Chapter 15: Reunion

A/N: Hello everyone, I know it's been far too long since my last update so I hope you guys haven't completely abandoned my story. I've had a rather busy and eventful summer and this story got put on the back burner. Think of this as two chapters in one. I'm hoping that I'll have more time to work on this story while I'm at college but we'll see. Again, I apologize for the late posting but here it is, enjoy!

Marcus was looking through his binoculars and could see smoke rising from the embers of last night's fires. The majority of the Raiders were still hung over or unconscious from last night's festivities. Marcus, Rolen, and Rolf had watched as the Raiders partied throughout the night and into the next morning. They still hadn't seen any sign of Sarah from their vantage point above the Raider's camp but they hadn't lost hope just yet. Satisfied with his observations Marcus slid down the rock he was lying on and rejoined Rolen and Rolf who were patiently awaiting his orders.

Marcus looked at the two young men before saying: "Alright fellas those Raiders are still pretty drunk so it shouldn't be too hard to sneak into their base. But don't think that this is going to be a walk in the park; we still have to find Sarah and get her out of this hellhole undetected. So make sure you're loaded up and ready to move out because there's no turning back until the mission is complete or we're dead."

Rolf and Rolen nodded and loaded their weapons. Rolf was armed with his scoped hunting rifle with a homemade silencer attached, a silenced H&K MP5A3, and a boot knife. Rolen temporarily traded in his Minigun for a silenced M4A1, a silenced H&K USP .45, and a combat knife.

Marcus loaded his duel silenced M1911's and signaled for Rolf and Rolen to follow him. They made their way down from their perch and towards the entrance to the Raider camp. The gate was guarded by two Raiders who were passed out and lying in a pile of beer bottles.

"Should we take care of those guys?" Rolen asked unsheathing his knife.

"No, let them be for now." Marcus replied as they snuck past the two intoxicated guards.

"So far so good." Rolf commented as they entered the Raider camp.

"Don't get too optimistic Rolf. Statistics would still say that we're pretty much screwed at the moment." Marcus said as he scanned the area for potential enemies.

The trio snuck through the forest of tents and shelters while avoiding stepping on unconscious Raiders. They quickly made their way out of the sleeping quarters and found themselves at the entrance of a large building composed of rusty sheet metal and cloth. There was a sign outside with "Armory" painted crudely upon the rusted signpost and there were no guards in sight.

"Guys I have an idea that may help us if we find ourselves in a bit of trouble." Marcus said as he made his way towards the armory. "You two wait here. I'll be back in a second!"

Marcus sprinted inside of the building while Rolf and Rolen hid behind a pile of trash until Marcus returned. Marcus returned after a few short minutes.

"Okay guys let's get moving."

"Rolf is wondering what you did Marcus?"

"Hey, don't worry about, now let's go." Marcus replied.

The trio continued their journey through the Raider encampment when they came upon a patrol of Raiders who seemed to have their wits about them. They ducked behind a pile of rocks and rubble as they waited for the patrol to pass.

"Boss says that we're running low on slave labor so we're stepping up on our raids." one Raider said in a gruff voice.

"That's fine by me, as long as there's plenty of booze to go around I'm set." another Raider replied.

"Kevin brought in a pretty little slave girl on their last raid though I heard she's a feisty one." another Raider said.

"We'll see how long she keeps that kind of attitude around here!" the first Raider replied, eliciting laughter from the other Raiders.

Marcus sighed in relief upon hearing that Sarah was still alive but they still needed to find the prison camp and fast. Marcus quickly scanned the surrounding area and saw that it was clear. He motioned for Rolf and Rolen to stay put while he moved out. Marcus was searching for anything that could give him a clue as to where the prisoners were being held and that's when he heard that all familiar voice.

"Get away from me you creep!"

"Sarah!" Marcus said to himself. He got Rolf and Rolen's attention and motioned for them to follow him. They quickly left their cover and made their way to Marcus. They ran towards where they heard Sarah's voice when they saw a ghoul trying to grab Sarah through the bars. He was obviously drunk as he was having a hard time keeping his balance. Rolen quickly ran over to the ghoul and punched him in the face causing him to fly backwards a few feet. Rolen then pulled out a knife and finished the ghoul off.

"Good job kid." Marcus said as he went to work picking the lock on Sarah's cage.

"Wait, what are you guys doing here?!" Sarah asked.

"We're here to save you loud-mouthed one." Rolf responded while keeping watch for Raiders.

Suddenly a roving Raider patrol came upon the trio attempting to free Sarah.

"Hey! Intruders!" one of the Raiders yelled as he opened fire with his assault rifle.

"Get down!" Rolen yelled as he returned fire.

"Keep them off of me! I'm almost done!" Marcus yelled.

Rolf quickly dropped to the ground and began acquiring targets with his hunting rifle. Rolf found the head of a Raider in his sights and fired. The shot hit the man square in the head and caused a shower of blood to explode from his head. Upon seeing one of their own being shot down in front of them the rest of the Raiders quickly hit the dirt and continued firing at the intruders. Rolen unleashed a hail of bullets upon two unlucky Raiders who attempted to charge the trio but quickly met their fates. The remaining Raiders began to fall back just as Marcus had gotten the cage unlocked.

"Alright, she's free! Now let's get out of here!" Marcus yelled.

"Here Sarah, take this." Rolen said as he handed her his pistols.

"Thanks Rolen." Sarah responded.

"Come on guys it won't be too much longer before the whole camp is awake and after us! Follow me!" Marcus ordered as he sprinted back towards the gate.

The others followed and kept their weapons at the ready. They made their way back towards where all of the Raiders were sleeping and stopped dead in their tracks when standing before them was about twenty Raiders armed to the teeth.

"Oh shit!" Marcus yelled as he opened fire upon the group as well as Rolf, Rolen, and Sarah.

Several Raiders dropped as the rest found cover and opened fire on the intruders. The trio plus Sarah took cover behind a pile of rocks and returned fire. They were running out of time as it wouldn't be too much longer before the whole camp was after them. Rolen quickly remembered that he had several grenades on him and pulled out three of them.

"Rolf, Marcus! Take a grenade and on the count of three we throw them." Rolen ordered.

"Choose where you throw them wisely." Marcus added.

"One…Two…Three!" they said in unison. They each got up and tossed their respective grenades before taking cover again. The Raiders began to yell in panic as three separate explosions could be heard.

"Make a run for the gate! Go!" Marcus yelled.

They all broke cover and made a run for the gate, gunning down any Raiders that were unfortunate enough to be in their path along the way. The grenades had caused some severe damage to the Raiders and the survivors began to retreat. As they started to come up on the armory they could see large groups of Raiders going in to arm themselves. Marcus pulled out a detonator from his pocket and said: "Everyone get down!"

Everyone hit the dirt as Marcus pushed the button. The armory exploded into flames as pieces of debris and shrapnel flew in all directions. All of the Raiders inside or around the building were killed instantly from the blast and the shrapnel produced from the explosion killed and injured even more. Once the explosion had settled some they quickly got up and continued making their way towards the front gate. They saw an old pick-up truck parked near the front gate as well as three Raiders who were arguing over something. Marcus opened fire and quickly gunned down all three of the Raiders.

"Alright, Rolen and Rolf you get in the bed of the truck, Sarah, you take shotgun. I'm driving." Marcus ordered. Everyone quickly got to their assigned spots as Marcus sped through the gate and into the mountain pass. Marcus adjusted his mirrors as best he could without getting too distracted and crashing into the side of the mountain. Rolf and Rolen kept their fingers on the trigger and eyes trained on the quickly fading mountain pass behind them. Many minutes passed and there was still no sign of pursuit from the Raiders.

"Rolf is surprised that we made it out so easily."

"Hey! Don't jinx us! We're not out of the woods yet! Marcus barked.

"Are you kidding me! We destroyed tho-" Rolen was interrupted as bullets began to hit the truck.

Two pick-up trucks filled with Raiders darted out from an intersecting path in the mountains and began chasing them.

Damn it! Now you've gone and jinxed us!" Marcus yelled as he floored it.

Rolf and Rolen exchanged gunfire with the two trucks that were hot on their tail. Rolen blind fired to avoid being shot by the hail of bullets heading their way. The truck was taking a lot of damage and the group was running out of ammunition. They would have to come up with a plan soon in order to survive this ordeal. It was in that moment that Rolen began searching his person for what was perhaps their only hope of survival. Rolen celebrated inwardly when he felt his hand rest upon his final grenade. It would be a long shot but if he could somehow manage to blow up the first truck which would cause the second truck to crash they may stand a chance of getting out of this mess in one piece.

Rolen pulled out the grenade and looked over at Rolf who was currently blind firing his weapon.

"Rolf, I need you to give me as much cover fire as possible!" Rolen yelled.

Rolf noticed the grenade in Rolen's hand and said, "Rolf will give you as much cover as possible!"

"Alright! On the count of three then!"

"One!" Rolen pulled the pin.

"Two!" Rolen released the metal spoon.

"Three!" Rolen exposed himself and tossed the grenade while Rolf provided him covering fire.

The grenade flew through the air and blew up as it hit the front windshield of the first truck causing the driver to swerve out of control. The second truck driver was unable to evade the first truck causing both of them to crash into the mountainside. However, during it all a stray bullet struck Rolen in the chest causing him to fly back into the truck bed. Rolen grasped at his injury in agony as blood quickly poured from the wound. Within seconds both his hand were covered in blood as he attempted to stop the bleeding.

"Good job kid!" Marcus yelled.

"You did it Rolen!" Rolf shouted.

Rolf looked over in horror as he saw his friend bleeding out.

"Marcus! You need to hurry! Rolen has been hit and is bleeding badly!" Rolf yelled as he tried to assist Rolen in stopping the bleeding.

"What? How bad is it?" Marcus yelled.

"Rolf thinks that it is pretty bad yes!" Rolf replied.

Rolen was beginning to feel dizzy as he continued to lose blood.

"Hold on kid I'll get you out of here!" Marcus yelled as he pressed down on the gas pedal even harder.

Sarah had hardly said a word since the whole ordeal began. She couldn't help but feel that it was partially her fault that Rolen had been injured. She felt helpless as she looked behind her and watched as Rolf fought to save Rolen's life. "If I hadn't gotten captured in the first place none of this would have happened." Sarah deadpanned.

Marcus looked over at Sarah and then back at Rolf and Rolen. Marcus knew that he had to get these kids out of here if it was the last thing he did.

"Rolf! Keep him alive for just a little longer! We're almost out of this mess!" Marcus yelled.

As Marcus refocused his attention back on what was in front of him he quickly slammed on the brakes as he saw two more heavily armed trucks in front of them filled with more Raiders! Marcus swerved the truck so that it would be diagonal with the Raiders in front them as to provide them with more cover.

"Sarah get out! Rolf! Rolen! Stay down!" Marcus yelled as he too jumped out and quickly hid behind the truck. Just as he finished the Raiders began to open fire on the truck. The truck was quickly falling apart as the Raiders riddled it with bullets. Marcus covered Sarah with his body and Rolf did the same with Rolen until the gunfire halted. Rolf quickly popped up and opened fire on the Raiders and was able to drop a few of them before Rolf felt pain in his right shoulder and fell back into the truck.

Marcus could hear as Rolf cried out in pain and so quickly popped up as well as unloaded a few rounds into the group of Raiders.

"Hang in there Rolf!" Marcus yelled as he fumbled for another magazine for his pistol. He realized he was on his last magazine and sighed deeply as he reloaded. Things were beginning to fall apart and deep down Marcus knew that their mission was a failure and that he was unable to save Sarah or his friends. Sure they had really given the Raiders a run for their money but in the end it was all for nothing.

"I'm sorry Sarah." Marcus said sadly. "I've failed you and your friends."

Sarah was silent for a second before saying, "You did your best Marcus. It's alright."

Marcus knew it was only a matter of time before the Raiders would advance to finish them off.

"Listen Sarah, I'm going to try and give you some time. I'll distract the Raiders while you just run back the way we came. Find somewhere where you can easily climb up into the mountains and hide out there for a bit until things cool down then make your escape back to camp." Marcus finished.

"But, I can't just leave you guys!" Sarah argued.

"Sarah! There's no time for this now when I stand up you run! Got it!" Marcus yelled.

Sarah simply nodded her head and prepared herself to run.

"Tell the others about what happened here." Marcus said.

"I will." Sarah replied.

Marcus then stood up and jumped out from hiding. He let out a war cry and began to unload his pistol into the group of advancing Raiders, catching them all by surprise.

Sarah stood up and started to run when she suddenly heard gunshots, then an explosion, followed by another one. The second explosion caused her to stumble and fall. She looked back and saw flames and smoke coming from where the Raiders vehicles were and Marcus taking cover from the explosions. In an instant a group of armed warriors in metal armor poured through the smoke and flames and began gunning down the exposed Raiders. After disposing of the Raiders the soldiers surrounded the pick-up truck and had their weapons trained on Marcus and the truck.

"Hey, take it easy guys I'm not a Raider! I'm not one of them!" Marcus implored.

"He's telling the truth!" Sarah yelled as she began walking back towards the truck.

"Halt!" one of the soldiers commanded as he raised his rifle at Sarah.

Sarah raised both of her hands, dropped her pistol but kept walking until she was only a few meters from the soldiers.

"I said halt!" the soldier said aggressively as he pointed his rifle at Sarah's face.

"Stand down soldier!" said an armored man.

The man was covered from head to toe in armor but only had a strange looking pistol as a weapon. He approached Sarah until he was only a few feet from her. "It's obvious she's not a Raider, she doesn't even look like one in the least bit but the question is why are you with him?" he questioned as he pointed at Marcus.

"Does that honestly matter right now? Two of my friends are currently dying in the bed of that truck and need medical attention!" Sarah yelled.

He looked over his shoulder at the truck then returned his attention to Sarah. "Load the wounded into the APC and see to it that they receive medical attention. As for you and your friend over there you'll be coming with us for further questioning."

"Hey! Hey! Hey! She has no part in any of this I was just sent to get her back from the Raiders! Besides I'm the one you really want!" Marcus argued.

Sarah was genuinely confused by this point. Who were these guys and how did they know Marcus?

"Listen; just take me and take these three back to their home. I can show you on a map exactly where to take them and I promise you they won't follow you. Just drop them off and leave is all I'm asking." Marcus pleaded.

The leader of the armored warriors contemplated Marcus's words before agreeing. "Very well, your friends will be returned to their home and you will be coming with me. Men! See to it that these three make it back home alive. The medical team will return them while the rest of you continue on with the assault! Remember warriors we still have a mission to complete!"

"Wait! No, Marcus you can't just go with these guys! What if they kill you?" Sarah begged.

"Don't worry Sarah, the last thing these guys want to do to me is kill me." Marcus explained before being carried off.

The armored warriors acknowledged their leader's orders and returned to their vehicles and continued down the mountain pass towards the Raider's base while another APC transported Rolf, Rolen, and Sarah back to their home. Marcus was escorted to a Humvee where he was blindfolded and driven off deep into the Wasteland.

Kevin frantically assigned the remaining Raiders tasks as they prepared for the imminent assault by the Brotherhood of Steel. While Kevin was barking orders to a group of Raiders Kraven approached Kevin from behind.

"Kevin! We have to get out of here! It's only a matter of time before they break through! The Devil has assembled a convoy to escape through a secret path in the mountains. We need to hurry!"

"Very well, let's go then." Kevin replied.

Kevin hated backing down from a fight even if he knew he was going to lose but perhaps this was the better option. Kevin slung his weapon over his shoulder and quickly followed Kraven back to the motor pool. There were only a few trucks and a Humvee left. Kevin could see several Raiders loading up the trucks with crates of supplies. The Devil was berating two Raiders who dropped a crate when Kevin arrived.

"Sir, I believe it's time to go now. The Brotherhood will be breaking through any minute now." Kevin told The Devil.

"Then let's move out." The Devil replied. "Kevin I want you to drive the Humvee and Kraven you can join us as well. Kevin made his way to the driver's side of the beat up Humvee and took his seat, followed by The Devil who sat down on the passenger's side and Kraven positioned himself behind the driver's seat. The other seats were quickly filled by other Raiders. One Raider however found himself without a seat and began begging Kevin to let him in.

"Please! You can't just leave me here to die!" the Raider begged.

"There isn't enough room! Now step aside!" Kevin yelled.

The Devil motioned for Kevin to lean back before pulling out a Desert Eagle and shooting the man square in the head causing blood to spray onto the side of the Humvee.

"Drive." The Devil ordered as he holstered his weapon.

Kevin started up the vehicle and began driving through a hidden pass. It was barely wide enough for the vehicles to fit through. Kevin kept his eyes on what was in front of him but listened to the gunfire and explosions in the background.

"It's a shame. I really enjoyed this place." The Devil said to no one in particular.

Kevin was angrier at the fact that his former friends had been successful in breaking Sarah out and escaping. Kevin wanted to chase after them but was ordered to remain at the base and help reorganize. It wasn't too long after that that the team sent to cut off the intruders was ambushed and killed by the Brotherhood of Steel.

"We'll have to find a way to get back at them for this!" Kevin said angrily.

"Patience Kevin. We are in no position to take revenge upon our enemies. No, we must wait until they are at their most vulnerable then strike, much like what they did to us." The Devil said.

Kevin remained silent as he continued to weave his way through the pass. He would have his revenge even if it killed him.

The APC came to a halt as it reached the outskirts of one of the gates leading into New Peach Creek. The driver had raised a white flag to assure the inhabitants that they were friendly. The back of the APC opened and the medical team came out carrying Rolf and Rolen on stretchers. Sarah came out last.

"Let us through. We need to get these men to the medical center." Sarah ordered.

The two guards moved out of their way.

"Thank you, also where is Double D?"

"I believe he is currently at his quarters. Do you need me to retrieve him for you?" the guard asked.

"Just tell him to meet me at the medical center." Sarah said.

Double D anxiously twiddled his thumbs at his desk. He had passed out due to exhaustion and awoke the next morning to find out that Rolf, Rolen, and Marcus had left to rescue Sarah. It had only been a little over a day and he was already worried about the condition of his friends. They could have been killed or captured for all he knew. Edd had tried to attend to some of the mounting tasks on his list of things to do but couldn't focus. Edd was being pushed to his breaking point. Edd still hadn't fully recovered from his two best friends, Marie, and Jonny leaving. The only question Edd had was how many more of his friends would leave him?

A knock on the door broke his chain of thought. The last thing Edd wanted to engage in was human interaction but his character wouldn't allow him to keep someone waiting at the door. Edd begrudgingly made his way to the door and opened it. Jake Starnes was at his door, one of the many gate guards.

"Sorry to bother you sir but someone wishes to meet you at the medical center." Jake said.

"Does this someone have a name perchance?" Edd questioned.

"She didn't give me a name but her and a medical team arrived at the gate not five minutes ago in an APC."

"That's strange but I'll go check it out. You can return to your post" Edd said.

Jake nodded and walked off back towards the gate.

Edd closed and locked the door to his quarters and briskly walked towards the medical center. He was genuinely confused by the news and had to know now who was calling for him. Edd soon arrived at the medical center and saw Nazz, Kelly, and several of the nurses operating on an unconscious Rolen and an injured but conscious Rolf. Edd was taken aback even more when he saw Sarah sitting in the corner.

"Sar- Sarah? Is that you?" Edd questioned.

"Yes, it's me. And I have some disturbing news for you." Sarah said getting to the point.

"Where's Marcus?" Edd worriedly asked.

"I was getting to that. He was taken by a group of armored warriors. I have no idea where they went but a group of men dropped off Rolf, Rolen and I here before leaving. They threatened to kill anyone who tried to follow them." Sarah finished.

Edd sat down into a nearby chair after receiving the news. He still didn't even know the condition that Rolf and Rolen were in but it felt like he had been hit by a ton of bricks. Another one of his friends gone and two more were fighting for their lives on the operating tables before him. Edd suddenly snapped back to reality when Sarah slapped him.

"Ow! What was that for Sarah?" Edd questioned as he rubbed his burning cheek.

"You have two friends who need you right now more than ever! You can think about this later!" Sarah yelled.

Edd knew Sarah was right and quickly stood up and check up on his friends. Rolen was in bad shape and had lost a lot of blood. They had managed to slow the bleeding to a trickle but he was still in critical condition. Rolf on the other hand was fairing much better. The bullet had struck his shoulder but hadn't caused too much damage.

"Hey Rolf, How are you doing?" Edd asked.

"Rolf is fine brainy Ed boy but Rolen is in bad shape."

"Yes, Rolen is going to need a blood transfusion if he is going to live." Kelly said.

"Do we know his blood type?" Edd asked.

"No, but we have the device to find out. Nazzerine get on that!" Kelly said.

"Yes, we'll need to find a donor ASAP!" Edd ordered.

Nazz quickly began to administer the test and after a few minutes gathered an answer.

"We're in luck; his blood type is AB+." Nazz said.

Edd quickly rolled up his sleeves and pulled his chair over next to Rolen.

"Let's begin the transfusion then shall we." Edd said.

Kelly grabbed the supplies they would need for a blood transfusion while Nazz and the other nurses worked to sanitize everything. Nazz prepared and cleaned a spot on Edd's arm for the transfusion. Kelly inserted the cannula into Edd's arm. Edd watched as his life force traveled through the tube and into Rolen's body where it would be put to work towards saving Rolen's life. The medical staff closely monitored Edd and Rolen. They could see the color returning to Rolen's face but noticed the life leaving Edd's. They had been at it for almost two hours and every time they asked if Edd needed a break he refused.

It was going on midafternoon and Edd by this point was feeling dizzy and nauseous. His vision had also become clouded and was having a hard time keeping his head up. He knew that he had given a lot of blood but wanted to be sure that he had given Rolen enough. Finally Edd couldn't keep his head up any longer and allowed himself to slouch in his chair. Not too long after that he could feel the cannula being removed from his arm. He could hear voices but they sounded distant and muffled. He could feel himself being lifted from the chair and carried outside. Edd felt like he was being carried for ages but eventually felt himself being laid down on his bed. He could hear more clearly now what the people were saying.

"He should be alright, just needs some rest." Nazz said.

"What about Rolf and Rolen?" Sarah asked.

"Rolf will fully recover and hopefully the transfusion did the trick for Rolen. I'm sure it will be quite some time before he's up and going again but he'll at least be alive." Nazz concluded. "But what about Marcus?"

"I'm not sure. They said they were taking him in for 'questioning' but who knows what that actually means. It just didn't make any sense; Marcus acted as if he actually knew those people." Sarah explained.

"That is strange… I hope he's alright." Nazz said sadly.

"Same here. Well we should leave and let Edd rest." Sarah advised.

The two girls left Edd who was already trying to figure out who these armored men are, how Marcus knew them, and what information Marcus had that they wanted. Edd knew that Marcus had a shady past but what business would he have with these heavily armed warriors? Edd could feel a headache coming on and decided that he would rest now and think later.

Eddy couldn't help but have a feeling of déjà vu as he found Ed and himself lying on cots again in the medical bay. After the battle Eddy found himself once again waking up in the medical bay but this time with a new set of Senior Initiate ranks lying next to him. In fact everyone in his squad who had survived had been promoted. They were now ready to move onto some more advanced training.

"Jesus Ed, how did we end up in this same exact situation?" Eddy asked.

"Beats me Eddy." Ed said then let out a chuckle.

Eddy also let out a chuckle as he looked around the room. Eddy's smile faded as the gravity of the situation dawned upon him. Both he and Ed were pretty lucky compared to a lot of the other guys in the medical bay. Hell, at least they actually made it to the medical bay! A lot of guys didn't even make it back from the battle. Eddy could still vividly remember the deaths of his fellow squad members. Young and vibrant people much like himself and Ed. The only difference being that he and Ed had made it back while they hadn't. Eddy mentally tallied this situation up as life number two of his nine lives. The time spent with the Brotherhood had caused Eddy to really start contemplating life and how precious it is. How easily it is given and taken away.

"Ed. What's happened to us? What happened to those lazy summer days spent by the river back in Peach Creek? What happened to scamming the kids out of money to buy jawbreakers? Where has our childhood gone to, the innocence we once had?" Eddy questioned.

This caught Ed completely off guard. It wasn't like Eddy to get too emotional about things but times are different now. And now more than ever Ed wished Edd were here to answer all of these tough questions

"I'm not sure Eddy. I wish Double D was here. He would know what to say." Ed responded

"I'm not sure if Double D even has the answers to those questions." Eddy said.

Without warning the halls outside of the medical bay were filled with the sounds of someone yelling.

"Hey! Take it easy I'm complying now! Christ!"

"What the hell is going on?" Eddy asked as he tried to get a better view of what was going on.

There was a short man being dragged off by several Brotherhood guards. He was screaming and fighting back but with very little success as he was too small to be much of a threat physically.

Ed and Eddy watched as he was dragged past the door to the medical bay.

"Wow Eddy, he sort of looks like you!" Ed said happily.

"Shut up Ed! I'm not that short!" Eddy yelled.

More yelling came from the hallways until it finally stop.

"That's it I'm tired of lying around all day on this cot I'm going to go see what's going on!" Eddy exclaimed as he began to clamber out of his cot.

"Eddy, No! You'll get in trouble if you leave your cot!" Ed pleaded.

"Ed, no I'm not." Eddy said as he got out of his cot. "See, perfectly fine and not in trouble."

Eddy began to make his way to the entrance of the medical bay. Luckily for him none of the medical staff noticed him or could have really cared less that he was out of his cot. Eddy started walking towards where he thought they had taken the short man. Eddy could barely make out some muffled yelling coming from down the hallway and if Eddy had to guess he would say that the short fellow was most likely the cause of it. Eddy found the door where the noise was coming from and put his ear against the cold, metallic door. Eddy could hear the voices of General Barnaky, the High Elder, Head Scribe, who he assumed to be the short man, and several other high ranking Brotherhood officials Eddy assumed. Eddy listened carefully to what the men were saying.

"It's been three months! Where have you been? We had to go on total lockdown for almost an entire month!" General Barnaky screamed.

"Had the information you were entrusted with gotten into the wrong hands it could have been the end of the Brotherhood of Steel as we know it!" said an unfamiliar voice.

"Listen, I got held up alright! I didn't spill the beans about anything so calm the fuck down!" an angry voice retorted.

"Then what held you up for three months?" the High Elder questioned.

Eddy wondered who this guy was if disappearing for some time could make the Brotherhood this paranoid. Eddy was too distracted with his own thoughts to notice a Brotherhood guard coming up from behind him. Suddenly Eddy felt someone roughly grab and restrain him from behind.

"What do you think you are you doing?" the Brotherhood guard asked Eddy angrily.

"Uhh…" Eddy knew he was caught and had no idea what to do.

The door Eddy had just been listening at opened up revealing the highest ranking individuals in the Brotherhood of Steel. Eddy now wished that he would have just listened to Ed this one time. The guard pushed Eddy into the room and shut the door behind him.

"Shit." Eddy cursed.

"Son! Do you know what the punishment is for listening in on a classified Brotherhood meeting?" General Barnaky yelled.

"No- No sir." Eddy replied.

"Well I can assure you that it doesn't end well for you!" Barnaky yelled and then continued to ream Eddy for several minutes.

Marcus took this time to examine the young man being yelled at before him. He had never seen him but something about him seemed familiar. Marcus thought back and remembered a conversation he and Edd had had about his friends. After a few moments Marcus realized that this guy fit the description of one of Edd's friends.

"Hold on a second… are you Eddy? Edd's friend?" Marcus asked.

"Yeah… how do you know my name?" Eddy questioned.

"You seemed to fit the description that Edd gave you." Marcus said.

Eddy was caught off guard by the fact that this guy knew who Edd was. If anything Eddy considered it a Godsend considering it got the General off of his back for a few seconds.

"You know Edd?" Eddy questioned.

"Yes, I do."

"How are he and the others doing?"

"Well, good and bad…" Marcus started.

"Alright that's enough! We still need to deal with this insolence of listening in on a classified meeting!" General Barnaky directed at Eddy.

Marcus began thinking on how he could get Eddy out of this situation. The last thing he wanted to tell Edd when he got out of this situation was that he got one of his best friends killed. He needed to come up with something that would impress all of the Brotherhood leaders. That's when it finally dawned upon Marcus as to what he needed to do.

"I wouldn't punish Eddy just yet. In fact Eddy plays a very important part of my plan on how to make the Brotherhood stronger and more influential than ever. You see there are two settlements in the same region where you just finished destroying that Raider camp in the mountains. These settlements have more influence than you may be aware of. Of course you're the Brotherhood so I'm going to assume that you already know of these two settlements. Both Square Bot City and New Peach Creek have a common enemy; Raiders. The Raiders are also an enemy of yours. Now Eddy here is very close friends with the leader of New Peach Creek who in turn is close with the leader of Square Bot City. I have also come to the conclusion that you guys have probably taken some heavy losses recently after having a quick glimpse of your medical bay. I would say that you guys need some new recruits at the very least or better yet a nice set of allies. I believe that Eddy here would have the ability to convince his friend that siding with the Brotherhood of Steel would bring upon prosperity for everyone and I'm sure you all would agree with me. Together you could erase the Raiders from this region and bring forth prosperity in this a part of the Wasteland. But you could very easily just throw out my idea and kill Eddy here as well as your chances of forming any sort of alliance with them."

After Marcus's longwinded speech the Brotherhood leadership was completely silent as they pondered Marcus's convincing words. While the Brotherhood stood by their values and wanted to punish Eddy they also knew that they would need allies for the future.

"You present a strong case Marcus but the Brotherhood must have time to think about what you've said." said General Barnaky. "We will conclude our previous meeting at a later date."

"In the meantime Marcus, you may stay in the barracks." said the High Elder.

"As for you Senior Initiate Eddy, Paladin Stone will hear about this and I know for a fact he will not be pleased with your insolence and lack of military bearing!" General Barnaky scolded.

The Brotherhood officials began to discuss what Marcus had said and a guard escorted Eddy and Marcus out of the room.

Eddy and Marcus stared at each other for a moment before Eddy broke the ice.

"Thanks for helping me out back there." Eddy said.

"Yeah no problem kid, I couldn't let Edd's best friend get into too much trouble." Marcus laughed.

Eddy laughed too. "Yeah, Double-D would have probably had a heart attack if he heard about this. But do you really think that my friends and I will be able to go and see the rest of our friends back at this New Peach Creek place?" Eddy questioned.

"Hopefully it will work out that way. I'm sure you and your friends here want to see their friends. Especially after what you guys have been through."

"Yeah… war is hell." Eddy said solemnly.

"Agreed." Marcus replied.

"So how is everyone doing then?" Eddy asked.

"Not too bad…" Marcus began.

Marcus quickly told the story of how Edd had helped start a colony, Kevin's betrayal, The Raider attack, Sarah's capture, How Marcus, Rolf, and Rolen had recaptured her and eventually the Brotherhood's intervention.

Eddy was happy to hear that his friends were doing better than he was. Granted he was worried about Rolf. Eddy didn't know who this Rolen guy was but if he had helped out Edd then he considered him a friend. But what really grinded Eddy's gears were hearing about what Kevin had done. He knew Kevin had had a rough past but how could he just betray everyone like that? Eddy promised that he would make Kevin pay for the harm he had caused. Eddy knew that he needed to see Edd and the rest of his friends.

"Well, let me go introduce you to Ed." Eddy said.

"Sure, let's go." Marcus replied.

The two walked in silence the rest of the way to the medical bay where Eddy introduced Ed to Marcus.

"Eddy! Where did you go?" Ed asked.

Eddy looked at Ed dumbfounded. "Ed- you know what never mind about that but Ed meet Marcus. He has been taking care of our friends while we were gone." Eddy said.

"Hi Marcus! How is Double-D doing?" Ed asked.

"He's doing great and so is your sister and the rest of your friends."

"Well, except for Kevin of course…" Eddy added.

"What happened to Kevin?" Ed asked.

"Don't worry about it Ed's it's not all that important anyways." Eddy said quickly.

"Okay! I'm so hungry we should go get some food!" Ed suggested.

"Yeah, that sounds good. Then we can introduce Marcus to the rest of our gang." Eddy said.

"Fine by me kid you just lead the way."

The nurses allowed Ed and Eddy to go to the cafeteria after having been convinced that they were well enough to walk there on their own. The trio walked down the hallways until they reached the bustling cafeteria. Eddy scanned the room and spotted Jonny, Marie, and Locke sitting at a table. Jonny noticed them and waved them over to the table.

"Hiya guys! Are you feeling any better?" Jonny asked.

"Yeah, a hell of a lot better." Eddy responded as he sat down.

Ed ran to the cafeteria line to go get food while Marcus took his seat at the table.

"Who's this?" Marie asked.

"The name's Marcus and I believe I have some good news for you guys. How would you all like to take some time off to see your friends?" Marcus asked.

"Like our friends from Peach Creek?" Jonny asked.

"Yeah, them." Marcus answered.

"Guys, Marcus here has been with our friends since we left and apparently they have started a new settlement. This may be our chance at a new home!" Eddy said excitedly.

"Yeah but we left so we could be free." Marie said.

"Does it look like we're free? Maybe we thought we were at first but now we're stuck under the command of someone else again. Apparently Edd is the mayor of this new settlement which means we can do what we want." Eddy said.

"Well, I'm sure you won't be completely free from the Brotherhood." Marcus added. "I tried to free myself from them and now look at the position I'm in. You can run from them but eventually they'll find you again. I'm afraid that this is something you'll be stuck with. Sure, I spend a few weeks out in the field at a time but I'm not truly free. I still have a mission to do and a report to bring back. Perhaps one day we'll all be free once again but I'm afraid that that day is not today." Marcus concluded.

"…Still, a little time off may do us some good." Locke added. "I may not know your other friends but I would enjoy being able to take some time off away from the Brotherhood."

"You know maybe you're right. A little time off may be for the best." Marie admitted.

"Maybe we could still get that freedom" Eddy said. "I mean we're going to have to go there and help with the formation of this alliance. Perhaps we can convince them to station our squad there to help build up relations. I mean we could argue that since we know some of the locals it would make the process go by more quickly."

"Not a bad idea Eddy." Marcus said.

The table suddenly jolted as Ed sat down with his two trays of food. He began stuffing his face with food making the people around him feel slightly nauseous.

"Hey Monobrow, got some news for ya." Eddy said.

"What is it Eddy?" Ed asked with food in his mouth before returning to eating.

"We're going to see Double-D." Eddy said.

"Yeah! We get to see Double-D!" Ed mumbled as food flew out of his mouth.

Edd woke up during the middle of the night with a slight headache. He was still feeling slightly nauseous from the blood transfusion but better than before. Edd got up slowly and decided to go check up on Rolf and Rolen. Edd meandered through the camp and towards the medical bay where he found Nazz and a few other nurses monitoring Rolf and Rolen. They were both completely out of it when he approached them.

"Rolf fell asleep about an hour ago and Rolen has stabilized but hasn't woken up yet." Nazz said.

"I'm sure he'll wake up sometime tomorrow." Edd said.

"I sure hope so. How are you feeling?" Nazz asked.

"I'm doing alright, just got a lot going on right now." Edd replied.

"I can imagine." Nazz said sadly. "You've got a tough job but you're doing a great job so far."

"Thanks Nazz." Edd yawned and stretched. "I think I'm going to return to my quarters so good evening Nazz, I'll see you tomorrow."

"Alright, see you later Double-D." Nazz said as she waved goodbye.

Edd also waved goodbye then made his way back home. Edd opened the door and sat down at his desk. He let out a long sigh before saying to himself.

"I wish Ed and Eddy were around."

It had been close to a month if Edd had to guess since he had last seen his best friends and he was sorely missing them. His biggest worry was if they were even still alive. It was thoughts such as these that brought tears to Edd's eyes. Edd found that he couldn't control the swift flow of tears running down his cheeks. He hadn't cried in a while so being able to release all of the stress helped to relieve him of his burden. However, Edd could still feel pain in his heart as he continued to think about the possibility of never seeing his friends again. Edd suddenly felt a wave of exhaustion hit him and so laid his head down on his desk and before he knew it was out like a light.

Edd sat up suddenly by the sound of someone rapping at the door. He shook his head a bit to wake himself up and made his way to the door. It looked to be rather early in the morning from what Edd could tell looking out the window in his home. Double-D made it to the door and opened it only to have his heart stop. Standing before him were Ed, Eddy, Marcus, Jonny, Marie, and an unknown individual and what he assumed was his pet wolf.

"Ed… Eddy?" Edd said slowly.

"How've you been Sockhead?" Eddy asked smiling from ear to ear.

"We are together once more!" Ed shouted as he grabbed Edd and Eddy in a bear hug. The others joined in as well forming a circle around the Eds.

"Plank says that you look tired Double-D!" Jonny said.

"Yeah, a lot has happened since you guys left. How did you guys know where to find me?" Edd replied.

"We just asked where you lived." Eddy replied.

"That and this house totally has your name written all over it." Marie added.

"What do you mean?" Edd asked.

"Boring, organized, and there's a plaque outside that literally has your name on it." Marie said with a grin.

"Ha-Ha, very funny." Edd replied sarcastically but with a smile.

"I hate to break up this beautiful moment but I have some news for you kid." Marcus said.

Ed released Edd and Eddy from the hug.

"What's going on Marcus?" Edd asked.

"I'm really going to have to catch you up to speed." Marcus said.

Marcus and Eddy explained in detail everything that had happened since they had left and the deal made with the Brotherhood as well as Edd's account of what had happened since they left.

"So you're saying that this Brotherhood of Steel wishes to make an alliance and provide us with protection in exchange for resources and our aid when they call for it? Why did they only send you guys?"

"They sent us because Eddy convinced them that you would be more willing to join if they sent someone you trusted." Marcus replied.

"I see well I guess I had better get ready to go see Alloy then." Edd said.

"Ed, Marcus, and I will come with you." Eddy suggested.

"Well, maybe better if I stayed here and ran the place in Edd's absence. Not sure if Alloy would be too happy to see me again." Marcus said nervously.

"Yeah, but you technically weren't selling the locals real drugs." Eddy said.

"True, but you try and tell Alloy that. It won't work trust me I tried." Marcus said.

"Why did you even pose as a drug dealer to begin with?" Edd asked.

"Listen, it wasn't one of my better ideas but we're wasting time here talking about this."

"Marcus is right, let's be ready to move out by this afternoon." Edd ordered. "The rest of you who aren't going can stay here and catch up with the others."

Everybody dispersed throughout the camp while Ed, Edd, and Eddy made their way towards the supply depot to pick up some supplies for the journey.

"The rest of the squad will be moving in once the deal has been made." Eddy said.

"How many more would that be then?" Edd asked.

"Four more Initiates, a Squire, and Paladin Stone." Eddy answered.

"Not sure that I'm completely sure of what you mean." Edd admitted.

"Wow! Eddy you know something that Double-D doesn't know!" Ed exclaimed.

"Yeah you're right Ed, this is history right here!" Eddy said.

Double simply smiled and shook his head. He missed times like these.

"Yes, I suppose you guys know something that I don't." Edd admitted.

The three of them laughed together in unison and cherished this moment. It had been far too long since they had had the time to really enjoy themselves especially as a group. The three of them had experienced true horror since their journey had begun and needed some time to get away from it all.

Ed was happy that he and his two best friends were back together again. Ed truly did enjoy being a part of the Brotherhood of Steel but he also missed seeing Edd, and the others, especially Sarah. That's when it hit Ed.

"Wait guys I need to go to baby sister!" Ed yelled as he started running in the opposite direction.

"Shit! Ed wait!" Eddy yelled.

"Yes, please hold on Ed!" Edd added.

Edd and Eddy sprinted after Ed who easily outran them as he searched the camp for his sister. Ed was shouting out Sarah's name as he searched inside of nearby tents and buildings looking for his baby sister. Anyone unfortunate enough to be outside at the time had the great displeasure of having Ed up in their face asking if they had seen Sarah. Edd apologized to everyone that they passed as they fought to catch up with Ed. Ed eventually made his way to the medical center where Nazz was attending to Rolf and Rolen. Sarah was sitting in a chair and chatting with Nazz and Kelly.

"Sarah!" Ed yelled as he ran towards his sister.

Sarah looked up at the calling of her name and was shocked to see that it was Ed who had yelled it. She couldn't believe what she was seeing, her idiot brother and his friends running towards her. It reminded her of old times until Sarah finally snapped out of it and got up quickly.

"Ed, is that you!" Sarah shouted back.

Rather than receiving a verbal response Sarah found herself in one of Ed's signature bear hugs. Sarah was in shock as she returned her brother's embrace. She had feared that the worse had come upon him while he was out in the Wasteland but he had returned. It was then that Sarah truly realized how much she had missed her brother. Sarah knew that despite her cruel interactions with Ed in the past she loved her brother and would do anything for him.

"I can't believe that it's actually you!" Sarah said.

"Ed is home once more!"

Nazz was taken aback by the whole situation especially when she saw Edd and Eddy trailing slightly behind.

"Ed! Eddy! When did you guys get back?" Nazz exclaimed.

"Early this morning." Eddy replied as he eyed Kelly.

"Are the others here?"

"Yes, the others were actually just at my home but I sent them off to meet the others." Edd replied. "We actually need to get going soon to go and see Alloy."

"Why are you guys going to see him?"

"Yes, Ed boy why are you going to see the metal man?" Rolf asked having just woken up.

"We are going to meet with Alloy to discuss the terms of forming an alliance with the Brotherhood of Steel." Edd replied.

"Hey Rolfie boy you feeling alright?" Eddy asked.

"Yes, Rolf is good."

"What's the Brotherhood of Steel?" Nazz asked.

"Well I had better let Ed or Eddy answer that question for you." Edd said.

Eddy looked over at Ed and Sarah and saw that they were oblivious to what was going on as they caught up. It was a weird sight considering how Sarah normally treated Ed but Eddy was glad that they were getting along.

"Well seeing as Lumpy is preoccupied I'll fill you in on the Brotherhood of Steel. They're basically a militaristic group that has made it their purpose to rid the Wasteland of scum and lowlifes in an attempt to bring order back to the Wasteland. They also saved my life as well as the others not too long after we left. They've trained us in the art of warfare and killing. It's been tough and honestly I'm a bit tired of it all."

Edd was pained to hear Eddy's words. He knew that something was a little off about Eddy and hearing this only confirmed it. Edd wasn't completely sure of what all Eddy had been through since Eddy didn't really explain in detail any of the missions he and the others had been on. In fact none of them spoke much about it.

"Well, you're home now Eddy so you can rest and maybe when you guys get back from your trip all of the cul-de-sac kids can get back together to celebrate your safe return!" Nazz suggested.

"If it's alright with you guys maybe I could tag along too, I'd love to meet all of you guys!" Kelly beamed.

"That sounds like a great idea to me!" Eddy said.

"I agree." Edd added.

"Perhaps by then Rolf will be able to join you guys in the festivities!"

"And hopefully Rolen will have woken up by then." Nazz said as she returned her attention to him.

"How is he?" Edd asked.

"He's still stable but just hasn't woken up yet. I hope he hasn't slipped into a coma. We're planning on doing some tests today to see so pray for the best."

"Will do." Edd said quietly. "Well I believe we should be going now. Come on Ed!"

"Coming! I'll tell you more of my adventures later!"

"Yeah, that would be nice!" Sarah said.

Ed, Edd and Eddy began making their way back towards the supply depot when Eddy suddenly turned around and ran up to Kelly.

"Hey, we haven't really met each other but I'm Eddy!" Eddy said as he offered his hand.

"Oh, hey Eddy, I'm Kelly!" Kelly replied as she shook Eddy's hand.

"Cool! Well I gotta go but maybe we hang out sometime!"

"Yeah, that would be cool, see ya!"

Eddy ran back to catch up to Ed and Edd who were watching him.

"What was that about Eddy?" Edd questioned.

"What, I was just introducing myself." Eddy replied.

"I think Eddy likes her!" Ed said as he laughed.

"No! I just didn't want to be rude and not introduce myself! Eddy defended.

"No reason to get upset Eddy. Kelly's a good person." Edd said.

"Eddy and Kelly sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G! Ed teased.

"Quit it Ed! That's not true, besides there aren't any trees left anyways!" Eddy yelled.

"Well, technically there are burnt trees." Edd added.

"Whatever, let's just get this over with." Eddy sighed.

Ed and Edd started laughing followed by Eddy. Just like old times.

A/N: Well I'm not sure when I'll be posting another chapter but I haven't given up on this story yet. I actually just recently got a notification that one of my favorite authors is leaving the site so that gave me some motivation to not make you guys feel the way I do right now. I hoped you enjoyed the chapter so leave me a review about what you liked and didn't like or something you would like to see in the future. Until next time.

Evil Tim