|As the World Stops
Author: AnthonyS PM
Conserve your ammo. We're in for a long night. That's what Derrick Diamante told his men as the super mutant army approached, but only after their simple expedition had turned into a fight for survival, and eventually . . . a war for the entire Capital Wasteland.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Sci-Fi - Lone Wanderer - Chapters: 10 - Words: 17,712 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 11 - Updated: 07-15-12 - Published: 05-26-12 - id: 8153402
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
- Season 1 -
"Crap, crap, crap, crap, CRAP!"
Derrick Diamante was practically pissing his pants. The Deathclaw had come out of nowhere and he was entirely out of ammo. He'd wasted it all on that damn squad of Enclave rats a couple miles back and now because of them he was probably going to die.
In truth Derrick had been shocked when he'd even ran into the squad of Enclave. He'd almost been certain he'd wiped them all out after the Adams Air Force Base operation. But apparently not and once again he was brought back to his current predicament.
Sweat poured down Derrick's forehead, across the bridge of his nose, and into his mouth. He wondered if his blood would taste as salty.
The Deathclaw growled heavily and prepared to attack. All Derrick had in way of defense was a trench knife he'd scrounged after helping out the Brotherhood Outcasts. A little gift he supposed for all his hard work. Too bad it wouldn't do jack to this giant demon of a creature.
The supposed 'Lone Wanderer' swallowed a hard lump and prepared for the inevitable. The Deathclaw dug its massive feet into the ground, kicked up dirt and jumped. Derrick dove to the ground and slid under it just as it landed. He was so surprised it had worked he actually hesitated before driving the blade into the beast's groin, or what he supposed was its groin. Either way the Deathclaw howled and Derrick grinned.
The former vault dweller pulled at his knife, but it was jammed too far in and the beast had just realized where its prey had gone.
"Oh sh-" Derrick began, but he was forced to roll out of the way before completing the curse. A claw swiped at where he'd been moments before.
Derrick got to his feet and had no choice but to run. He knew he'd never outrun it, but it was his only option. He sprinted as fast as he could, but it was dark and he'd heard from a Brotherhood of Steel Scribe that Deathclaws had excellent night vision. God, Derrick hated his life so much right now. And to think not long ago he'd been a scared kid searching for his father.
Derrick stumbled and before he could stop he ran right off the side of the small gorge. He fell hard and landed on the dirt with a crunch. He rolled to a stop and everything went hazy. So this was it, huh? This was how it would end. One stretch of bad luck after another.
Welcome to the freakin' Capital Wasteland, Derrick thought to himself before finally passing out.
Lucas Simms wandered into Moriarty's, happy to be out of the blazing heat. He took off his ancient cowboy hat his father had given him and took a seat at the bar. Gob walked over, polishing a glass that was beyond dirty.
"What can I get you, Sheriff?" the Ghoul's harsh, croaking voice asked.
Simms had lived in Megaton too long to be shocked by Gob's appearance, but every once in a while it still caught him off guard. Despite the negative feedback it brought from the Ghoul community Gob and his Ghoul brethren really did look like zombies. Their skin was often little more than rough leather patches and muscles were more than not visible for all to see. Still, Gob was a good 'man' and Simms liked him well enough.
"A shot of Whiskey, Gob. Say, have you seen Diamante around?"
Gob pulled out a shot glass and poured the Whiskey in expertly. The Ghoul hadn't wasted a drop in years. Maybe it was because every time he did Moriarty added it to what Gob owed him.
Now, Moriarty was another story for Simms. The strange accented man was willing to sell information to anyone for the right price and that made Sheriff Lucas Simms uncomfortable. It was good to have that kid from the vault around - kept Moriarty in line. Although Simms hadn't seen him in over two weeks and he wasn't really a kid anymore.
It was over a year since he'd wandered into town and since then he'd taken out the majority of the Enclave, killed more than his fair share of muties, and had bedded Nova more times than he could count on both hands.
Poor Gob, everyone gets a piece of his woman, Simms thought to himself. The Ghoul's secret relationship with the hooker wasn't so secret to anyone anymore. Except Moriarty though and everyone kept it that way, even loudmouth Billy Creel.
"Nah, Sheriff. Not in a while. I hear he's been doing courier work between the towns. I guess he's the only one with enough balls to travel the wastes like that."
Simms downed the shot, wiped his charcoal forehead, and fought the reflex to gag. God, it was powerful stuff.
"Yeah, even the Brotherhood is still licking their wounds after losing that robot of theirs," Simms commented.
Just then the door swung open and Harden, Simms' son ran in. He looked excited.
"Dad, they just talked about him again on the radio."
"Who?" Simms bent down to look his son in the eye.
"The Mysterious Stranger."
"Son, that's just a legend. There's no fedora-wearing, magnum-toting, vigilante out there saving wastelanders. Nobody's that good. Not even the 'Lone Wanderer'."
"Yes there is, dad," Harden stamped his foot. The kid had really taken a shining to this legend and Diamante hadn't helped by commenting that the vigilante had saved him once or twice.
"Alright, maybe there is a Mysterious Stranger out there. Maybe he ought to come join the Regulators."
"But then he wouldn't be mysterious, dad."
Simms turned back to Gob and thanked him, picking his hat up off the bar.
"Let me know if Diamante or this Mysterious Stranger wander in anytime soon," Lucas Simms said, fixing the hat back on his neatly shaved head.
"Will do," Gob said. And with that he went back to cleaning the glass and eyeing Nova, his favorite two pastimes.
"Oh crap," Derrick groaned gruffly. His head felt like it was going to split open and it hurt to breathe.
"Just try to relax. The med-x hasn't taken effect yet," a female voice said. Derrick couldn't locate it though since he was having trouble getting his vision to return.
"Why can't I see?" he managed to croak out. His throat felt like cotton.
"I have a hot towel over your eyes. You got quite a bit of crap in them when you took that tumble. Your ribs were messed up and you might have a concussion too."
"All in a day's work."
"If you don't mind me asking, what were you doing way the heck out here?" the voice asked him.
"Mail run, if you can believe it."
The voice paused before responding. He wondered if she believed him.
"Yeah, I'd heard there was talk of setting some mail routes up. I just didn't think anyone was crazy enough to do it. I mean traders go out, but besides a few like Crow, no one even tries. And even their routes are short."
"Yeah, I wanted to be the first post-apocalyptic mail man," Derrick said sourly, not sure if he liked her tone or not.
"That's an interesting gizmo you have on your wrist. I tried to take it off, but it seems to be attached somehow," the voice said, unaware of the hint of spite in Derrick's tone.
"Yeah, it's attached to my nerves. It's how it keeps an eye on my condition. I wouldn't be surprised if there were X's in place of eyes on the little guy's status report."
"I didn't really bother checking it out that much."
Derrick felt a sting in his arm and even without his vision he managed to grab the woman's wrist and held it firmly.
"What the hell did you just give me?" he asked harshly.
"It's just a stimpak to increase your healing process. You do know what a stimpack is, don't you?" the voice asked. This time the sourness was in her tone.
"Yes, I know what a stimpak is. I've had to use them more than once."
"I wouldn't be surprised, walking around out here with no weapon and all," she muttered.
Derrick didn't let her comment slip.
"I'll have you know I used up all my ammo wasting an Enclave squad. And I lost my weapons when a Deathclaw jumped out at me and nearly took my head off. So, if you don't mind, you can knock off the damn smartass tone."
"So that's why you took a stroll off the side of a ravine." It was a statement rather than a question.
Derrick was way too tired for any more of this bullshit and sat up, throwing the cloth off his face. He opened his eyes and almost instantly regretted it. They burned fiercely and were it not for the fact he was in a tent his eyes might have been permanently scorched.
Derrick cursed his head off and knew the woman was smiling. Blinking several times to get his eyes reacquainted with being open, Derrick finally got a good look at the woman treating him. And she was gorgeous. Long brown hair pulled tight into a ponytail. Tan cream colored skin. And were it not for the green colored combat armor she wore he would've gotten a good look at the full extent of her curves.
Green colored combat armor. Derrick took a closer look and after a moment couldn't help himself. He chuckled lightly and the woman gave him a puzzled look.
"What's so funny?"
Derrick saw the four-leaf clover emblem and fought back more laughter.
"What is so damn funny?" she asked again.
"You're part of Reilly's Rangers," Derrick managed between ragged breaths.
"Yeah, you know of them?"
"Darling, I'm a member."
Derrick saw his leather jacket he'd had since first arriving in Megaton laying next to the cot and picked it up. Along the sleeves he had hand-made patches depicting his various adventures. There was a Lyon's Pride patch made up of a lion's head roaring at a blazing sky. There was another one with a jet flying across the letters AAFB, for the Adam's Air Force Base operation. And finally there was a patch sporting the same four leaf clover with two swords crisscrossed in front of it.
A loud voice suddenly sounded outside the tent's flap. Derrick recognized it instantly.
"Alright, I'm here. Let me see this idiotic wastelander you rescued, Myers."
Just then the flap was pulled aside and amongst the light that spilled in, Butcher, the Rangers' head medic, walked in. He stopped, breaking into a broad smile.
"Jesus Christ, you rescued him? And here I thought the day would never come," Butcher said shaking Derrick's hand.
"What?" Myers asked stupidly.
"I guess you haven't been properly introduced."
"Not exactly," Derrick said enjoying this way too much.
"Derrick, this is Keira Myers, my newest medical trainee. Myers, this is Derrick Diamante - otherwise known as the Lone Wanderer."
Keira Myers buried her face in her palms. So she'd just spent the better part of ten minutes insulting this guy and it turns out he's the legendary Lone Wanderer. The guy was a legend and she'd pretty much called him a stupid wastelander.
Great, Keira thought to herself. Nice first field operation.
A/N: So this is a story I had posted a while ago. I took it down because I was no longer happy with it and wanted to edit it a bit. So if it garners a fair amount of fresh readership I'll pick it back up with fresh content. In the meantime, let me know what you think.