first steps out of the vault. The start of the cave was well lit by the lights of the vault entrance. Clark took a deep breath as he wandered further into the cavern. He trips over something heavy. The lights were barely able to illuminate the obstruction. It was wearing a vault 13 vault suit and a pipboy. Clark’s eye adjusted to the dim lighting, it was a skeleton. He reached over to identify the corpse from his pipboy, it was none other than Ed.
Squeak! Clark’s attention was drawn away from Ed’s skeletal remains. He thought he heard something. The sound of tiny feet scurried within the darkness of the cave. Tiny red eyes glare back at the vault dweller. It was a cave rat. Clark sighed, he remembered learning about creatures called animals that once dominated the surface. This was a rat, alright. From the text books and videos, rats were supposedly timid creatures that only bite if they felt threatened. The cave rat ran up to Clark, displaying no fear from him. Clark thought its behavior was odd, for a timid animal it was rather trusting… the rat sprang open its jaws to take a bite out of Clark’s leg.
He jerked his leg away from the rat as it collided into Ed’s skeleton. Clark pulled out his knife and with a swift cut, the rat was dead. He heard more squeaking and scurrying up a head. The vault overlights began to flicker off. Clark activated the light on his pipboy, the cave rats began fleeing from Clark as they retreated further into the cave’s dark recesses. The Rats carefully watched the vault dweller as he traversed their home. Clark saw remains of roaches the size of cats littering the cave floor. The Rats may have kept their distance but they were now tailing Clark. Then they stopped as the vault dweller stepped into a patch of sunlite ground. The rats squealed as they fled from Clark. The rats rubbed their faces, their eyes had adapted to the dark for generations to the point they can no longer tolerate the sun’s light.
Clark stepped into the sun as he exited the dark cave. His eyes are blinded by the midday sun. As vision slowly returned to him, the land outside of the cave was a barren desert and treacherous mountain terrain. No sign of vegetation was in sight. Clark scaled up a steep hill before making his way east. He spotted something up ahead near a large rock. A massive radscorpion, about the size of a pre-war van, was seen propping the desert for food. Clark heard about things called scorpions but not like this, he was puzzled by the sheer size of the radscorpion, it didn’t seem physically possible since the pre-war books taught him that scorpions were supposed to be smaller than a human hand. It used its pincers to carefully dig up the desert soil. Its pincers snap close around a rat before drawing the rodent to its mouth. Its pincer jaws tear the rat to shreds before consuming it. The radscorpion continues on its merry way.
Clark carefully eyes the distant radscorpion as he approaches the rock. Clark looked across the horizon and saw several dead two headed creatures resembling what is called a Cow, their bodies sprawled across the desert. The radscorpion cut open the brahmin’s stomach before tearing out its innards as it dragged the gutted brahmin inside of its cavernous den. Clark notices the radscorpion had signs of damage dotting its carapace. He watched pre-war videos called movies, these had to be gunshot wounds. The scout party could have injured it, they could still be alive… but seeing how the radscorpion is still alive, it could easily mean the others are dead.
White, sterilized mud brick walls surround a mud brick village. Civilization? Clark saw people dressed in hides made from the local animals were seen patrolling the village entrance. They were tan, with slight oval shaped eyes and straight jet black hair. Clark was in disbelief, he was led to believe that civilization outside the vault was destroyed. Clark approached the village entrance. A bearded man stopped Clark in his tracks, as he aimed his colt rangemaster hunting rifle at the vault dweller. Clark raised his hands in the air. Judging from the way he was dressed with a thicker leather hide compared to the villagers, Clark assumes this man is part of this village’s security force.
“You there. Wait… You're not a raider,” The guard captain then lowers his weapon, he shoots a look at his fellow guards as they stand down, “Sorry about all of this. Umm, oh yeah. Welcome to Shady Sands, stranger. Please keep that weapon holstered while you are here. The name is Seth, I am in charge of keeping an eye on what goes on in this village”
“So how do you manage to survive out here? There is little vegetation and water…”
Seth then smiled, “Shady sands is a peaceful community. We have our own irrigation system, so we can grow our own food. If we were not plagued with raiders and radscorpions, we would have no problems”
“Raiders?” Clark asked, he heard of the term in his text books. Clark also remembered seeing a rather large scorpion in the desert earlier, “Radscorpions?”
“There are several groups of raiders. I organize guards, like Ian, to help fight them off. There is one band to the southeast of here. Watch out for them, the Khans are a lawless group who pretend to be some people from the far past” Seth explained, “Those damn Radscorpions have been after our Brahmin since we moved here. Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t get envenomated trying to keep them out of the pens. Last week they took my brother Jarvis. Razlo, our doctor, is looking for an antidote as quickly as he can” Seth explained.
“I hate to ask since you have enough to worry about already but have you seen anyone like me in the last year or so?” Clark asked.
“Can’t say I have. Hey, if you have the means to help us, why don’t you talk to our leader, Aradesh?”
“Where is Aradesh?” Clark asked, looking around.
“He is in the hovel, about over there” Seth points his thumb behind himself.
“Okay, thanks,” Clark began walking towards a large mud brick building. Clark noticed several smaller hovels were inhabited by a single family unit. Not too dissimilar to the rooms in the vault. He arrives at the villager elder’s manor hovel which was divided into several rooms. He entered an empty room, he could see a hunting rifle and what appears to be a vault 15 vault suit.
“Can I help you?” said an elderly man’s voice.
Clark turned around and saw a dark tan man, his wrinkles giving him a wise old appearance. It was Aradesh the village’s elder and leader. He glances at his old vault 15 suit before looking at Clark’s vault 13 suit.
“Greetings, wanderer. Please do not be offended if the gentlefolk about seem rude. As Dharma said, ‘Tough times tan the human hide.’ Your business in shady sands might be?” Aradesh asked.
“I’m from a small… er village to the west of here” Clark attempted to lie.
“I know of no village to the west” Aradesh brow furrows.
“Okay I’m really from a Vault to the west. My people are dying of thirst and I need to find a water purifier chip for them to survive” Clark confessed.
“Hmm, yes, yes, yes. Then tell me of this vault” Aradesh’s brow lifted.
“It’s a big place built into a mountain far to the west. My people have been there for the last 80 years” Clark explained.
“Wanderer, I shall believe you… for now. You may enter Shady Sands, but be warned your every move will be watched” Aradesh warned.
“Okay, so can you tell more about Shady Sands?”
“Shady Sands is much like a family, one that keeps to itself. We are a very protective community. As Dharma said, ‘many sticks can be broken. A bundle cannot’. The Gardens are on the south side. The Brahma Pens are north, although the smell is, I fear, quite intense this time of year. We are small and self sufficient so there is little else to tell”
“Interesting. Are there any other villages around here or is Shady Sands the only one?”
“Junktown lies south of here, there is little in the way of visitation. From stories, I’m certain there are cities south of that. Now if there is anything else I can help you with Wanderer, my lovely daughter Tandi can show you the rest of the village, if you like”
“Daughter?” Clark asked.
A beautifully dark tan skinned girl steps out from the shadows of the back room. She had boyish short black hair and was wearing brahmin leather clothing.
“Hi!” she shouted excitedly. “I heard there was a traveler in town but I was kinda skeptical until I saw you. My name’s Tandi, what’s yours?”
“Ummm Clark Lewison,” Clark responded to the girl. Tandi motioned him to follow her as they left the chief’s hovel. Clark was taken to the Brahmin pen that was just recently smashed into. Blood from the previous night's attack stained the sandy soil. Now only three Brahmin remained within the Pen.
“Radscorpions did this, I’m afraid they’ll take more tonight” Tandi expressed sorrowfully, she then smiled as her cheerful self shined once more. “Well.. how do you like our little town? Bored yet?” She then looked at Clark curiously as his attention was on a man having trouble with his crop fields. Clark walked over to the man tending his crops. Curtis looked over to see the vault dweller approaching him.
“Hello there stranger and good day” He tipped his hat to Tandi, “My name is Curtis,”
“Hello, so uh Curtis, what is it you do around here?”
“I’m a farmer. We irrigated the desert many years ago. Although the wasteland is harsh, it is possible to grow things with patience and time” Curtis carefully examines his crops.
“You have all of your fields planted right now? You could probably do better with crop rotation” Clark pointed out, having some knowledge of farming himself from his days tending the greenhouse and watching old vid do***entaries on farming.
“Crop rotation? What’s that?” Curtis asked curiously. Tandi’s eyebrows raised up, she was interested as well.
“You only plant some of your fields, allowing the others to get back some of the nutrients that plants used up. You let the other fields become fertile again by just tilling up whatever grows there” Clark explains.
“Huh. Never thought of that. Makes sense, though. Good Idea” Curtis wrote this down in his journal.
CHAPTER 2: RADSCORPIONS
Tandi nods approvingly. “Come, there is something I need you to do for me” The villager leader’s daughter directed the vault dweller to follow her to Razio’s. There Clark saw Razlo tending to Seth’s younger brother’s wounds.
“What happened here?” Clark asked.
“Radscorpions poisoned him,” Tandi asked.
“Envenomated” Razlo corrected, “There’s a difference”
Clark remembered where the radscorpions were taking the two-headed cows. “Tandi, can your village spare an able bodied man?”
“There is Ian, he used to be a guard for the caravan” Tandi suggested.
“Take me to him,” Clark asked.
Clark and Tandi entered a hovel, they saw a short, stocky man with dark long curly brown hair. He wears a leather jacket and blue jean pants. “Yo,” he waves at the two while drinking some whiskey. He eyes Tandi for a brief glance before looking at the vault dweller, “Hello, stranger. You look like you’re new here. What’s your name?”
“Clark Lewison” Clark responded.
“Good to meet you. I’m Ian”
“Could you help me out a bit?…” Clark approaches Ian.
“Sorry, but I don’t have time to waste on morons” Ian raised a hand at the vault dweller.
“Ian, this is important” Tandi stepped in, Ian glanced at her before returning the glance back at Clark.
“First, let me tell you a story,” he smiles, “I was a guard for the merchants of the Hub. However I was shot during a raid by bandits. I’ve been staying here, since the people have helped me recover. Shady Sands is my home now. What do you want from me?” Ian growled.
“I’m sorry to hear about your injury,” Clark replied, “But your village is having a radscorpion problem, I am willingly to help but I need some who knows the area”
“Radscorpions are very dangerous. They have a venomous stinger in the tail, and they are very quick. Aradesh has been trying to find a way to get rid of them. Seth is a very brave fighter. He occasionally goes to the Radscorpion’s cave to kill a few of them, but they always wind up coming back. There are just too many for him to fight, I guess”
“I could really use your help, your experience would be useful and I need someone to help me take out these radscorpions”
“Hmm. Tempting offer, since this place gets boring,” Ian smirks at Tandi. “Tell ya what. Standard rates. 100 caps, and you’ve got a deal”
“How about a piece of the action, instead” Clark counter offered.
“Huh, fine. Let’s go. It’ll be good to get back into action!” Ian gets up out of his chair, grabs his gun and holsters off the table.
Five figures approached the cave entrance, it was Clark, Seth, Katrina, Tandi, and Ian. Seth turns to Tandi, he takes her to the pack Brahmin. “You stay here. I’ll tell you when it's safe, okay?” Seth glances at the others. Tandi nodded as she watched the four slowly disappear into the dark cavern.
The cavernous tunnel offered no light, moisture builds around the ceiling of the cave as water drips from the stalactites. The sound of distant scurries causes the hair to rise on everyone's neck, back and arms.
Clark activates his pipboy’s light, the cave illuminates enough for the group to see the skeletal remains of the missing brahmin, their bones littered the cave floor.
“Oh my god,” Katrina gasped.
“Yep, this is the cave alright” Seth commented. He looks around the cave to see the salvaged remains of the radscorpions he had hunted prior. The Radscorpions cannibalized their own dead and wounded.
Katrina points in front of herself as she gasps. A large stinger droops down into sight as a massive radscorpion comes into view. The radscorpion hisses as it approaches Katrina with its pincers. The female guard screams in terror as the large brown arachnid scuttles closer. It thrusts its stinger towards Katrina, Seth tackles the woman to the floor, the Radscorpion’s stinger grazes the man’s back.
Clark ran up to the minivan sized arachnid, he fired a round from his 10mm pistol into its cephalothorax. The Radscorpion’s many eyes turn their attention towards the vault dweller.
It swipes its left pincer into Clark sending him tumbling onto the filthy floor. Ian screamed as he sprayed the radscorpion in a hail of bullets. A stray bullet struck the creature’s eye and various soft spots between its armor before suc***bing to its wounds. That was 1 down and 8 to go.
Katrina helps Seth up as Ian and Clark were removing the Radscorpion’s stinger. Katrina screams as a second Radscorpion comes charging towards them. Clark dodges its stingers before unloading an entire clip into the scorpion’s tail. Its stinger snaps off as it impales its own head.
Tandi hears the screams echoing from the caves. Followed by the sound of gunfire. The brahmin mooed as it fled from Tandi. Mechanical roars screeched across the desert.
A pack of raiders dressed in tire armor with green linen pants on pre-war machines called motorcycles. The smell of animal dung radiated from the motorcycle tail pipes. The raiders all wore helmets resembling those worn by the Mongols of old.
The raiders kick their motorcycles' kick stand before descending on the wastelander girl. Tandi was dragged off her feet before being placed on their leader’s motorcycle before the raiders took off into the distance.
Ian barely dodges the third Radscorpion’s snapping claws. It clumsily strikes its stinger into the cave wall. Clark stabs the third scorpion in its primary left eye. Driving the spear through its simple brain. Its tail snaps back around. Clark ducks out of its way.
A fourth Redscorpion charged towards Clark and the third scorpion. Clark dodges out of its way as the two radscorpions collide into each other. Clark fired his pistol into the two scorpions. Four down, five to go, Clark makes a mental note.
Ian and Katrina are ambushed by two more Radscorpions. Clark catches up to his companions. Two more Radscorpions follow him.
“****! we're surrounded!” Katrina cried. Ian and Clark’s eyes widened as a large white radscorpion made its appearance.
“What is that?” Clark growled.
“An Albino Radscorpion” Ian whispered, “They are usually solitary and rare”
A Radscorpion screeches as it is pulled backwards. A large man wrestles the scorpion to the ground before pulling off its stinger. The four remaining scorpions turn their attention to this new threat. Clark recognized the big man, Maxwell “Max” Stone. The scorpion attempts to flee but Max impales it with its stinger.
“DIS WAY!” Max shouts.
The albino Radscorpion hisses furiously as its prey flees. Max throws a grenade at the Radscorpion trio. The cave shook violently. “RUN!” Max shouts as he catches up to the gang.
Clark and Ian were helping Katrina drag Seth out of the cave. Their pockets were full of radscorpion venom glands. They look around and notice their brahmin had just returned. Tandi was missing. The tire tracks of a motorcycle were seen engraved in the desert soil.
The Albino Radscorpion breaks free from the caved-in tunnel. It snaps its claws rapidly. It smells that the other two radscorpions didn’t survive the cave-in.
CHAPTER 3: THE KHANS
The four raced their way back to Shady Sands only to see parts of the village were on fire. Bullet holes decorated the mud brick hovels, fortunately the people of shady sands were not hurt, just scared. Aradesh bolted from his home to greet them.
“Thank goodness you came! I am in desperate need of assistance. My daughter, Tandi, has been kidnapped by raiders and I do not know what to do! My people are not skilled in this. Already three patrols have gone out to look, but none returned. Will you help me?”
“Okay, who could have taken her?” Clark asked.
“I believe one of the raider clans is responsible - retribution for our resistance to them. Take this spear. It was hurled into my hut as a message to me, Oh and be careful, the Khans aren’t the only raider clan that inhabits the wasteland”
Clark took the radscorpion venom sacks to Razio. Katrina and Max help Seth onto one of the beds as Razio calmly approaches the four. Clark hands over the venom sacks.
There Razio quickly went to work making an anti-venom serum. “Give me about a day, you go on and rescue Tandi. You don’t have much time I reckon” Clark nodded, he looked over to Ian, Katrina, and Max.
Katrina was crouched over Seth as he tossed and turned on the cot. Clark walked over to Katrina, he wanted to remind her they were departing but Ian knew she wasn’t going to join them. Ian shook his head to Clark, the vault dweller sighs as they headed out of Shady Sands.
Ian grabbed Max by the shoulder as he swung the large vault dweller behind a rustbucket 90 year old truck. Clark followed suit. “Shhhh, Jackals” Ian points in the direction of the sound. Several people began marching across the waste flats, they were twitching from a neurological illness.
“Looks like they are suffering from a neurological disorder. Possibly from the radiation?” Clark hypothesized.
“Nope, that's not even remotely right poindexter. They are twitchy because they are cannibals” Ian corrected.
Clark looked over at Ian, “Oh god”
“They don’t look like cannonballs. Cannonballs are round” Max added.
“Not cannonballs, cannibals. They eat people” Clark clarifies to the slow one.
“Oh. Like zombies?” Max asked.
“Shhhh. We will wait until they leave,” Ian whispered.
“Hey did anyone hear that?” said one of the jackals.
“It's the wind, ehhhh, uhh, sorry having an episode again” said another jackal raider.
“Come on, let’s go raiding, my stomach is killing me!” said their leader.
“Where are we going, boss?”
“To Junktown town, the khans already got Shady Sands. Heard they nab the old coot’s daughter”
“Sounds delicious, why not raid the khans?”
“You meathead, they’ll kill us for sure”
The jackals laugh as they slowly make their way south. Ian gives Clark and Max the signal before heading off south as well. They slowly encroach near an abandoned building surrounded by tents. There were motorcycles parked haphazardly near the tents. This was the place. A metal plate was grafted to the wall. The Khan emblem of a skull adorned with an asian style helmet was painted on it.
From the nearby tent, a khan raider poked his head out. He spotted a man in a blue vault suit and a man in blue jeans and a black leather jacket. He quickly grabs his spear before heading out. “Hey, you better stay right where you are?”
“I’m not looking for a fight, looking for a girl, one you and your cronies had kidnapped!” Clark said.
“Hey what is it Mike? Oh, what are these, three goodie toe shoes coming to play hero?” Another khan raider walked out from his tent. He was called Petrox and beside him was his girl friend and fellow raider, Trixie.
“Hey Toyla, you need to see this” he shouts to his comrade from the other tent. Toyla, the khan’s cook walks out of his tent with a butcher knife.
“So we cook them or what?” Toyla half-joked.
“What do we look like cannibals? Hahaha” Petrox laughed, shortly after the rest of the raiders began laughing in return.
Ian puts a bullet through Petrox’s laughing mug. He falls to the ground dead. Clark was mortified, this was the first time he ever saw someone killed in cold blood. Max smiled, the action was getting his blood pumping.
“That was for my little sister, you ****ing creep!” Ian shouted at Petrox’s corpse.
Toyla, Trixie, and Mike ready their spears and guns as they charge at Clark, Ian, and Max. Trixie thrusts her spear at Clark, he manages to block her with the spear given to him by Aradesh. Ian dodges Mike’s clumsy attempt at thrusting his spear. Ian grabs the middle part of the spear while shoving his 10mm in Mike’s face. BOOM! Mike’s head comes apart like a smashed watermelon in mere seconds.
Toyla charges at Ian with his meat cleaver. Clark shoves Trixie back, she runs back to run him through but ends up getting herself run through by Clark’s spear. Clark, horrified, lets go of the spear. Trixie gives him a disgusted glare, before looking down at her wound “Ya gotta be ****in kiddin’ me…” she muttered before collapsing on the ground dead.
Toyla misses as Ian slyly steps out of the way, he trips the fat oaf into tumbling into Max’s fat fists before getting his brains splatter all over the floor; courtesy of Ian. Clark looks around and sees the khan raider guarding the door abandons his post to charge at Ian. Clark nicked the raider in the knee causing him to fall flat on his face. “Not, bad kid,” Ian delivers the killing shot to the raider guard.
The khan’s quartermaster Diana poked her head out of her tent to see half of the khans were wiped out. She signals to her man to slowly retreat. Ian looks over, he aims his gun at the two fleeing raiders but sighs when he realizes they are out of range.
Clark whistles at Ian and Max to follow him into the building. A raider guard peeks out of the door only to get a bullet between his eyes by Ian. The raider collapses back into the building, Ayla quickly retreats into Gharl’s room.
“Gharl, we're under attack!” her face explodes into a shower of blood as she falls over dead on Gharl’s table. Ian, Max and Clark enter through the second room. Gharl and Gwen now caked with Ayla’s brains stare at the two with nothing but contempt in their eyes.
“It's time to die, Gharl,” Ian shouted.
“Gwen, kill the girl” Gharl ordered. Gwen nodded in response before a bullet whizzed past her head. She turns around and sees Clark aiming a gun at her.
“Okay that's enough,” Clark then walks over to Gharl, “All I came here for is the girl” he glances over at the two women huddled in a corner, neither of them are Tandi. “Where is she? Where is Aradesh's daughter?” Clark glances over at the door, Gwen was about to enter, she must be in there. “Now if you don’t want to die, I suggest you free Tandi or else this can get ugly” Clark demanded.
Gharl chuckled, “You got a lot of balls kid, coming in here and making demands like a ****ing hero” He throws his maghoaney desk over, the two slave girls quickly run out of the building as Gharl uses his desk for cover, “Gwen, get behind cover!” the female raider quickly dashes behind the desk with Gharl.
Ian, Max and Clark retreat in the other room to avoid getting hit by Gharl’s 44 desert eagle. Ian kicks up one of the dead khan’s spears before grabbing it mid air, he turns around and throws the spear into Gwen’s stomach pinning her to the wall. Clark fires his gun into the room, he manages to hit Gharl in the hand, disarming him of his powerful weapon.
“****, my eagle!” Gharl cursed. Clark rolls into the room and grabs the 44 Desert eagle before aiming it directly into Gharl’s face. “Go ahead kid, use it, if you got the balls for murder! If you don’t pull that trigger, I’m going to kill you, then your friend Ian then the big guy then…” Gharl smiled, “well let's say Me and Tandi will have a little bit of f..” Gharl’s head explodes, the 44 desert eagle’s barrel smokes in Clark’s hands.
“Looks like negotiations failed,” Ian kicked Gharl’s lifeless body. He glanced over at Clark who was in shock. “Hey are you okay, Clark?” Ian asked.
Clark lowered his gun. “Let’s get Tandi and go,” he muttered.
“Hey, it’s you?” Father sent you!? Are you here to get me out?” Tandi asked.
“Yes, so just sit tight. I'll get you out,” Clark unlocks the prison cell, “Come on, let’s go. I’ll take you back to Shady Sands”
“Not yet. Before I go back I want to experience the outside world,” Tandi then glanced over at the dead bodies of Gharl and Gwen. She says nothing but in her mind, she is glad that ******* is dead. “So other than Shady Sands, what were you heading?”
“After I drop you off at Shady Sands, Me and my team are heading off to Vault 15. The Wasteland is a harsh and dangerous place…”
“Says the guy who just came out of a Vault” Tandi snarked.
“I can take you there. I know where Vault 15 is and you are going to need me” Tandi explains.
“Yeah, so do I, beat it kid” Ian dismisses her.
“I am really good at sneaking, I can squeeze into tight corners easily,” Tandi pleaded.
“Fine, you can follow us for a while but you must go back to Shady Sands. At least to let your father know you are alright. Deal?” Clark asked.
“Deal,” Tandi smiled mischievously.
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