Authors Notes: Thanks to all my reveiwers. I realize I executed the ending somewhat rusty, so hopefully this will be a better change. Special thanks to Fire Kunai for allowing use of a couple of her ideas in my fic. I'm going to just speed this up, and let's just read the story!
"Shit..." Jason muttered. It had been the next day since the Big Town adventure, and Jason saw Tanya right next to him, looking like she's preparing breakfast. Jason immediately regrets his decision from last night. He knew he would get a lashing from himself for starting this little relationship. At the moment, it seemed like instinct to kiss her... right now, it seemed like he was a total dumbass. And it seemed all too sudden, just kissing her like that. Just by that kiss alone, Jason could've potentially fucked the rest of his life. Nothing he could do now really.
Jason looked to see Tanya's cheery face. He cursed himself under his breath, before responding back.
"Good morning, Tanya. How are you this morning?"
"Great! But last night was incredible..."
Jason seemed to notice that the tone she spoke those last words were unmistakable, and a thousand thoughts rushed to his head.
"Tanya... did we.... never mind."
"Wait! You don't remember? Were you drunk or something?"
"Tanya, what the hell are you talking about?"
"Relax... I'm just kidding. Nothing too major happened. That is, if your thoughts of 'major' are the same as mine."
Tanya shot a playful grin at Jason, and he still seemed freaked out by this whole ordeal with him and Tanya. Already, he seems a bit antsy. Jason took a deep breath, and sighed as he exhaled. As he was about to grab his glasses, Tanya stopped him.
"Don't. You look handsome with your glasses off."
Jason stuttered a bit trying to say something, but all he could muster was, "Thanks." He hesitantly put his glasses his pocket before moving on. After a few thanks and final goodbyes to Pappy, Red, and the other Big Town residents, Jason, Tanya, James, and Dogmeat headed their way to Rivet City. As Jason hiked and walked on, he could feel the slight chill of the air, amidst the usually burning sun. Autumn was ending, and winter would soon be dawning. Jason always wondered what the peculiar sight of snow would be like. A sea of white across as far as the eye can sea, rather than the sight of brown and death. However, it was very unlikely snow even exists in this hellhole. But that is the Capital Wasteland for you; always crushing one's hopes and dreams. Jason wondered if such a simple concept such as a dream existed. There are some who face the real word and deal with it. There are others who are dreamers, alone in a world with nothing but prayer for salvation and to live another day. Then, there are others lost in a realm between dreams and reality. Jason was one of those people. Even he didn't even know the true meaning of it. But the stuff Jason went through these past few days were like something beyond his wildest dreams (or nightmares). Just last week, he was learning stuff on pre-war history, and kicked Butch's ass back in the vault... but now... he was outside facing Raiders, Super Mutants, animals, and the forces of nature, while making friends, exploring a new world, possibly fell in love, and even meeting his mom, whom he thought was dead for the last 19 years. It's strange really. Jason still can't believe that he just was a normal kid in Vault 101. But all this killing... wandering... discovery... truth... all this was just a normal wastelander.
As the team walked through the metal doors, Jason and James would go see Madison once more. Tanya and Dogmeat would stay in the marketplace. It felt good for Jason and James to be back in Rivet City; behind these metal walls. This was probably as close to Vault 101 as they were going to get. As Jason and James marched into the science lab, people were surprised and shocked to see them again. When James caught up to Madison, she cried, and gave a warm embrace to him. For the first time ever, Jason now actually felt he had two parents.
It was weird using that word. Mom. Such an elementary word, and Jason could never use it without feeling some sort of pang at his heart. Now he could say it flawlessly. Of course, it still would take some getting used to. When Madison looked up and saw her son, she smiled. It was obvious she was happy she could finally be a mother. She let go of James and gave a large hug to Jason as well.
"Mom... I told you I'd find him..."
"Yes, well... I'm sorry I ever fancied the idea of doubting you... son."
The word "son" was as alien to Madison, as "mom" was to Jason.
As their "family moment" was over, James spoke to Jason.
"Jason, I realize that you have may questions to ask of us right now, but I request that leave Madison and I alone to discuss some things. We'll have plenty of time to talk later."
Jason didn't want to argue with him. He knew James and Madison probably had a thing or two to discuss, both on Project Purity and otherwise. He decided to meet up with Tanya back in the market plaza. He caught up with them at a small restauraunt called Gary's Gallery. Tanya was eating some stew, while Dogmeat was nibbling on a Brahmin steak on the ground next to her. As Jason sat on the bar stool, a young woman apprached him.
"Hi. Welcome to Gary's Gallery. May I take your order?"
The voice... seemed so familiar...
"Mary? Mary Holden?" Jason asked. The woman gasped and hugged Jason. It was in fact her. She was still clad in her Vault 101 suit, which looked like it had seen better days. She still didn't seem to change.
"God, Jason! I missed you! Where the hell have you been?" Mary asked still very excited.
"Me? I've been... out and about. Where's Tom?"
Out of nowwhere, Tom popped up from behind the bar counter. Tom on the other hand looked very different. He was wearing very crudely stitched clothes, and had a stubble of beard growing on his face. He had the look of the wasteland on him. But he still had a smile that was unmistakable.
"Holy shit! Jason? Is that you? Oh my god, it is!"
It was nice for Jason to see some familiar faces. He was worried the Capital Wasteland claimed these two as just another pair of victims. Though, Jason still had some things to settle with Tom...
"Hey, Jason... I know we had some rough times before you left, but no hard feelings, right?" Tom was nervously eying the large shotgun on Jason's back, the mean looking dog, and the fact Jason looked a bit physically stronger since they last met.
"Yeah. I forgive you. But first..."
Jason punched Tom in the face, but held back some, not wanting to injur him too much, but still hurt him a bit.
"Ow! What the fuck?! Okay... I deserve that..."
"So what are you guys doing on Rivet City? I thought you guys were supposed to be in Megaton," Jason asked.
"Well, after you left, we then stayed in Megaton for a little while, but then heard of an even greater settlement: Rivet City. So we hitched with a traveling caravan and made our way here. Life's been great now. We actually have jobs now! And a safe place to stay. It's great!" Mary exclaimed. Jason knew that Tom and Mary worked at the vault's diner, so it made sense for them to be working at a restauraunt again.
"Well, you are NOT going to believe the shit I went through," Jason stated.
After a long period of storytelling and flashbacks, Jason told his long story to Tom and Mary. How he met Tanya, traveled to GNR, faught Super Mutants, met his mom, and was sent into a simulated world, and found his dad. And here he was now. What's crazy is, his story is still being weaved and has not come to an end...
"Wait! Your mom is the scientist here on Rivet City? Holy crap!"
Yeah. Holy crap. Even now, Jason still can't believe it. There's a lot he's been through that he's still not able to comprehend and such.
As everyone said their goodbyes, James and Madison came out, with their team of scientists loyally following them.
"Jason. After much discussion, we must go to the Jefferson Memorial and activate the mainframe, power grid, and get everything online, as well as restoring the facility the way it was twenty years ago."
"How long will it take?" Jason asked.
"Optimistically... two months."
Jason was no doubt surprised, but he was determined.
"Well then. We've got a lot of work ahead of us, don't we?"
"That's my boy. Let's go. The future of the Capital Wasteland is at hand."
These next few months were an incredible experience. So many things... He had his dad, was working on machinery and computers... for the first time ever since leaving the vault, things could actually be going back to normal. Well, as normal as it can get out here. Jason thought it felt nice that James was able to play the parent again, even if it was feeling annoying all over again. Especially one very awkward conversation...
"Jason, I think it's about time we had a 'father and son chat.'"
Jesus... have mercy on Jason's poor soul.
"I've been seeing you spend an awful lot of time with this 'Tanya' girl. Is there anything I should know?"
"Dad! Nothing is going on between us!" Jason said very defensively. James merely smiled, thinking he could see straight through him.
"Jason, I know that look. I haven't seen you like this since Christine Kendall, or even Amata."
"Dad... Christine was a long time ago. And second, I was never in to Amata. She's... like a sister to me."
"You never noticed she had a thing for you? Hmm... In any case, I have mixed feelings about my son dating an older woman..."
"Okay, first of all, she's not that old! She's just 21! Second, we are not dating!"
A long and painfully awkward silence ensued, before James proceeded with the interrogation
"Did you have sex with her?"
"NO!" James could tell Jason wasn't lying about that.
"Did you kiss her?"
"No..." Jason stuttered out that last word, making it painfully obvious. "Dad, I know what you're thinking, but I can't put it any clearer. NOTHING is going on between us!"
James merely smirked before letting Jason off the hook. However, Jason would soon know that karma's a bitch... Later that day, Jason was in his room, reading several books by candlelight, including a Pugilism Illustrated, a Dean's Electronics, and a Big Book of Science among other things. Power had not been restored yet, so he had to read in the dark. Then, Tanya walked through the door... Jason payed no attention to her as he kept reading. Tanya knelt to the ground where Jason was sitting and wrapped her arms around him.
"Hey Jason... what'cha doin'?" She said in a rather kiddy yet charming voice.
"Reading..." Jason said hesitantly. He still was somewhat wary of Tanya, even though their relationship has developed a little since their first kiss.
Then, she gave him a light kiss on the cheek. Then that kiss went to the lips... soon enough she was on top of him in a very comprimising position. One thing might have lead to another... had the lights in the room suddenly went on, and footsteps were walking by.
"Jason! We've restored power to the facility! I need you to help me bring up the-"
"Oh shit..." Jason muttered.
Surely enough, James walked through the door, and was somewhat surprised and not so surprised to see them. A couple awkward moments later, James spoke out.
"So... there's nothing going on between you two, is there?"
"You told him we weren't together? I thought we had a thing going!" Tanya yelled. She slapped Jason on the face.
"Because we are not together! Dad, I know this looks bad, but there is nothing going on between us!" Jason exclaimed. However, Jason knew there was no fooling him.
"Hehe... I'll leave you two lovebirds alone..." James said, before closing Jason's door.
"Son of a bitch..." Jason cursed under his breath yet again.
Yeah... good times. While Jason was no doubt pissed from that experiance, he still appreciates all the little things that happen here at the memorial. It's at least nice to get your mind off of this Capital Wasteland. One of the most interesting things though in his experiance here, was his mom, Madison Li. It was still weird, but he would adjust. He needed to get used to having a mom, while Madison needed to get used to being a mom. In his short time with her, Jason couldn't ask for a better mom. She shared his and Dad's scientific pursuits, and she was a nice person in general. She was a female equivalent of James. Although, Madison is somewhat more strict and stingy than James though...
As the days passed, more and more machinery was brought up online. More and more work needed to be done. Jason used his computer and maintenance skills more than he ever had in the vault. He was a lab coat, just like the others. Tanya on the other hand, was rather inept with computers, and only provided help with basic tasks. Everyone was always occupied with something to do, and people barely had any free time. Soon, days became weeks. And weeks became months. They had been operating in this place for three months. Jason often looked outside and saw a bit of what looked like snowflakes. And he could even see large formations of it in the distance. How can snow even exist if this place dosen't rain? Well, no matter. One shouldn't complain at this gift, and Jason was rather enjoying it. He, Tanya, and especially Dogmeat all enjoyed this Winter Wonderland. For the first time ever since leaving the vault, Jason actually had fun. And best of all, Super Mutants would be going into hiding, and waiting for the snow to clear up. In the end, the Capital Wasteland couldn't give its people a better Christmas gift. Maybe dreams can come true. Go figure. If this came true, what's to stop Project Purity? Well... quite a few things actually...
It all was normal, until that fateful day...
"Jason, can you head over to the flood control pump, and bring it online? And Tanya, can you install these fuses in the fuse box, please?"
Jason and Tanya dutifully (Tanya rather grudgingly) headed over to do their respective tasks. After some work there, and rebooting one of the primary mainframes, Jason was told to drain the intake pipes, which he would do right away. He opened a grate, and entered the rather smelly tunnel. As he moved along, Jason found an area of the pipe that has rusted away, and a mesh fence on the outside. Jason turned the faucet valve, and when he was about to go back inside, a large explosion went off in the distance. To his horror, he saw a large flying metal vehicle, what looked like a more advanced version of a pre-war Osprey helicopter. The hatches opened, revealing several soldiers clad in power armor. Jason could've sworn they were from the Brotherhood, but that armor looked more advanced. Scarier still, was the large machines being unloaded from the flying machine. Being the big history buff he was, Jason was able to instantly recognize those things. Those were Irving Unmanned Weapons. Robots, basically. But not just any robot. They were 12 feet tall, had tremendous firepower, but most remarkable of all were the legs of the machine. They were animal like legs made of some sort of organic muscle tissue that were extremely powerful. The machines have been nicknamed Gekko. God knows what else those things can do...
"What the hell is going on?" Jason muttered to himself.
"The Enclave? Here?! Madison, unlock the doors!"
Jason found the doors beside him have been unlocked, and he immediatly darted out of there. As he exited, he heard several screaming and laser fire. Several scientists were fleeing, from the battle, as Enclave power armor troops opened fire haplessly on these defenseless people. Jason grabbed his shotgun, and immediately threw himself in the battle. He fired the shotgun, and was pleased to know that armor can't always stop bullets. He shot large gaping holes in those nice and shiny helmets of theirs. Then, a Gekko burst through a concrete wall and opened fire. His shotgun seemed useless against that armor. The Gekko gave a powerful kick at Jason, sending him flying back a couple feet. From the ground, he fired at it, and he fired a shot at its leg. The fell on the ground trying to get up. Jason then realized its greatest strength, was also its greatest weakness. He got up and fired at its legs, which seemed to actually bleed red blood. After rendering the Gekko immobile, Jason pried a plasma grenade from an Enclave corpse and threw it at the thing. Then, a fantastic explosion ensued, and the Gekko had been destroyed. After all immediate threats were eliminated, Jason went over to the scientists, his mother among them.
"Mom, who the hell are these people?"
"They're of the Enclave, but there isn't time to talk. James is still in the rotunda. We have to help him!"
Jason let out a sharp whistle, and four furry legs scampered over to Jason's location.
"Dogmeat, stay with these scientists. Guard them with your life."
Without question, Dogmeat went to the scientists and stood ready to try and get any Enclave soldiers, though Jason prayed that Dogmeat and the scientists would be alright. Jason and Madison rushed over to the rotunda, where the bulkhead was on lockdown, seemingly trapping everyone within. There was Janice Kaplinski with James. Four other people, from what Jason could assume were Enclave personnel, where also inside. Two power suit soldiers, and two men in long tan overcoats. One of the men looked about in his 50's or so. He had silvery gray hair and a stern, no-nonsense look. The other man in the overcoat was a man around his 30's, wore an officer's cap, and had a look of what seemed like determination or annoyance. Or both. This would not end well.
"Look, I'm sorry. I'm afraid this facility is useless to you. Colonel Autumn, you are just wasting your time," James said.
"You listen to me! This facility is now property of the United States government. You surrender control to us, and assist Enclave scientists in managing this facility," The elder man said with a slight southern accent.
"I'm afraid I can't do that Colonel."
"Hm... Major Winters!" The man known as Colonel Autumn shouted out. The other man in overcoat saluted, identifying himself. "You know what to do, Major..."
"Wait. Your names are Autumn and Winters?" Jason asked from the outside. Serious as this was, he let out a small chuckle before focusing back on the situation at hand. The man known as Major Winters pulled out an old six shooter revolver. A .44 from the looks of it. He loaded a single round into the cylinder and spun it.
"Now this, my friend is a .44 revolver. The most powerful hangun out in the Capital Wastes. Now, all I can ask you is, do you feel lucky? Do you?"
"Cute. Do you have any more 'Dirty Harry' quotes?" James joked. This did not amuse the soldiers however, and Major Winters aimed his revolver at James. Jason and Madison were feeling very uncomfortable, knowing full well what was going to happen. The Russian Roulette would begin.
"Now, I'm gonna ask nicely. Give us control of this facility," Winters asked.
"I'm sorry," James said. "I'm afraid this place is useless to you. We've never actually gotten real results."
Winters pulled the trigger. All there was, was an empty click.
"Surrender it now, or this next one might not be a blank!" Winters shouted.
"You can't have any use for it. This facility is still very much offline. It's missing some very key components."
"The more you say no, the better chance of you getting a bullet in your brain!"
Jason and Madison could only watch as he steered closer to death.
"Give us this place, NOW!"
"I'm sorry. I can't let our dream end like this..."
In his frustration, Winters aimed the gun at Janice and pulled the trigger. And this time, it wasn't a blank. Janice's broken body fell to the ground. Madison weeped over the loss of one of her most trusted lab assistants and friend. It was a shame. A damn shame.
"Do I have to make myself clearer?" Major Winters asked, now fully loading his gun.
"No. I understand. I don't want to have any more innocents harmed. Just give me a minute..." He then went over to a console, where he was typing some things in. James looked at Madison from inside and mouthed the words, "I'm sorry."
"Excellent work, Major Winters," Colonel Autumn congratulated. The Major put his revolver away, and the Enclave officers awaited James to finish what he was doing. Suddenly, a low hissing sound could be heard, and one of the power armor soldiers gagged, and fell to the ground. The other power suit soldier fell as well, and then Colonel Autumn slumped to the ground. Winters was trying to help the Colonel get up, before he injected himself with something, as well as the Colonel, before falling to his radioactive demise himself. James was limping toward the window Jason was looking from. His hands were pressed up againt the glass.
"Run...RUN!" James yelled, as he too succombed to the ground.
"No..." Jason said. Madison grabbed Jason's arm and tried to drag him out of this rotunda, but he wrestled from her grip.
"Jason, we have to leave, NOW!"
"No, I can't leave him there!"
"You have to! The inside is filled with lethal doses of radiation."
"Mom, what the fuck happened?!"
"Your father... he sacrificed himself. To save the project... to save us... But Jason, we have to leave now, or else his sacrifice would have been in vain! We must leave!"
After looking at his father's body, and saying a prayer, Jason ran with Madison over to a manhole, where she unlocked it. Climbing down, Jason found that the whole scientist team, Dogmeat, and Tanya were all hiding in the sewers.
"Jason, what the hell happened up there?" Tanya asked, looking at the very distressed look on his face.
"Dad... he... he..." Jason couldn't finish the sentence. It was all just too much. A tear fell from his face, before he wiped it off. Madison silently whispered to Tanya what had happened. She looked surprised and sorrowful at this news. After regaining his composure, Jason needed to get the hell out of here. And Madison knew just the place. The Citadel, the Brotherhood of Steel's base, could be reached from these sewers. They just have to fight their way through. As Madison discussed things with her team, Jason was wondering about his thoughts on dreams. Do dreams really come true? Dad was dead. The Enclave had Jefferson Memorial. All things just went downhill. Can a dream really come true out here? What about the snow? Was that just luck? Well, Jame's dream might be a bit harder to make a reality. Well... dream on.
Author Notes: Thank you for reading. I wanted to make this chapter longer, but certain issues prevent me from doing that. Oh, in case you don't know, the idea of seasonal change, and staying at Jefferson Memorial for three months was Fire Kunai's idea. Very special thanks to her. Also, the Gekko are machines from Metal Gear Solid 4. I thought they might be pretty cool on this story. Anyway, I think I could have improved this chapter a lot. I myself am not pleased with the final outcome. However, I will leave that to the decision of the readers, as to if I've done a good job or not. Please read and review!