Story ID image ('New Moon') Courtesy of Alex-kellar, visit his DA account for more details

You'd think that after getting shot in the head, things couldn't get worse. Of course, that's assuming you can still think while your brains are splattered across the concrete. But, assume you do. Assume that after surviving what would normally be fatal injury, and probably suffering massive brain damage, things can't possibly get any worse. But then, instead of putting as much distance between you and whatever tried to empty your skull, for whatever reason you decide it's a good idea to go after them. Adding to this, you decide to piss off an army of slavers, rob a centuries old casino, get stuck between a nigh-unstoppable preacher and a crazed tribal faction of the aforementioned slavers, become the slave to a bunch of scientists who like cross-breeding unrelated animals and lobotomizing people, and then, as a vacation, you get to stop a few more nuclear warheads from blowing the crumbling remains of civilization to kingdom come. Can't get worse right?


Sorry, sorry, lost my cool for a bit there. I've had a lot on my plate. It'd be easier to skip the whining and give you the history lesson some other time. I guess I'll have to give you some context, there isn't a lot of that these days.

I'd start by telling you my name, except I don't know it either. Remember that brain damage I mentioned before? Yea, kinda makes it hard to introduce yourself when you don't have a name to give. So I've been working with what I got, call me Courier Six. Or Six if you're feeling friendly… Or Courier if you need impromptu dental work.

Ready to continue? ...Alright, gimme a sec to collect my thoughts.

By this point, most people are familiar with what went down at the Dam. That's Hoover Dam, if you didn't get the memo. Anyway, Legion got their collective shit pushed in by the NCR and myself. Calling it a battle paints the picture like the legion had a prayer in the first place. Honestly, it was more like Bitter Springs part deux. But with all the leg work I'd had to do to get the right people ready, it shouldn't have been a surprise. So we finish clear cutting the legion, raze their camp, and I introduce Lanius to his new home in the dirt. I got a moment of silence for it, a few seconds to savor the hard work I'd put in. Honestly, there was so much brahmin-shit that lead up to that moment even having a chance to catch my breath was like being given two shots of Med-X and a bottle of scotch. Not that swill they brew at the Atomic Wrangler either. I mean honest, aged in a barrel for thirty years and wrapped in a blue label Gold.

Then that piece of shit Oliver blows the gate off the hinges and struts in with a couple of rangers. When I say strut, I mean strut. The guy walked in like he just got head from president Kimball and was planning to rake in every bit of sunshine he could from my work. The man was a glory hound who would leave his men to bleed if it meant he got another star. You better believe I got a kick out of what came next.

So the securitrons I, *ahem*, borrowed from Mr. House rolled up and drove the prick and his four rangers back to the strip. In summation, that was the battle of Hoover Dam.

The important part is what came afterwards.

I'll be up-front, my hatred for Oliver and Kimball didn't extend to the rest of the NCR. I'd met so many of their people who were getting the shaft for the crap their leaders kept pulling that I'd spent a good many hours trying to help where I could. 'Course it didn't excuse their otherwise inept leadership. So, after having the securitrons basically drag Ambassador Crocker and his staff into the Lucky 38, I had a nice chat with them.

Well… Chat isn't the right word for it I suppose. More like I gave them an ultimatum while holding them at gun point. I wasn't in a good mood, sue me. My proposition was simple, leave the people of New Vegas to rebuild without NCR influence. This included any NCR settlers that had already planted their roots. In exchange, I'd repair the dam and let the NCR draw power from it. They'd be free to expand elsewhere, but if they tried anything stupid they'd be met with force.

Crocker… wasn't particularly happy about it and didn't want to deliver the message. Of course, that was before I reminded him he'd probably be executed by the NCR for not delivering it.

I heard from Kimball a week later. His contempt was obvious and no politician had enough grease to smile that away. But he would rather save face with his people than throw more away in another pointless war. He had a few concessions he wanted, namely for the embassy to remain open and for troops to Remain at camp McCarran. I was a bit leery about McCarran, but I still had pretty decent ties with the commanding officers stationed there, so I figured they'd be fine. As far as I've been made aware I hadn't been proven wrong either.

So that's how it went. In the span of a month we'd fixed the damage done to the dam, the NCR got their power, and Vegas got left alone. Overall, this's probably the closest anyone can get to everything they want.

… That was five months ago. Y'see… Some things never change. Should've figured my luck wouldn't be one of them.

*Six months since independence*

I sat at the desk I kept in the main bedroom of the presidential suite. Radio New Vegas trickled out of the radio in my Pip-boy, keeping in rhythm with the cardiograph that beeped in the back of my mind. I shuffled through the literal mountain of papers that surrounded me. Tarriffs, Acquisitions forms, Funding and Budget sheets, an up to date copy of the newspaper, and trade agreements. The past week alone had been nothing but trouble. I'd had to order a number of farmers' crops be burned. We'd been getting rumors of green humanoid creatures prowling around at night. Didn't take long to connect the dots between the spores from vault 22 and the growing rumors. Keely'd warned me it might happen, we'd burned them in the vault but there was a chance they'd gotten out. I'd gotten her working with a task force to make sure no other farmers would be affected.

I had to compensate the farmer, which meant taking money from the Vegas treasury. I.E. the banks of the Casinos. None of the owners were happy, hell I'm sure some of them had a hand in the riots.

… Oh, right, the riots. Not sure why, but riots had been popping up all over freeside. Some having to do with our current relations with the NCR, Others over the taxes I had to put on liquor. In most cases, I got the Kings to handle it. They were probably the closest I could get to a police force without mowing the place down with securitrons.

Anyway, I'd lost track of how long I'd been at the desk for. After a while I thought the world had turned black and white. It wasn't until the elevator dinged and I heard the scrape of paws that I snapped back to reality. Rex padded out of the Elevator, into the bedroom, and right up to me. He looked up at me expectantly, panting while his tongue flopped out of his mouth. I reached down and rubbed his brain case.

"How's the paperwork boss?" Rasped a familiar Hispanic voice.

I looked to the door and watched as Raul walked out, wearing his unaltered Petro-Chico coveralls and carrying a box of scrap metal and parts. He probably paid Arcade and Veronica a visit, though I only have a few ideas why.

"Boring as ever." I drawled back

"It can't be that bad." He said, placing the box on top of a trunk that sat at the foot of the master bed.

"Really? So, which is more important? Monitoring the ppm of lead in the New Vegas Water supply or what source we should use for the re-enforcement of the dam?"


"Trick question. I'm stuck with both until people stop dragging their feet."

I rubbed my eyes and leaned back in my chair. Raul stood next to his box of scrap, contemplating a response. Ever since the dam got taken, I had been in and out of touch with most of my companions. The only regulars I kept up with were Boone and Raul. I won't bore you with the others right now, but Rex stuck around since… well, he's a good boy. ED-E on the other hand took off once I gave him leave. I figured it was for the best, he had enough Agency and Curiosity about his past to go searching for it. I let Raul take up a room in the presidential suite. Give him a better place to stay than some shack until he figured out where he was going next.

"… I got nothing boss. Sorry."

"It's fine, I'm just frustrated by all the nonsense. I mean, most of this isn't hard to figure out, I don't get why they've got to move so slow."

"Probably just cautious boss. Don't hold it against'em."

"I know, I know."

I finally had enough of staring at the paperwork and climbed out of the chair. Reaching into the coat I was wearing at the time, I pulled out a bottle of whisky. The saying is 'it's five o'clock somewhere', personally it could be seven in the morning and I could be spiking my coffee if I felt the day was gonna suck that bad. It'd happened about four times this week alone.

"Y'might want to slow down boss" Raul said, still sorting some things out in his box "You know drinking makes you do stupid shit."

"I know, Raul, your concerns have been filed." I did know and they were filed. On a good day, My average intelligence ranged somewhere between genius and omniscient. When I drank? That shit dropped like a lead weight. It wasn't so bad, most times I just had to avoid going overboard. When I didn't I would be lucky if I could remember how gravity works and why objects didn't just float off into space. Thankfully, it took a lot to get there.

"Yet you're doing it anyway."

I extended my left hand and shot him the bird as I took another nip of my whisky.

He chuckled and shot me one back.

The room fell silent as I drank and Raul did… whatever he was doing. I should've asked at the time but I figured I'd give the ghoul his privacy. I reached down and gave Rex another rub on the head, before putting the bottle back and heading to the wardrobe I kept most of my clothes in.

"Goin' somewhere boss?" Raul asked looking up at me

"Yea, gonna take a trip to the dam. Now that I'm up I might as well go see what the fuss is over there."

Raul grunted in agreement. "When you get a chance boss, there's actually something I wanna show you."

"I'll take a look when I get back." I gave him an ever so slightly drunken smirk. It was honest though, most of the time when Raul wanted to show me something, it was cool.

I slipped out of the relaxer wear I was in and donned a set of riot gear from the Divide. I used to where the Ranger Veteran coat, but after an incident involving a group of violent old women and an angry team of NCR troopers, I decided to retire it until things died down. The riot gear was as close as I could get without going with its heavier cousins or wearing the Desert Ranger armor. I've got enough respect for Clark to not use his armor without a good reason.

If I'm speaking honestly, I probably didn't need it. The only reason I was wearing armor at all is because I don't like getting caught with my pants down.

I tightened the helmet to my head and patted Rex on the head one last time. I gave a nod to Raul and walked to the elevator. As I waited for the doors to close, I tried to avoid staring at the person lying in the master bed. I found myself focusing on the cardiograph and IV next to them.

The radio cued in Johnny Guitar as the doors closed… Fuck you, Mr. New Vegas.

It took me about six hours to walk from the Lucky 38 to the outer edge of the Dam. It might've taken less, but I was drunk and more looking for an excuse to stretch my legs than actually get there. The place'd changed since the battle. We hadn't bothered repairing the concrete towers that covered the thing. We were too busy keeping our asses out of the fire to fix some pillars whose only function was to act as snipers' nests. The sun had just started to set when I stepped into the Visitor Center. It was the way I normally went in. The place was a goddamn maze when I was sober… well more sober anyway. But I at least knew my way down to the turbines from there. The place was packed with engineers and egg-heads. Honestly I was surprised how many came out of the woodwork once I kicked the NCR out. I mean, I'm not sure how many were originally Jet cooks or some other type of inbred psycho, but they were pretty useful. Except for that idiot 'Fantastic'. He came here and I had to chase him off three times before he got the message.

"Excuse me, mister president?"

I turned and found myself staring at some chrome dome scientist. You know the type: bald, glasses, skinny, and so otherwise non-descript you'd probably forget them if you took your eyes off 'em.

"… I'm he, who you?" I asked

"Oh! Uh…" The egg stuttered "I'm Henry Garrison… We met before?"

"We did?" I asked, absent mindedly scratching my helmet.

"Y-yes sir, about three months ago. When you put me in charge of operations here at the dam."

"I did?" I asked, thinking back. I could remember we threw a party following the initial restoration, then another when we managed to get all of the turbines running. I got very hammered that time, I think I sounded like a cave man half the time. There was also this bald dude- "-Oh yea, yea I remember."

"Good." Henry said with a relived sigh. "So I assume you read my report then?"

"Oh yeah, sure sure." I said, failing to remember any paper work he'd actually sent me.

"Excellent, then if you'd please follow me?"

Without another word he turned and hurried off towards the elevator. Part of me wanted to be rude and blow him off, I'd see the Dam at my own pace. But the guy had bothered to write me, so I might as well see what he had to say and then blow him off. I climbed in with him and we rode the tin can down to the turbine chamber. Stepping out, I could tell things were doing fine. All the turbines sounded like they were going, one of them was making this dull whining but didn't seem any worse for it.

Henry started gesturing to the wall that separated the chamber from the reservoir. "As you can see, the striations of the concrete have begun to crack and the porosity of the material has nearly tripled in visibility."


"Worse still, moisture has begun to seep through. I'm unsure as to the current structural integrity of this portion of the wall. But, if my calculations are correct, then the rate of deterioration will soon escalate to catastrophic levels."

"Uh huh."

"The technical staff have been trying to patch the porosity and reverse the damage, but nothing seems to be working. I fear if we don't arrive at a solution soon, the dam might be breached and-"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, time out."

Henry stopped talking and looked at me strangely.

"So… you saying the wall is falling apart and the dam is going to break?"

Henry's Jaw hit the floor and I could clearly see he wanted to strangle me.

"W-what!? Yes!" he shouted "I sent you a letter with all of my findings and the paperwork so you could approve for us to take better counter measures!"

"O-oh! Yea, right, Countermeasures."

"… You did read my letter, right sir?"

I didn't answer him. I stuck a finger up, asking for a second to check something. I quickly clicked to the data section of my pip-boy. Thankfully this chunk of all knowing metal on my arm had lists of everything it deemed 'important'. Under a heading titled 'Dam Shame' I saw a small note that read "Visit Garrison at the Dam and see what the problem is".

"Yeah I did." I said with renewed vigor. "Why the hell didn't you tell me sooner!"

"I just said I did!" Henry shouted "It was in the letter!"

"… Well it can't be that immediately dangerous. I mean you only just sent the letter to me-"

"Three weeks."

"… come again?"

"I sent that letter to your office three weeks ago."

As if to demonstrate that I need to get my shit in order, at that moment the wall finally failed. The cracking concrete echoed like thunder in the otherwise tight chamber. A crack, probably no more than an inch in width, but several meters long race up the wall. A spray of water traveling at several thousand psi jettisoned from the crack. Some poor schmuck who was standing too close got blasted full force with it. I lost sight of him but he either lost an arm, leg, or was split in half by the spray. It wasn't pretty. An alarm began to blare as everything went tits up.

Henry stared blankly as all hell broke loose. I took one look at the water and realized I was feeling thirsty. I pulled the bottle of whiskey back out of my coat and took a swig. I offered the bottle to Henry and he finished half of it in the blink of an eye.

"…Well Shit."

So things went south at the dam pretty fast. It didn't take long for the concrete around the crack to start chipping away. Everyone began scrambling to try and find a solution, they needed to keep the dam from bursting completely.

Me? I left.

Not to be an ass, obviously. Some of the blame fell on me for not taking the dam issue more seriously in the first place. But even when I was drunk I knew most of the egg-heads at the dam could do Jack-all to actually stop the water. That shit cut a man in half. In. Half. So I figured regular cement wasn't going to cut it. Unfortunately, I doubted the Followers had the man power to help me. Most of them had been wiped out by the brotherhood a few months back, long story, so they were out. The Brotherhood of Steel were out because… well they're just assholes. I had only a few options, none of them were pleasant. But I figured I really only had one choice that stood a chance of fixing the dam. I just wish they weren't gecko shit crazy.

I walked out of the visitor center, drew the Transportalponder. One trigger pull later, and I'm in the sterile room I got designated to me in the Big Empty. Most of the electronics greeted me warmly, except the toaster, and I gave them all a quick hi before running up to the lab. When I got there I wasn't really sure what I should have expected. These… 'people', technically brains in jars attached to robots and computer monitors, were all huddled together and talking about something.

"It's madness I tell you!" Dr. 0 shouted "Klein you can't be taking this seriously can you?"

"Silence 0!" Dr. Klein shouted in return "I've had Enough of your prattle! Please continue Dr. Borous."

"As I was saying." Borous spoke "If my experiments between crossbreeding the Deathclaws and Cazadors native to the Mojave prove successful, it's as simple as capturing one of the roboscorpions and implanting its mechanisms into the hybrid."

"You are certain it will work?"

"Oh yes, it should prove most effective against dr. Mo- OH HELLO DR. MOBIUS!"

The robotic shells all turned to face me. Now realizing I was present, they quickly ceased their plotting and cautiously approached me.

"Now what brings you back to us today Mobius?" Klein asked in an overly earnest tone. Trying to make me forget what I'd just heard.

"I'm in need of a most DIABOLICAL device." I say, trying to give off an air of maleficence. "Though it pains me to say, your feeble minds may prove useful in this venture."

"Is that so?" Dr. Dala cooed from her spot next to Klein.

"Yessss. I require a device capable of sealing an incursive blast of water within the order of several thousand MAGNITUDES of PSI!"

If you're wondering why I'm acting like a nut job, there's a reason for it. The Think Tank believes I'm doctor Mobius. He was actually a pretty cool guy who spent most of his time trying to keep these assholes from doing things like, say, unleashing a Deathclaw-Cazador hybrid cyborg into the Mojave. Unfortunately He passed away a few months back from a Mentat overdose. I buried his brain in the wasteland, figured some part of him had a right to be free after being cooped up in this place. I took over as the TT's warden afterwards. I'm mostly looking for an excuse to 'handle' them at this point, but they're smart enough not to try anything without proper planning.

"Hmm. Very well." Klein grunted angrily "If you would give allow us a few hours to convene-"


The Think Tank took a collective step back and exchanged looks, glad to know I still scared them shitless without really trying.

"…V-Very well." Klein continued "Please direct your attention to the Ginormotron on the rear wall, and I shall show what projects are available."

The back wall lit up suddenly with a command prompt. Green text flew by in a blur as program files were opened and displayed on the massive screen. The blurred text came to a halt as the heading 'projects and programs' took prominence. Below it was a massive list of projects the Think Tank had undertaken over the years… there were a lot of them. Thankfully, Klein understood my rambling enough to begin directing us toward some of them.

"Behold!" Klein announced "Project Gelatinous Liquefier and Utility Erecter!"

"This project-" Dala explained "-was designed to break down the bonds of two substance in to a liquid that, once both side were connected would re-solid-"

"NEXT!" I shouted

Dala stopped talking and Klein opened the next viable project.

"Behold! Project Withstander of Applied Lateral Law!"

"This project, when placed before an opposing force, diverts their power off to th-"


Klein grunted and moved to another project.

"Behold! Project Tapestrial Application Problematic Extingui-"


I could tell Klein was rapidly losing his patience. We went through about another dozen projects and programs like this. By that point his brain jar was practically boiling with anger.

"Behold Project-"


"Will you stop that!" Klein snapped

I shot him a glare and he immediately regretted his decision.

"I want a project that can repair some DAMAGE to a wall. IS THAT SO HARD?"

"Well…" Dala cooed softly "There was project Priority Alternative Treatment and Concrete Hardener"

Both me and Klein stared at the robot that was once a woman in confusion.

"… Ah, yes, now I remember!" Klein said at last.

The screen blurred quickly as Klein loaded the project. A large amount of indecipherable information flooded the screen.

"This Project-" Dala spoke "- was made early in Big Mountain's creation. Following a sabotage attempt on Hoover dam, a high speed concrete and plastic compound was developed to rapidly seal the damage before the dam could collapse."

I wanted to simultaneously reach out and kiss Dala while slapping Klein. Though I got the feeling Dala would get way too much enjoyment from that.

"PERFECT!" I shouted at the top of my lungs. "I will need it, POST HASTE."

"Very well." Klein growled.

The file closed and the project list remained on screen. Klein was either preparing the instructions for transfer or was working to tell me where I could find it. This gave me a chance to skim over some of the Stuff the TT had done since I hadn't shown up. Most of them looked pretty stupid. Project STUMP. Project PIE. Project PROJECT. Project TPPT… ok, that one got my attention.

"What is project TPPT?" I asked, still trying to seem crazy

A series of ear piercing noises was given off by dr. 8. I normally could piece out what he said with his broken voice box, but this time it just gave me a headache.

"Indeed." Dr.0 said "It is our greatest shame."

"OH? What did you break THIS TIME O?"

"He broke nothing." Dala spoke up. "Truly it is a failure for us as a whole."

"Indeed." Borous spoke now "TPPT was the project that could have turned the tide of the war, perhaps all of history."

8 made another series of ear bleeding noises.

"Hey! I had just as much part to play as you. Human testing was my department."

"SILENCE!" I shouted

Everyone clammed up again.


"… It was the Final stage of the TelePortalPonder's development." Dala cooed "The final leap needed to perfect the device."

"The ability to leap through time." Klein finally spoke up

Silence settled over the room, save for the beeping of computers and the machines that kept the TT in a pseudo state of life. I broke it with a fit of bewildered laughter. I knew these idiots were crazy, but come on. Time Travel? Really? Next they'll tell me they built a giant robot to fight the war too.

"Why do you laugh Mobius?" Klein asked

"Because… *snrk* YOU expect me to believe YOU could create a way to travel through TIME?"

"Not could." Dr. Dala cooed softly once more. "Did."

I stopped laughing immediately.

These jackasses were serious. I know I've been calling them crazy idiots for the past few minutes… but you've got to understand. When these people wanted to do something, they did it. Laws of physics be damned, they would do it. If they say they did it, they did. Which made suddenly made project TPPT much more dangerous. But I couldn't let them figure that out, I needed to keep probing.

"Then why pray TELL, did you TERMINATE it?"

8 made another ear splitting noise.

"Yes" Klein agreed "An inexplicable miscalculation in design and impossible, try as we might, to redeem."

"Which is?" I asked expectantly

"The device would not work…" dr. 0 began "… when it was covered in pudding."

The TT collectively looked to the floor in shame. "Truly a horrendous loss for science." Klein groaned

… It was at that moment I felt my brain Hemorrhage at the sheer stupidity produced by the five geniuses in front of me.

I stared through the set of night vision Binoculars at my target. The built in range finder tracked them almost instantly as I focused. The three legionaries were huddled around a campfire, sharpening their weapons and eating what looked to be cooked mantis.

"About 2 and a half miles out." I said from my rocky overlook

"Wind speed?" Boone asked from his prone position next to mine.

"Approximately 8.5 miles an hour, give or take."


"Which what?"

"Give or take, which?"

"… I'd say give."

The anti-material rifle Boone had planted into his shoulder cracked like thunder three times. I watched through my binoculars as the legionaries stirred slightly. Right before their heads exploded in a shower of red mist and meat.

"Bullseye." I say, lowering the binoculars

Boone released the Rifle and picked himself up from the dirt. He dusted off his baggy survival armor and fixed the beret on his head. I hoped down from my rock, flicked the light attached to the side of my helmet on, and we began to carefully descend the hill we'd been using as our over look.

"There're less and less of 'em each week." I note "You guys are doing good work when I'm not around."

"Hey, we can't wait on your slow ass, otherwise we'd never get rid of them."

Me and Boone met up every week or so. He'd joined up with his old unit at camp McCarran and stuck around when I allowed McCarran to stay active. He never got time off, so I'd join him when he was sent on patrol. It was kinda like a hunting trip. I'd play spotter and we'd go after whatever was causing trouble at the time. We were still hunting the remaining legionaries, as we just demonstrated, but we would also go after whatever else was causing a problem. We'd just about taken care of the fiends, nobody had seen the Khans since I'd told them to leave, and Arcade was smart enough to get his Enclave buddies to lay low after the battle. Really the only other thing we'd hunt besides the legion at this point were whatever pesky animal was causing trouble at the time. I think it was a week or two prior to this we'd hunted a lounge of Deathclaws… is that right? lounge? It really doesn't seem appropriate… screw it, a Fuck-ton of Deathclaws.

It was a bit of a walk from the look-out to the camp we'd been spying, which was good. It gave us a chance to digest the idea of time travel.

"You really think those idiots could've actually done it?" Boone asked, checking the ammo of his old hunting rifle. It was looking considerably better since his return to his unit. Almost like he bothered to maintain it now.

"Honestly? I'm scared to believe it." I say "But if they say they did it, I have little reason to disbelieve it."

"Seriously? Come on, I know they're geniuses but I find that hard to believe."

"Suit yourself-" I shrugged "- If it's real, then it doesn't matter what either of us believes."

"What does it change if it is?" He asked, growing a bit antsy at the prospect. "Let's say it's real. What then?"

"Then…" I pause, collecting my thoughts. "… maybe I use it?"

Boone stared at me for a moment. "Have you been drinking?"

"Pshh, what? Why would I be drinking?" I very carefully nudged the now empty whisky bottle deeper into my coat.

"You get dumb ideas when you drink." Boone said flatly

"… name one."

"The Vault 21 incident-"

"We don't talk about that!" I snapped

"Apparently neither does Sarah, after what you did to that Jukebox."

"… fuck you Boone."

Boone just chuckled.

"Seriously though, if it is real then imagine what we could do." I said, trying to push back the embarrassing memory that was creeping forward. "We could assassinate Caesar before he ever met the followers, we could stop house from putting himself on ice, hell we could even prevent the bombs from falling if we played our cards right."

"Or you could go back and save Cass." Boone said matter of factly.

I stopped walking and just stared at him. He soon joined me.

"That's what this is about, isn't it?" He asked

"… She isn't dead." I said, my fist unconsciously clenching

"Well she sure isn't walking around either." Boone countered "How long has she been like that now?"

I stayed silent, I didn't want to answer him.

"Six, you know I understand. I know losing someone isn't easy."

No arguments there.

"But seriously? Time travel from those ass hats?"

"What's wrong with that?"

"… alright, assume it's true, assume you can actually time travel back to the past."

"Already am."

"So, you save Cass. Now the NCR knows that time travel is possible. Assume they find a way to get access to it."

"… I don't like where this is going."

"You shouldn't, 'cause it would mean they could go back and finish the job Benny started at any time, however they wanted."

I let that sink in. I'd been considering the possible things that could go wrong. I'm not sure why I hadn't considered that one of them.

Boone sighed and rubbed his eyes. "… I get why you're considering it. Not a day goes by where I don't think about Carla, about what it could've been like if…" He trailed off. I knew it still wasn't an easy thing for him to talk about. "… But I don't think you can change the past." Boone reached out and put a hand on my shoulder. "Do yourself a favor, forget you saw the whole thing. Chasing something like that is only going to open a box of trouble."

I looked him in the eye through the visor of my helmet. I knew where he stood on the idea. I valued his input greatly. I shook my head in understanding.

"Now come on, we gotta make sure there aren't any more dogs sniffing around the camp. Don't want to miss them."

He released my shoulder and continued off towards the camp. I waited a moment and followed him. That's one down, four opinions left to get.

I really shouldn't have expected Lily to provide any valuable input. Her therapy for her schizophrenia has been improving her condition tremendously. Unfortunately, she's not quite coherent enough to actually give me an answer I can understand. Half the time she's yelling at Leo and the other half she's trying to tend to her chores and keep some sense of normalcy. If she was more stable I'd probably ask her again, but I think it's best I let her mend.

Arcade and Veronica were divided. Veronica was of the mindset the brotherhood had taught her, it was a bad idea messing with something as dangerous as time travel. Arcade thought it was something that merited experimenting, you can't judge something until you've actually tested it. I couldn't get much better than that from them. They were in the middle of packing to travel. The followers branch was in the process of mending itself after the brotherhood attacked them when Veronica defected. Arcade and Veronica were going to California to recruit member to help rebuild. I wished them both the best of luck with the Border patrol.

That only left one important opinion left to collect. I walked into the Lucky 38 and headed to the elevator. Back when I first arrived, when House was in charge, there'd been a basement level that was off limits. I'd helped Raul turn the place into a workshop. Not sure what he did in there half of the time, but that wasn't my concern. What he did in his free time was between him and the walls.

The place was lined wall to wall with work tables, benches, tool cabinets, gas canisters, scrap, and just about every other odd and end you could find. There was also some large object stashed under a makeshift tarp. I found him hunched over a drawing table, looking over some schematics. He apparently hadn't been expecting me, because he almost leapt out of his rotting skin when he saw me.

"Dios Maltido Mio! Don't sneak up on me boss! It's not good for my heart."

"Whoops, sorry." I took my helmet and gas mask off. "Didn't mean to scare you."

"It's fine, it's fine." He said, rubbing his chest. "I heard about what happened at the dam, everything good boss?"

"Yea, got something from the Think Tank and sealed it up like nothing was wrong."

"Good, was worried for a bit there."

"Yeah, same, but I got a question for you."

"What about?"

"Well… it's more of a hypothetical thing."

"again, what about?"

"… Let's say you had the power to change the past, but doing so would have grave consequences. Would you-"

"Yes." Raul answered, returning to his work. "If I could turn back time and save Rafaela, my family, Claudia, even half the people I wish I could have; I'd do it in a heartbeat."

"… well that was easy… and ultimately leaves me where I started."

"Boss if you're actually saying you can do what you're proposing, which wouldn't surprise me by this point, I think the only person who should have final say is you. I know what I'd do. Doesn't mean it's right, just how it is."

Raul returned to sketching on his plans and I went back where I came from. This time I rode the elevator back to the presidential suite. The door opened and Rex was there waiting for me, lying just outside the door. He rose as I walked out and I scratched his back as I walked back into the master bedroom. The Cardiograph was still ticking fine. No changes since I'd last been here. Cass was still lying in the bed. Breathing mask hooped to her face, red hair a scattered mess, and looking like she'd wake up at any second but never actually doing it.

I pulled my chair from the desk and sat next to the bed. I knew better than to sit there expecting things to change. But there wasn't anything else I could do at that moment. Just wait, hoping she would open her eyes, look at me, and ask where the whisky was. Like she'd get up and be perfectly fine. She looked so thin now…

It'd been months since it'd happened. All I could do was hope.

Rex laid down next to my chair and stayed there with me. I probably sat there for hours, but I honestly couldn't tell. The Lucky 38 didn't have any windows in this suite. Or much of the building for that matter, it made telling time hard without looking at a clock. Once I finally decided not to sit there anymore, my first destination was the top floor, the cocktail lounge House had decided to build even though he was a computer and couldn't actually enjoy it.

I plopped down on a couch and one of the securitrons I'd jury rigged into a butler approached me. I made a motion with my right hand and it dispensed a rocks glass with a large puck of ice in it. It placed the cup on the table and stomped back to the bar, returning with a jug of some homebrewed stuff Cass had made months ago. Called it 'MutFruit brandy', I think.

I poured three fingers of the stuff into my glass and set the jug down next to it. The robot wandered off and I sat staring out the window, sipping my hooch as I watched the city slowly rotate beneath me. Being left to my thoughts and a jug of liquor rarely ended well, especially when I pulled out that photo. About two hours and six glasses later, I watched the sun rise as I finally made my choice.

"Fuck it. When am I ever known for making smart choices?"

I didn't head straight for the Big Empty. I needed to make sure I was ready for any stupid shit that could happen. I may not make smart choices, but that doesn't mean I go unprepared. On average, I could probably put most circus strongmen to shame with how much I could carry on my back. When I got drunk I could make Hercules feel inadequate. So there wasn't much stopping me from emptying every container I had into my pockets.

Except I didn't need everything, as far as I knew, so packing a day bag of some sort was my safe bet. Wasn't sure what limits to set so I hit as many of the basics I could think of. I went back down to the main bedroom and ransacked my belongings. First up were the weapons. Shotguns, rifles, pistols, couple of close quarters things, and a few heavy/energy weapons for measure. I also grabbed Two sets of armor in addition to the riot armor I was already covered in, and a set of park-stroller clothes. Better to over pack than under. I was already carrying all of my ammo and meds so that was fine. There was only one other thing I could think of taking with me. Despite my legs already feeling ready to cave, I threw it on the pile as well. Never knew when I might need an ace. At this point I was going to need to keep myself sloshed if I wanted to avoid feeling my knees grinding together, but I still had a few pounds to spare.

I scribbled a note down for Raul. Figured I shouldn't be gone more than a day. But if he got worried he could get Boone and search the Big Empty, I'd make sure the guards wouldn't bother them. Rex gave me a pitiful whine as I rubbed his brain case one last time. I looked at Cass as she laid in the bed, I could hear Johnny Guitar beginning to play from my Pipboy and immediately turned it off. No point in getting weepy right now. I lowered myself and placed my forehead against Cass's. I could feel a knot tightening in my chest.

"I promise I'll see you again. " I whispered "Just save a drink for me alright?"

I pulled myself together, slid my helmet back on and readied the Transportalponder. I took the elevator down, walked outside, and vanished into a blue light.

The Think Tank sat in stunned silence. The information I'd just given to theme had rocked them all to their very cores.

"The final phase of the TPPT… has been complete this entire time." Klein said, trying to let the words sink in

"INDEED!" I sneered "In what circumstance would the Transportalponder EVER be covered in PUDDING?"

The Think Tank remained silent. Perhaps, for the first time in history, realizing how stupid they had been.

"Then I must test it at once!" Dr. 0 shouted "Let me-"

"Silence, MORON!" I hissed at the 'doctor', knowing full well his penchant for breaking machines. "You will touch nothing or else I will lobotomize you WITH A PENCIL!"

The doctor carefully slunk a short distance back. Not wishing to have a piece of lumber jammed into his gray matter.

"But we must test it." Klein agreed "I recommend a trial run."

"Hmph. For once I agree with you KLEIN."

"Oh?" Klein asked in surprise.

"In fact, if Dr. DALA would be so kind as to ACCOMPANY me, I'm willing to TAKE the maiden voyage."

I could swear Dala come as close to squealing in delight as a sentient brain in a jar could.

"This is most exciting." Dala cooed

I wasn't taking her along out of the goodness of my heart. I knew these idiots would probably try and use the TPPT to try and kill me somehow. Doing this, I at least made it seem like I was more interested in the science and gave them a reason not to try anything stupid.

"I assume you have a destination in mind?" Borous asked

"indeed. Allow me to show you." I held up my Pipboy for the Think Tank to see. I had plotted a location on the map, along with a time I wanted to arrive.

"Such a short jump for a monumental feat." Klein grumbled "With this device we could easily journey back to the birth of humanity and-"

"SILENCE!" I hissed, Klein complied.

"Very well." Dala cooed "We shall make the preparations, if you will allow us?"


It was the first time I actually got to see the Think Tank actually perform 'science!'. They moved with an almost unnatural fervor, especially given their very mechanical bodies. They'd taken the Transportalponder and begun tinkering with it. I watched them intently, even if I couldn't tell whether or not any of the changes they were making were immediately dangerous, I could at least make sure they didn't try slipping an explosive or something else into it.

"Dr. Mobius?" Dala asked, approaching me


"I just wished to confirm something. The location we are going to… it's outside of Big Mountain?"

"Indeed. I wished to TEST how ACCURATE the device is."

"Then… do you believe-" Dala's voice got a small hitch in it, sounding more sultry and less professional "There will be time for… experimentation?"

… I suddenly felt very uncomfortable with where this conversation was going.

"… WITHOUT a doubt..." I managed to choke out.

Dr. Dala made a small squealing noise I could only describe as ecstatic. "I'll get my toolkit."

She turned and wheeled away. Even in my very drunk state I could tell letting her 'experiment' was perhaps the worst mistake I could make. As soon as we were in the past I was going to shoot her. For the safety and love of all things that aren't bright enough to do it, I will shoot her.

Dala was gone less than a minute. But by the time she'd returned they'd finished their work with the Transportalponder. I held the device at arm's length, kinda like they just handed me a grenade without the pin.

"All you must do-" Klein spoke "Is pull the trigger. I have no doubt you will inform us upon your success."

"CORRECT!" I announced, trilling the r.

Dala latched an appendage to my shoulder. With an uncertain breath I pulled the trigger. The little gun began to hum loudly and glow.

"… wait-" Dr. 0 spoke slowly. "-did we account for Multiverse theory?"

"WHA-" That was far as I got. Dala and I were dragged into a blue light.

I'm not sure what I was expecting time to look like. For some reason, a long winding blue tunnel wasn't it. But here me and Dala were, binging around inside of it like a pair of stuck pinballs. Her grip was good though, she didn't let go for an instant regardless of how hard we shook. I had no clue how long we were supposed to be inside of the tube, but we just continued to sail through the continuum, slowly learning to balance against the flow.

For a moment I heard Dala giggling with glee.

Then I slammed face first into a blue wooden box. Despite Dala's death grip, her claw was wrenched free of my shoulder and she continued onward while the blue box dragged me back in the opposite direction. The thing treated me like a bumper as it careened against the continuum.

"… I say Rose." I heard a muffled voice through the wood. "I think we just hit a cowboy."

A door on an opposing face of the box opened. A pale, lanky looking man with combed chestnut hair and a pair of glasses poked his head out of the box he looked around before noticing me plastered to the box.

"Oh! 'Ello there." He said with a smile

I went to wave and was immediately wrenched free from the box, flying back in the direction I had originally been heading. Only now I was smashing even more violently against the walls of the tunnel. They stretched like fabric, each hit dragging it further and further out. Until finally it couldn't take another hit and tore itself to shred on impact. I was ripped from the tunnel and fell. The space I was in was one of darkness, yet there was light. There were unending jagged spikes conjoined by smooth plains. Everything refracted light and yet returned nothing. It was infinite, and yet I felt as though it could collapse inward at a moment's notice. Everything hurt, and yet nothing did. I wanted to scream, but I had no mouth. There were flames that stole warm and rains that dissolved flesh. I felt my insides turn outward and my bones turn to gelatin.

I was in hell.

My eyes snapped open to see a starry sky above me. I didn't give myself a chance to register it, I was too busy rolling over and struggling to get my gas mask off before emptying my stomach onto the ground.

One thing was for sure, I wasn't drunk anymore. Even if I had been I was getting rid of the source pretty quickly. My body was aching like crazy and my head felt like I just finished smacking it against concrete for five hours. The last of the bile passed my lips and I spat just to make sure it was gone. I took several deep breaths before putting the mask back on and settling on a knee. I felt off kilter, like the world had gotten just a bit bigger or I'd grown just a smidge smaller. The ground around me was gravel. Looking around me, I came to realize I was on a rooftop. From the looks of it I was in some part of Freeside. Not sure where though. Everything here looked too put together.

I took a few deep breaths and settled my nerves. My mind was already trying to bury the crap I'd just seen for future nightmares. I looked around, one thing was certain: I wasn't in the Big Empty anymore. Did that mean it worked? Did I make it to the past? If I did then the possibility that I over shot my target was looking more and more likely. The little I could see of the surrounding buildings looked too… not destroyed. What about Dala? She'd gone way further ahead of me. Was it all a dream? The sun had just risen when I'd gone to the Big Empty.

I looked up to the stars. The sky was the clearest I'd ever seen. I could make out a couple constellations. If I was just dreaming everything then How would I be sur-

"What the fuck!?" I shouted flopping back onto roof. I stared up at the sky. The stars were in order, but what I was staring at was not. The last time I checked the moon wasn't shattered like a piece of glass. I just stared at it for a moment, trying to piece just what the hell was going on together in my bullet riddled skull. "… Yup, definitely dreaming."

I pulled a small switchblade out of my pocket and clicked the blade out. "Gonna wake up now." I jammed the small into my outer thigh. It sank about a quarter of the way in before I stopped. Yep, that definitely hurt, That was definitely blood, and I definitely wasn't dreaming. It was then that I noticed the Transportalponder lying on the ground close by

"Ok, not dreaming." I said, folding the switchblade up and trying not to lose my shit. I grabbed the TPPT and looked at it "-not dreaming! No clue what's going on! Just fan-fucking-tastic."

The all too familiar sound of gun fire finally made its way to my ear. It was then that I finally noticed that there was actually a fair bit of noise other than gun fire. And it was coming from the ground not too far from me. Instinctively, I slid the switchblade into one sleeve and the TPPT into the other. I rose from the ground and cautiously approached the edge of the roof I heard the sound coming from. Before I could reach it, the noise stopped and a gloved hand reached over the edge. It was attached to a sharp dressed man. He looked to be about my height, which was surprising since I'm a bit on the tall side. He had a mop of orange hair, a white suit, weird looking cane, and… was that a bowler hat? Who the fuck wears a bowler hat?"

He climbed onto the roof and ran forward a bit before noticing I was standing there. He'd been too busy looking back to notice I was there. He looked surprised, intimidated even. Good to know even when I don't mean it I can scare the shit out of people.

"… Um, hi" I gave a small wave.

The guy looked at me like I was an idiot. Then he smirked and ran at me. From the looks of it he wasn't planning to fight me, so I stepped out of his way. He ran right past me, not sure where he was planning to go since the roof was a dead end and he didn't look the jumping type.

Then I heard the sound of a rifle and saw a red and black blur launch onto the roof where he'd just come from. The Blur landed and, I swear to Mr. House, there was this tiny girl standing there, dressed in some gothic dress-skirt thing and holding a scythe I'd expect someone like Lanius to use.

"Hey- Gah!" She shouted as she noticed me too. Great, I even scare children.

"… Hello." I say, giving her a small wave as well.

"Persistent." I hear the guy behind me grumble.

I hear a high pitched whine come from behind me and can make out the sound of footsteps as the guy suddenly rushes me from behind. He slips his cane past my armor and presses it against my neck. My guess was this Jackass was now trying to appear threatening. All he did was make my shit-list real quick.

A blast of air hit us as something rose up behind me. That whining had escalated into a roar as something hovered in the sky behind me.

"It's been swell red." The man spoke, his breath stank like a cheap cigar. "This's where we've got to part though."

He started stepping back towards the thing I couldn't see… yeah, screw this.

I snapped my head back and hit him in the nose. I didn't hear him scream, or feel his nose break, but he still let go out of surprise. I broke free and turned on him, sliding the switch blade out of my sleeve, I extended the blade and jammed it into his chest in one fluid motion before kicking him backwards. I back pedaled until I was standing just in front of the girl with the scythe.

… Normally when I did that to someone they'd be spitting blood and coughing. This guy just stumbled a bit before finding his balance. He glared at me and bared his teeth. I checked the switch blade I was holding and saw the thing was snapped in half.

I'd had my eyes off the guy for a second and when I turned back He'd leapt onto the thing I'd been hearing. So I guess my assessment about him not being a jumper was wrong, but that wasn't important. The thing he'd landed on looked like the bastard child of Vertibird and a speed boat. In place of propellers it had what sounded like turbines keeping it in the air.

"End of the line!" He shouted over the whine of the engines. He produced something from a pocket and tossed it. I assumed it was a grenade and instantly shot into VATS to blow it up in his face. But then I remembered I didn't have a gun equipped. It wasn't a grenade either, it was a large red crystal. The heck was this guy chucking gemstones around for?

It landed on the ground in front of us with a soft *clink*. Before I could react the girl put a hand on my chest and pushed me back. "Look out!"

The guy pointed his cane and a laser shot from the end of it. The laser hit the stone and an explosion erupted in front of me.

But the flames never got to me.

In front of me now stood two object that hadn't been there a second ago. One being a GIANT PURPLE MANDALA floating in the air. The other being a woman dressed up in an outfit I'd seen once or twice around Gomorrah. I think she was supposed to be a teacher? But she had this weird purple cape and was pretty fine if I do say so. She was also wearing glasses and holding a riding crop… maybe Gomorrah was nearby after all?

The Mandala faded and the girl next to me made a small gasp and suddenly got this bright smile on her face.

The woman huffed and flicked her riding crop. Dozens of purple bolts suddenly appeared out of thin air, racing gracefully through the air and slamming into the Vertibird and exploding in a shower of light. Each hit rocked the vehicle like it'd been hit by a rocket. Mr. Bowler-hat stumbled around in the open bay door for a second before running into the cockpit. Someone else walked back as the vehicle began to pull away. The woman glowed and unleashed another bolt, this one flew into the sky above the Vertibird and instantly planted storm clouds above it.

"What the hell?" I mumbled to myself, watching in a combination of awe and fear as a torrent of glowing Icy spikes pelted the Vertibird. Several of them even pierced the hull and engines.

I could just barely make out the person who was standing in the bay door now. They looked like a woman, but I couldn't really be sure. I could only see a set of really slender legs. Could've been a guy for all I know. They were definitely wearing an all too revealing cocktail dress for somebody who's riding in a Vertibird, that's for sure.

Then they shot a fucking fireball out of their hand. Teacher-lady put up another one of those purple shields but I watched the splash damage liquefy some of the loose gravel on the roof. Then there was a screaming noise as a flaming circle appeared and the ground exploded beneath the teacher. She'd jumped back mere moments before it could get her. I watched the debris get coated in a violet light and pull together, forming a long, crude, spike. The Spike whizzed through the air and the person at the bay door launched a small series of fireballs at the spike. It crumbled before reforming into a single mass and ramming against the vehicle. The pilot just barely turned to deflect it.

The mass split, forming three small wisps that began to circle the craft. Looking for a place to strike. In a moment of blinding heat and light they were vaporized. I watched the ashes scatter as the craft began to peel away from its aggressor.

I heard a mechanical whirring and the compressing of pistons sound beside me. The massive scythe that Girl had been carrying? It was now an equally ridiculous look rifle. It was loud, had a muzzle flash that would make Boone jealous, and looked like it weighed a ton.

Yet she held it like it weighed nothing.

I could see the bullets colliding with something on the ship, what, I do not know. But from the look of it the person who was lighting shit on fire was now playing catch with what sounded like 12.7mm rounds (or 50. Cal. If you're into that).

Another shrieking noise sounded beneath us, this time there were five of the circles in a group.

"Fucking hell!" I shouted, grabbing the girl by this ridiculous red hood she was wearing. I yanked her forward as the ground exploded behind us. The teacher did a front flip and landed beside us.

The Vertibird took its chance. The door slid shut, the engines rotated and it took off quickly into the night. Leaving us on a partially destroyed roof.

'… ok, fuck this.' I thought to myself. 'Don't care where I am, this place can go fuck itself. I am not dealing with magical bullshit. NO. Not today.'

I carefully slid the TPPT out of my sleeve and pulled the trigger. I heard a small whine and saw the blue light in my peripheral vision… then the light faded and nothing happened. I waited a second and pulled the trigger again. This time I was met with an unpleasant beep. I stealthily raised the TPPT so that I could see it. The red tube that covered the top of the device flashed red and, much to my surprise, a message scrolled across it.

"Err. No destination found. No targeting satellites found. Please Consult Dr.0."

'That's not good.' I thought, slowly failing to push the panic down. 'That's definitely not good.'

The girl in red turned towards me, then I realized she was looking past me and at the teacher/witch/possible-stripper.

"You're a huntress…" She said in awe with this massive, luminescent smile on her face "… Can I have your autograph?"