Panic twisted the gut and made its way to the throat of the Lone Wanderer as the gravity of the situation became apparent. Just inches from the Lone Wanderer's face was the barrel of Charon's shotgun. And just inches from that was the trigger. And on that trigger was the finger of somebody who, just seconds ago, was considered a friend.

No, he was never a friend... Charon was an EMPLOYEE. That distinction was made painfully clear as Mister Burke waved Charon's contract in his hand.

"My, my, my, my, MY! How tables turn. It appears that I am now the holder of this most competent individual's contract..." Burke taunted.

The Lone Wanderer swallowed. zoning out of the monologue. Burke really did seem to enjoy the sound of his own voice; perhaps this would buy just enough time to think up a plan...

"... thus, I am afraid my first order as his new owner will be to-"

"You have some balls, walking into my town and stirring up trouble, Burke," a baritone voice interjected. The three others turned to face Lucas Simms. The Sheriff of Megaton stood with his boots dug firmly in the ground, jaw clenched.

"I'm placing you under arrest."

"Sheriff! I'm afraid that I cannot allow this to happen. Charon?" Burke looked towards Charon with a sinister grin.

"I don't think so," Simms sneered, lowering his rifle. "You think that I'd let you get your hands on this man's contract?"

The color drained from Mr. Burke's face as Sheriff Simms reached into his duster and produced Charon's contract.

"That's preposterous! How-?" Burke frantically searched himself for the document.

"Say, I'm feeling a bit like some frontier justice tonight. Charon? Shoot-"

"Now, now. Let's not be too hasty," a voice with a bad Irish accent spoke just as Charon turned his shotgun towards Mr. Burke.

"Moriarty! Stay out of this," Simms shouted.

"Wish I could. Charon, my boy. Heard you had quite a bit of experience as a bouncer, so I got this," Moriarty reached into his vest and pulled out Charon's contract, "thinking that maybe you'd be handy to have around."

"What? Impossible!" Simms spat, wide-eyed and bewildered that the contract was no longer in his hand

"M'fraid so. Burke, it's time to pay that tab you've been runnin' up, and Simms, you've been a thorn in my side for a mighty long time. I'm going to order Charon to-"

"To do what, exactly?" Allistair Tenpenny sat back in his chair eyeing the lot of them.

"He'll be doing none of that. as I am the current owner of Charon's contract," Tenpenny fished out the contract from his breast pocket neatly. "I will now go about ridding myself of your town, but first..." Charon slowly pointed his weapon away. Burke seemed almost relieved for a second until...

"Mr. Burke. I have been displeased with your performance as of late, and as such, I am terminating you. Literally. Charon would you please-"

A dry, raspy laugh sounded from behind them all. Everyone turned around to face Roy Phillips.

"Typical. Smoothskins pushing us ghouls around for their profit. Funny thing though," he held up Charon's contract, "I think I'm gonna enjoy ruining all your good looks."

"Communist ownership of top-secret weapon unacceptable," boomed a synthesized voice. "Reds should prepare for liquidation at his hands." How Liberty Prime ended up sneaking up behind them all holding Charon's contract was anyone's guess.

"As much as I appreciate your patriotism for this great country, Mr. Liberty Prime, I'm afraid you have all the firepower you need." everyone whirled around to see President John Henry Eden with Charon's contract haphazardly taped to the side of his chassis. "Thus, I have appropriated his contract, seeing as I could use somebody with radiation immunity to put the modified FEV into our water system in order to purge our glorious America of her plague." With that, Charon prepared to join his new master.

"The UNITY will not tolerate a threat to it's existence. Tolerate. THREAT. The master race will triumph and thrive. MASTER. Triumph. Thrive. THRIIIVE. Charon the ghoul, is with us. Charon. Us." Speaking of masters, The Master himself appeared in his all his disturbing organo-mechanical glory, a West-coast supermutant holding Charon's contract for him.

Everyone looked on in horror until James stepped into view.

"Daddy's here to help you, don't you worry," said James to the Lone Wanderer, while very happy that Dad was finally found, couldn't help but feel very embarrassed that after all this time, he was still speaking in third person.

"...and the contract is mine!" cried James as he brandished the Charon's contract. Everyone looked as if they were about to jump on the scientist when a bark interrupted them.

There was Dogmeat with his teeth bared, and in his teeth was none other than Charon's contract. Then it appeared as if it would be the mutt who had the upper hand, when all the other Dogmeats from Fallout 1 and 2 came in and fought over already beat-up piece of paper.

Fur was flying (literally) when a Japanese man in Samurai armor ran in. He wore a look of extreme bewilderment as he held Charon's contract in his hand, shouting, "Dono yōna kami no kono sakuhindesu ka? Dono yōna kami no kono sakuhindesu ka?"

"What that piece of paper is, you stupid anachronism, is Charon's contract," snapped Myron condescendingly. Before he could pull the contract out of his lab coat, however, everyone pulled out their favorite firearm and shot the obnoxious little shit-head to pieces. (This includes the Samurai, Eden, The Master, and the three Dogmeats. They were all packing heat.)

All this proved too much for Charon, who promptly twitched, screamed, dropped to the ground on his side, broke out of character and ran along the floor in circles, whooping.

Seeing the normally taciturn ghoul like that, the rest of the assembled group backed away uneasily. Maybe getting his contract wasn't worth it, after all.

A while after they left, a very large man covered in dust with a small smile and a blank look on his face walked up to Charon and watched him circling and whooping.

"Me Torr. Who you?" asked Torr.

Charon made no sign that he had heard him.

"Pey-per?" Torr held up Charon's contract.

Charon paused for a moment, looking up at Torr.

Torr shrugged and dropped to the ground, joining Charon as they ran along the floor in circles, whooping.

The End