"Damn it all..."
The small fire of the cigarette lighter illuminates the figure's face for a brief moment, just long enough to light the end of the cigarette hanging loosely from his lips. The wind suddenly kicks up, blowing the dust of the wasteland roundabout him.
"I thought I'd be happy to come back here and see this place again... But nothing's really changed."
The corpses of five raiders lay near the Wanderer's feet, freshly slain. Each had been killed by a bullet to the head. They had assaulted him almost as soon as he had stepped off the boat, and had paid for their arrogance and treachery with their lives.
Indeed, in the past few months, nothing had truly changed in the great Capital Wasteland. Raiders still roamed the lands in great numbers, Super Mutants still controlled the ruins surrounding the Capitol Building, and the Citadel was still a smoldering hole in the ground thanks to the Enclave's ordinance.
"Why did I even come back here? I've got nothing left... Nobody to return to... I should've just set out westward from Point Lookout, instead of hopping back on the boat." Briefly, as he begins the journey deeper into the ruined city, his mind flashes back to Vault 101, more specifically a certain Overseer's daughter. He quickly flattens the thought; she wouldn't want him back. All he had done was assist her, as his former naive self had always done, and what did he get? Amata had exiled him from the Vault, the only home he had ever truly known; thrown him away, like garbage. She had used him for her own selfish ends, and it was something he had never forgiven her for.
The streets of the skeleton of former Washington, D.C. are completely empty, a surprising change. Normally, he would have been up to his neck in Super Mutants or raiders at this point... However, he also knew the many dangers of the Capital Wasteland. Something could jump out at any time.
It was pitch black outside by the time the Wanderer reached the heart of the D.C. ruins: specifically, the Capitol Building and its surrounding areas. As he passes the ruins of the Washington Monument, he comes to a stark, cold realization: he was completely alone. And in more ways than one.
"I've truly got nowhere to turn... No home. No family. No friends. Even Dogmeat is gone... And the Enclave is finished. Guess that means there's only one thing left for me to do." He drops the spent cigarette on the ground, a heavy leather boot covered in dust and dried mud stomping it out. He reaches around behind his back, drawing his hunting rifle, jokingly referred to months ago as "Ol' Painless" by the DJ of Galaxy News, Three Dog...
...Before the same weapon had blown a gaping hole through the man's head without warning. It was a completely unprovoked act of murder... And the Wanderer felt no remorse for it. The radio waves were silent at last, for the most part; with both GNR and the Enclave's radio stations taken down, there wasn't much hope or assistance left for the people of the Capital Wasteland. Not that the Wanderer cared; to him, it meant some form of peace at last, in a sick sense, and that was just fine with him.
"One final victory... For old time's sake. Before I say goodbye to the Capital Wasteland for good, and track down the last piece of the puzzle... The final loose end." As he says this, he glances up at the Capitol Building. It was suicide to charge in alone, likely, but he would kill as many Super Mutants as time allowed him.
Lifelessly, in a manner almost befitting a machine, the Wanderer descends into the huge trenches that have been dug between him and the remains of one of America's most important buildings.
As expected, he comes across two of many Super Mutants, their hulking forms easily noticeable in the darkness. They didn't appear to notice him, instead laughing about the man they had just killed.
Even in the darkness, the Wanderer can make out the unmistakable shape of T-45d Power Armor on the corpse. They had killed a remnant of the Brotherhood of Steel, who was likely trying to find his way back to the remains of the Washington Monument.
Which was, ultimately, pointless; the small garrison there had been taken out by the Wanderer before he had left the Capital Wasteland for Point Lookout.
The first Super Mutant dies quickly as a .32 caliber round punctures the back of its skull neatly. This attracts the attention of the second mutant, though two more rounds splatter his brains all over the walls as well.
The Wanderer emerges from his hiding place in the shadows, eyes completely emotionless as he loots the corpses of the Super Mutants. He snatches up the .32 ammunition one has on its person before continuing on.
He next comes across an unfamiliar sight: a Super Mutant asleep on the job. Were he not obsessed with killing as many of the things as he could, he would have laughed. Not once had he seen a Super Mutant sleep, in all his days of walking the wastes.
As stealthily as a Chinese Crimson Dragoon of the Old World, the wanderer reaches down to his thigh, drawing the knife that is holstered there and sneaking over to the mutant It took just one second, one single swipe of the blade across the jugular vein, and soon blood was pouring out on the ground in rivers from the dead mutant's neck.
"This is almost too easy. Perhaps I should have charged into the nearest Deathclaw nest... That would certainly-" The Wanderer stops himself with a sigh. To allow arrogance would produce complacency, and that was something he couldn't afford. The wastelands had taught him well, he thought, perhaps too well.
Sheathing the combat knife, he marches on through the shadows, continuing this systematic elimination of the giants from the safety of the shadows, until finally he reaches the very end of the trenches. To his dismay, there are no more mutants left.
Indirectly, however, he had assisted the people of the Capital Wasteland once more: the area surrounding the heart of D.C. was now marginally safer to travel through. Discontented, the Wanderer stalks back off in the direction he had come from. It was going to be a long walk back to the remains of Adam's Air Force Base...
"...Hopefully there's something here that hasn't been stolen or picked clean for parts. Scavengers are terrible out in the wastes..." He was referring, of course, to the Vertibirds that had once belonged to the Enclave. The base was surprisingly intact; the mobile crawler had seen better days, he admitted, but that was to be expected.
Surprisingly, he finds a Vertibird positioned outside one of the hangars, still in near-pristine condition. The symbol of the Enclave is prominently displayed on its side, the hulking mass of metal reflecting somewhat in the moonlight. The Wanderer steps inside, taking a seat up front. He begins pressing the buttons, having figured out how to pilot one somewhat by studying the information gathered by the Brotherhood's Scribes. That was one of few things they were good for... Information.
No longer was he going to continue solving other people's issues. The heroic, naive young Vault dweller from Vault 101 had died along with the Enclave and the Brotherhood of Steel. All that remained was the 'Lone Wanderer', a broken shell of the hero the Capital Wasteland had once made him out to be, and one final person to track down. One final kill, and at last the 'Lone Wanderer' would be little more than a legend to the Capital Wasteland.
The blades of the Vertibird begin to turn, and soon the mass of metal and its single passenger is floating through the air, heading West in search of a particular former Colonel...