"Hold still!" yelled a young female voice from inside an old run down, rust covered corrugated shed that looked on the verge of collapsing.
A clatter of metal filled the air inside the shed followed by a very animal like whine followed by the shed visibly shaking as something smacked against the fragile walls.
"It itchy!" squawked a human like voice, yet something about it sounded bland. Almost like how a parrot mimics words from their owners.
"Aww!" suddenly there was the loud sound of clashing metal followed by part of the sheds wall suddenly collapsing outwards revealing the occupants inside.
"Sorry Marry" chirped a voice filled with a hint of sorrow and concern.
Something stood upright from amongst the fallen pieces of corrugated steel that had once been a shed wall, it was a young skinny and frail looking girl covered in crude leather like armour and tattered clothing that was just as dirty as her hair and face.
She stood upright shakily on her feet, goggles hanging awkwardly across her face and arms waving slightly as she steadied herself.
From the hole in the wall, her companion moved its big ugly face into view and stared down at her with small beady eyes that would send most people of the wasteland into a fit of panic.
Marry took in the face, with its curved sheep like horns sprouting from its skull and sharp bone crunching teeth. That dark brown scaly face stared at her emotionlessly as she recomposed herself from falling through the wall.
"Garn" the tone in the young girls voice made the deadly and renowned predator recoil in fear.
"I know it's itchy but it's the rule!" she snapped throwing a wrench at the massive 8 foot tall creature still hunched over in confines of the shed.
"Itchy" replied the Deathclaw as it brought a hand to scratch at its chest, revealing its huge clever like claws that could rip a man in two with a single swipe.
The huge claws made a horrible screech noise as they rubbed against the plates of cold rusty and partly painted steel that clung to its body via handmade brahman leather straps. The metal was clearly a form of crude armour plating for the devilish predator, with the material covered in various dints and bullet holes indicating it'd seen combat in recent months.
"Would you rather the next raider that shoots at us to leave you riddled with holes?" snapped Marry crossing her arms over her chest and giving the deathclaw a stern glare.
Garn pulled his head away momentarily, growling softly in a menacing manner before reappearing seconds later with another plate of armour in its claws.
"Finish...please" added the beast, Marry snorted in triumph and moved back into the shed where she and her companion had made temporary housing while they scavenged for resources.
Taking the heavy metal from her companion's claws, Marry moved around to Garn's side and began hooking the metal into the cobweb of leather straps and buckles that covered the predators form.
Marry had to admit, she couldn't blame Garn for hating the complex set of armour plating he was forced to wear by the Alpha. But one didn't argue with an Alpha male who sternly believed that wondering around the wasteland required armour plating for protection regardless of how close to the pack territory one travelled.
Marry herself was forced to wear crude leather armour to protect her from harm, and partly to protect her from the razor sharp claws of her Deathclaw companion.
"Almost done" she muttered out loud as she looped in another plate of metal into the web of leather and armour plating that made her companion look almost robotic.
A moment later, Garns entire torso area as well as part of his lower body was covered in crude armour plating that ended at his shoulders and hip. Taking a step back to admire her handy work, Marry turned her gaze towards the carry bag of supplies she had managed to gather from her small trip outside pack territory.
The bag of scrap metal and machinery was the only reason she was even out this far from her home, if the pack didn't need to fix so much machinery then she would be likely still sleeping in cosily in her own little den.
Sighing loudly, Marry grabbed a thick leather belt that held a pistol in a holster. Strapping the weapon over her chest, Garn made a growl of approval as his companion armed herself with a weapon.
"Travel?" asked Garn as he gestured his head towards the bag of supplies, Marry nodded her head in reply before grabbing one of the bags and slinging it over her shoulder.
Garn growled in reply as Marry then attached the remaining two bags to Garn's back, making him look almost like a brahman carrying caravan goods.
But Marry didn't say that out loud, she didn't want to wound her dear companions pride with such an insult.
Pushing the shed door open, Garn poked his head outside and checked the coast was clear before shoving the door aside and rushing outside into the open air.
Marry followed swiftly behind him with a water bottle in hand, she took a swig of the semi clean liquid before turning to watch as Garn did his almost ritualistic stretches as he worked his stiff limbs.
According to him, sleeping in small places made his bones hurt.
Sadly there weren't many place they could stay in welcomingly in the region, most people tend to shoot first ask questions later when it involves a Deathclaw.
Walking past the blacked patch of dirt where there camp fire had been last night, Marry pushed the water bottle into a carry compartment on her armour before pulling out a small telescope from a pouch and pulling the cylinder to full length.
Holding the item to her eye, Marry scanned the surrounding plains of dry dead wasteland around them for any signs of raiders or unfriendly mutated animals that liked to wonder around the region just hoping to stumble upon and devour unfortunate travellers.
"Trouble?" asked Garn as he walked up behind Marry and loomed over her almost protectively, he stared down at her with the faintest hint of concern in his beastly face.
"Can't see anything, hopefully no one will trouble us getting home" announced Marry as she collapsed the telescope and placed it back in its little pouch, Garn grunted in reply and sniffed the air.
Growling in annoyance, the Deathclaw suddenly nuzzled Marry in the back making her stumble a little at the unexpected contact.
Knowing full well why he did it, the girl just stood still while Garn rubbed against her briefly.
To most it would appear affectionate, but Marry knew that Garn was only reapply his scent to her to deter wasteland predators and other wild deathclaws in the region. It was amazing how something like a molerat would run away at the first smell of a Deathclaw, it'd saved Marry more than once when exploring old buildings scattered across the wasteland.
Satisfied that Marry smelled 'dangerous' once more, the duo grabbed what little supplies was left outside before heading towards the ruined remains of an old road that twisted and turned into the distance.
It would be a long days walk to get back to Haven, the nesting sight and heart of the Deathclaw pack territory, but to get there Marry and Garn would have to navigate several farms and small pockets of settlements along the way as well as passing through the boarders of the abyss.
Marry shuddered slightly as she thought of that massive and gloomy crater near her home, the Alpha said it was from the old war that devastated the world. She couldn't image what kind of weapon could leave such a large hole in the world, it was so vast that even from the watch tower of the nest one could not see the other side.
Pulling her goggles over her eyes, Marry looked up at her companion as they both briefly stopped to stare down the road, eyes taking in the ruined husk of old cars and trucks as well as the destroyed buildings scattered across the terrain.
"Lady first" squawked Garn making a gesture with his claws, Marry smiled softly and took the lead.
With an armoured Deathclaw at her back, Marry bravely strolled down the open road for all to see. She may be young and frail, but in the wasteland nobody cared how old or sick you were. For out here the only rule of the game is survival at any cost, and survive Garn and Marry would do.
It was late afternoon by the time Garn and Marry had made their way into familiar territory, for many long hours they had cautiously skirted around farms and settlements. Dodging the odd caravan with its heavily armed guards as well as avoided notorious raider territories, but alas they had entered the outskirts of their packs territory.
Moving calmly towards the pathetic walls of a settlement, Garn and Marry were pleased to see a familiar shot up sign ahead on the rode a km or so outside the down.
'Welcome to Little Springs'
Garn and Marry shared a glance before the duo casually strolled towards the town in the dying light of the afternoon sun. If there traded some supplies right they should work up enough caps for some food and shelter for the night, if she talked to the right people that is.
Stepping past the armoured guards standing at one of the entrances to the settlement, Garn gave a friendly wave at the duo as they approached earning him intense angry glares in return. But Garn didn't seem to mind, he just stuck close to Marry in a protective manner as they entered the quiet street where people were beginning to pack up their stores for the day.
"Stay out of trouble" spat a guard in the street as they passed, he tightened his grip on a hunting rifle as Marry and Garn passed, obviously unsettled with the Deathclaws presence in the town.
While the Deathclaws were 'allowed' to trade inside the settlement, that didn't mean people liked seeing them in the streets nor were they discreet about their distrust. But the bare fact was trade was trade, and that having Deathclaws trade with your settlement made raiders think twice before storming into the streets in fear of facing down such a beast.
Indeed Garn was a rather intimidating sight in body armour, not only did the plates make him look even larger than a normal Deathclaw, they also showed clearly that the creature was protected from harm and would be even more difficult than average to defeat in battle.
Strolling down the street calmly, Marry stopped outside a store with a funny rocket ship hanging above the entrance with flickering lights. Written across the shops wall in fading paint were the words.
'Trader Dan's trinket store'
Garn huffed as his eyes went over the words with mild confusion, considering how smart humans were supposed to be. It still confused the Deathclaw how bad humans were at naming things most of the time.
Waiting outside, Garn settled down into a sitting position outside the store while Marry walked through the front door. A loud 'ding' filled the air as a Brahman bell beside the door clattered about notifying the man behind a counter of a new customer.
Marry took a moment to look around the store, taking in the messy piles of trash and materials ranging from Nuka Cola bottles to magazines of bullets and weapons hanging on the walls, one had to admit old Dan had a little bit of everything in his trade store.
Speaking of the old man, Dan himself stood behind the counter of the shop. Sitting beside him in arms reach was the familiar double barrel shotgun he kept at all times to shoot any thieves, Marry paid the weapon a second glance before fixing her eyes on the hairy face man staring at her closely with small beady eyes.
"Ah one of you beasties come to trade again" he commented casually as he leaned across his counter, Marry held back an irritated retort as she took the bag off her back and opened it up.
"I'm here to sell Dan" she informed him bluntly, unfazed by the offended look on his face.
Marry pulled out what she'd been looking for and sat the items on the table, eyes watching the man expectantly for a reaction.
"Chems?" said the man in amusement as he picked up the red plastic item known commonly as Jet.
"Found a stash while looking for salvage" she informed him as she waited expectantly for an offer, Chems while addictive could be very helpful out in the wasteland.
While some could be harmful, things like Jet can be used as painkiller for wounds and had a rather large demand from drug addicts and such. Lucky for Marry case, Chems were pretty illegal in the nest.
The Alpha forbid the narcotics from his territory, and if Marry even tried one of them just once he would somehow know and that was something the young girl wanted to avoid at all cost.
"I'll give you 20 caps for the lot" said Dan bluntly as he put the Jet down and stared at her expectantly.
"20 caps?" Marry look outraged "I could get 35 caps for these over at Jerry's!" she exclaimed loudly, but Dan didn't waver and just continued to stare at her expectantly.
"But Jerry doesn't deal with you beasties now does he" Dan grinned deviously as Marry continued to glare daggers at him.
"22 caps that's my final offer" Dan crossed his arms over his chest and stared down his nose at Marry, the girl muttered and cursed under her breath.
"Fine" she spat, angrily, eyes glaring down at the 2 Jet and a single syringe of med-X.
Dan counted out the caps from a jar and handed them to her calmly, Marry practically snatched the caps into her hands and stormed out of the store.
Garn perked up as his human companion slapped the store door shut behind her, a small meagre sum of caps in hand that were well below the worth of the items she went to trade. The Deathclaw growled aggressively as he stood up and turned his head to glare at the store, almost like he planned to go inside himself and talk to trader Dan.
"Come on, let's go buy something to eat" announced Marry in a softer, disappointed voice that made the Deathclaw snap his attention to her.
Moving closer to stand protectively over her, the duo continued down the street towards another open store where people sat about eating and drinking food while an elderly lady cooked away and served drinks.
She was defiantly old and fragile, but a smile stretched across her face as her eyes spotted the towering Deathclaw and its female companion.
"Ahhh Welcome back darlings!" she exclaimed warmly as Marry moved forward and took a seat at the table, a few of the other customers there gave her cold glares and shuffled along the chairs to get away from her.
Garn growled and made sure to flex his claws before moving forward to loom over Marry shoulder down at the old, yet fearless lady who barely even glanced at the Deathclaw.
Old Gran Lilly was one of the few people in town who didn't give a crap how her customers looked, according to her everyone was the same right from the Ghouls and Super Mutants, right down to the raiders and Caravans that covered the wasteland trying to make a living.
Drooping across the table, Marry let several caps drop from her hand.
"Brahmin steak" squawked Garn almost eagerly while Marry mutter something about lizard stew.
Lilly smiled warmly and moved off to grab the desired items, leaving Marry to sit there in silence while she stewed over the irritation of trading with Dan. The old bastard wasn't the nicest of traders in town, Jerry was far better price wise for his goods but he down right refused to let anyone from Marry's pack to trade at his store. Bad for business apparently.
Sighing, Marry looked down as a dirty old bowl was place in front of her with lukewarm stew staring up at her. Grabbing a spoon, Marry began to eat in silence while a slab of partly cooked steak was handed to Garn. The Deathclaw delicately grabbed the steak between two claws before bringing it to his jaws and ripping into the piece of flesh happily.
"Why so glum deary, what got you so troubled" asked Lilly as she cleaned a cup with a rag before placing it in front of Marry and pouring some dirty looking water said cup.
"Trader Dan" she grumbled in between a spoonful of stew.
Lilly face dropped slightly as well.
"I see, the miserable fool still cheating you Beasties out of caps… miserable old sack of Brahmin shit he is" Marry smiled softly at Lilly statement and glanced up at her.
"That we can agree on" she said softly, Garn growled in agreement behind her.
"So how far out did you two venture this time, I remember you two Beasties passed through town a week or so ago?" asked Lilly innocently as she began gleaning another cup.
"Not far, just past the old Nuka Cola factory… Had to salvage a few parts that couldn't be bought in town" said Marry before raising the cup to her lips and taking a drink.
Satisfied, Lilly didn't ask any more questions as she moved over to serve other customers seeking some food or refreshments.
Marry ate her fill, paid Lilly an extra cap for a tip before moving on back out of town to search for somewhere to rest for the night.
They didn't have enough caps to rent a proper room at Jeremy's Saloon so they would have to risk the wasteland for another night.
"Almost home big guy" said Marry gloomily as she collapsed on a patch of dirt beside a large bolder with a slight hollowed out area around its base.
"If I carry you" squawked Garn "we both home sooner" he offered gesturing to his back.
"We'll see buddy, right now I'm.." Marry yawned loudly and stretched her limbs out before shifting about to get comfortable.
Garn stared down at his companion, watching her breathing steady and her form go still as she passed out into the dream world. Staring down at her, the Deathclaw was reminded just how small his companion was as he positioned his body in a protective circle around her.
Tomorrow would be another long days walk, to get through to the pack territory they had to go through the water lands filled with Mirelurks and then through some rocky outcrops which were like a maze.
But that was for tomorrow, right now was time for rest..
Bit of a one-shot I kinda wrote a while back and thought some people might like to read. I don't really have a continuation planned for this story as it was a spirr of the moment writing.
Anyway hope you enjoyed and this story was based on the Fallout 4 deathclaw model.