A/N: Hello again everyone. Sorry about the late update. I know I say it a lot but I really do mean it. Mid-way through writing this my previous laptop decided to quit the field, so I had to start from scratch. That was part of the reason why this took so long, but alas I admit it wasn't the whole reason. I had a hard time figuring out just how to write this so I rewrote it numerous times. Anyways, here is the lead up to the final chapter!

John used his pip-boy to bring up the lights in what looked to be the command center. A circular table with a hand drawn map of the wasteland splayed out across it. There were different colored flags marking each of the known settlements in DC. Some were green while others were white, a few red flags sat unused at the edge of the table. Sarah could guess what they were for. This was the plan Neal had been keeping from her. She was surprised at some of the places she saw green flags.

"Who's controlling Raven Rock?" Sarah asked, pointing to the green flag.

"Charon was put in charge as well as other ghouls they've worked with in the past. It was decided they were the best suited to interpreting that cache of pre-war tech." John said.

Sarah didn't like how he put it. "Oh, so the Brotherhood isn't capable of handling pre-war tech?" she chided.

John didn't flinch, "The decision was not mine. It was made by Neal and Elder Lyons. If you have a problem with it, you can take up with one of them tomorrow during the briefing."

Sarah folded her arms at her chest and bit her lip. She knew her father was in on this. She hated how this was all done behind her back. Why wasn't she included?

Sarah's eyes continued to study the map. They had secured some solid allies. None were as formidable as the Brotherhood, but places like this fort as well as Tenpenny Tower, and the Temple of the Union provided support they would definitely need. Sarah noted that Rivet City still had a white flag on it. This was obviously going to have to be changed at some point. Maybe when Dr. Li returned from the Commonwealth they'd be able to come to an agreement. The scientist owed the Brotherhood.

"What exactly are we being briefed on?" Sarah asked, arms holding her upper body up as she hunched over the map.

"Securing the Citadel and the preparations that are to be made after. The Wanderer is going to give out special assignments to a few people and from there we'll set off. You can ask questions then. I can't reveal any more than that. I brought you here so you could see what he's been doing in secret over the last year. He did this to continue protecting his people, particularly many of you here in this fort. But in the end, this is all up a select few and you are one of them."

"What am I supposed to do?" Sarah asked, sounding more desperate than she wanted.

John's expression was actually emotive. It carried a warning, though she couldn't be sure what it was.

"Try and reconcile while you can. Things are going to get much worse before they get any better. There is an enemy coming like nothing you've ever seen before. You must weather the coming conflict and then maybe people like us can settle down. Our battles choose us." It was obvious John had seen things on par, if not worse than she. He looked like what she imagined an older Neal would. From what he said, Sarah knew time was running short. She didn't know it at the time, but these words would echo through her consciousness for years to come. And they would ring to be truer than any of them could have anticipated.

"Why didn't you tell me?" Sarah said through the cracked door. The light barely showing Neal's silhouette.

"You're going to have to be more specific." He said squinting into the light. Sarah entered the small room and stood near the double bed.

"The Compact." Sarah said, hoping her vagueness would force him to divulge more of what it entailed.

"I'm doing what I have to."

"You don't sound too thrilled about it."

"What I'm doing isn't exactly fun. It's a matter of life and death, just like it always is with the wasteland. I made sure everyone is prepared and all of the loose ends are tied up. Everything's on the line."

Sarah sat down next to him on the bed, but he didn't look at her. His eyes were miles away.

"What about you? Where do you fit in?" Sarah asked, unsure if she wanted to hear the answer.

"John and I are taking a more direct approach. While you and the others are on the defensive, we'll be trying to stop them before they get here in the first place."

"But who's got your back?" Sarah asked, placing a hand on his thigh. This was something she never did with anyone else.

"John." He said quietly. Though Sarah got the impression Neal was worried about something. Maybe he didn't trust John.

"Do you trust him?" Sarah asked.

"It's not that. I just worry about the op. It's tenuous at best. But that's never stopped me before."

When Neal finally looked at Sarah, she understood what he was implying.

"I'm sorry for what my father asked of you. He only did it because he knew what you were capable of."

Neal's eyes turned cold, "You believe that?"

"The Pride was disbanded with me knocked out and our lines were spread thin. You were his ace in the hole." Sarah tried, not even sure if she believed what came out of her mouth.

Neal looked down, "I believed that at the time. But now," he shook his head, "I know I am expendable to him."

It was Sarah's turn to look ashamed. "I'm sorry I didn't see. He's my father and he stands for so much."

Neal placed his hand on hers. "It's not your fault."

Sarah looked at him, "Yes it is. He used how you feel about me to advance his agenda. How is that not my fault?"

"You didn't know," Neal said, "I don't blame you."

"Then why are you doing this? Why go forward with his plans?"

"It's what I do," He said simply as he looked at her, "I still have something to lose if I don't stop Caesar's Legion."

Sarah smiled sadly at him for a moment but still had questions, "Why do all of this?" she said pointing to his top of the line pip-boy. It was currently displaying the status of his body and his overall health.

"It upped the odds of survival. A metallic skeleton and mechanical organs makes you harder to kill and easier to fix."

Sarah didn't like the way he was talking about himself, but with Neal's track record, it unfortunately made sense.

"John told me you're in charge of the briefing tomorrow and that you had special assignments for certain people?"

Neal nodded, "Julian, Reilly, and Amata all have something specifically tailored to their talents. A couple other contacts of mine will be there too. They're all part of the alliance we've been forming. Yours is by far the most important, we couldn't entrust it to anyone else. That's as much as I can tell you, the rest is for your father to tell you."

Sarah was really getting sick of being left in the dark. She was a grown woman and the highest ranking Brotherhood soldier, second only to her father. She was too independent and strong for coddling wasn't she? Whatever it was, it must be serious making it all the more maddening that she didn't know.

Neal could see her frustration quite obviously, "I wish I could tell you, but now isn't the time. I promise you will be told when the time is right and not a second after."

Sarah realized she wasn't the only one keeping secrets in their relationship. She wasn't even sure she could call it that now, things were so on and off with their duties taking precedence over their affections. Maybe if she had made it more clear to the Brotherhood that she and Neal were involved intimately, she wouldn't have to spend so much energy keeping it a secret. Maybe instead of simply hoping her father didn't know about them, she should have talked to him about it. That could have prevented Neal's actions in the last year. Something from their earlier conversation struck her then.

"Earlier you said 'I made your decision easier'. What was that all about?"

Neal's expression was unmistakably regretful.

"I'm sorry, I was angry with your reaction to everything, even though it was what I expected." He took a moment before continuing, making sure Sarah accepted his apology.

"This mission…It's time sensitive and exhaustive. I need to leave well in advance of the Legion's arrival to help prepare the Midwestern Brotherhood. John has already heard reports of them as near as Kansas. We need to get to Chicago as soon as possible and help coordinate their efforts. They are strong and decisive with a lot of specialized teams, but they don't have the sheer numbers they will need for the Legion. John has a friend of his consulting with them currently, but time is wasting. Who knows how long it'll take."

"The Midwest Brotherhood? They were part of the group that left with my father and I out east. All I know is the soldiers that survived the crash set up in Chicago. But I did hear my dad talking about them having some trouble with robots. At the time we didn't have enough resources or men to send with their messengers."

Neal nodded, "They changed their exclusionist policy after a tribal known as the Warrior rose through their ranks and defeated the robots and their leader. I'm sure you've heard that story before."

Sarah nodded, "It's funny how similar stories are popping up around the wastes." She said with a smirk. Neal smiled weakly back at her.

She squeezed his thigh, "I know, the Brotherhood needs to start taking in new recruits. You've made that abundantly clear."

"If you don't DC will fall. The Legion dominates with numbers and discipline. Their soldiers are fearless and will jump on a sword on command."

"A sword?" Sarah asked with a smirk.

Neal couldn't resist smiling back at her, "Yes, they use swords and spears," he said with a sheepish smirk, but his expression returned to serious shortly, "They're technophobic but it doesn't affect them much since they gain new troops with every village they sack."

Sarah realized why he was so subdued. The Legion didn't leave any survivors made the situation all the more dire.

"So you're leaving then?" it came out as more of a statement than a question. Her voice was low and flat.

Neal nodded slowly, his jaw muscles pulsating with tension.

"DC just got to too peaceful for you. You just have to keep pushing your limits. Why isn't peace enough? Can't you settle down?" Sarah said, clearly hurt at being closed out from this decision.

Neal closed his eyes and calmed his frustration before speaking.

"That's not why I'm leaving. You know that. If there was any other option, I'd have taken it." He met her eyes sadly. For the first time since he woke up from that coma he actually looked tired.

"Don't let my father force you away!" Sarah said through gritted teeth.

Neal didn't outright deny that Elder Lyons' involvement in this decision. It was clear the old man saw him as a threat to Sarah's well-being in one way or another. He didn't mind Neal personally but his involvement with his daughter was something he couldn't

"I've spent a long time preparing for this. You know me and I know you. I have to try and stop them. If you were in my position you'd do the same, don't deny it." Neal's voice was low and irritated.

Sarah acknowledged this with a somber nod. "I knew this was going to happen. It was only a matter of time before one of us had to leave."

Neal looked at her helplessly. For once he actually looked his age, which was eight years her junior at 22. Their gap in age was never an issue in their relationship. When she first met him at the GNR Plaza she would have been able to accurately guess his age, but after he became a part of the Brotherhood Sarah never would have guessed he was so young. The way Neal acted made him seem much older than he was physically. Sarah knew that in the society before the war a strapping young man like him wouldn't bat an eye at her, nor would she be interested in him. But Neal was different, he was smart and driven. His skills in combat were like nothing anyone had seen before.

"I had to make a decision, Sarah. I'm trying to save everything we've worked for. Even if I lose part of myself it will be well worth the end result. The odds of success aren't high but it will make all the difference."

Sarah understood what he was saying but it didn't mean she had to like it. Neal stared at the floor again, "I wish it didn't have to be this way." He confessed.

Sarah nodded, "Me too. But I understand. Doesn't mean I have to like it though."

Neal smiled at her, "Oh I know." He looked like he was going to kiss her but he held back. Sarah was bit disappointed but she understood why he was reluctant to. Keeping a distance between them would make the coming months...or years easier to endure. Rekindling the strained relationship would only make it harder. Sarah decided it was going to be hard either way and leaned in and kissed him. His response was quite animated. He pulled back for a moment and looked at her.

"I love you, Sarah." He said softly.

"I love you too." Sarah responded with a smile. This wasn't how she expected things to go, but she wasn't about to complain. The kissing turned into grabbing and for what could be the last time, they made love.

Amata was up so early that it was still dark outside. She made her way down to the cafeteria in hopes of finding something to kick her awake. She bumped into Reilly who was mixing up something in her mug. Amata moved in beside her to see what she was doing.

"Morning." Reilly greeted with surprising crispness.

"Morning." Amata responded in a raspy voice.

Reilly chuckled a little to herself. "You better get used to this, kid."

Amata wasn't sure what she meant, but she resisted the urge to bristle at being called 'kid'. No one called Neal kid and he was only a year older.

"Want to know my secret?" Reilly whispered, feigning secrecy.

"Sure." Amata agreed.

"Neal brought me this machine back from out west. It's called coffee maker. I have it in my quarters. I'd be willing to share a pot with you if you don't go spreading it around to the rest of the barracks."

Amata realized Reilly probably hadn't seen one of these before. She made a show of making an X across her heart with one finger. Reilly was an interesting one. She was funny and quick witted, but also a great tactician and lethal with a gun. Amata decided she liked her.

Reilly smirked at the jab and started down the hall. As Amata rounded the corner, she felt a hand snag her wrist and pull her back around the corner. Reilly held a finger to her lips. They both slowly peeked around the corner to see Sarah Lyons acting as though she didn't want to be seen as she tiptoed down the hall.

Reilly ducked her head back with a devious smirk on her face.

"That's Neal's room!" she explained.

As Sarah approached they both did their best to look casual as they rounded the corner.

"So if you're going to need equipment for a stealth operation, I have a few stealth boys you could use." Reilly said, gradually raising the volume of her voice to make it sound like they were just coming down the hall when they bumped into Sarah.

Sarah offered them both a guilty smile and a simple 'hey'. She then walked away rather quickly.

Once she was gone Reilly smiled. "I knew it!"

Amata wasn't sure how she felt about the whole situation but she couldn't help but smile sheepishly at Reilly's behavior.

The merc leader then proceeded to lead Amata down the halls to her quarters where an ancient looking coffee pot steamed on her desk.

"I don't usually act like that, I swear. I'm just happy those two were able to work it out." She explained.

Amata nodded, "But he's leaving isn't he?"

Reilly looked at her grimly, "Yes. I was hoping they'd part on a good note. We can only hope he comes back."

Amata nodded her agreement and took a big swig of the black coffee. It didn't taste good but it sure helped kick the tiredness.

"Well, it's about time I went out to the gate to greet the others." Reilly said, she looked over at Amata after she sat her mug down. "Why don't you come with me? You're going to be working with these guys in the future so you might as well get to know them."

Amata agreed wordlessly and followed the redhead through the halls.

The first to approach the gates were three ghouls and a super mutant approached. One wore thick armor and was armed to the teeth, the other wore a lab coat and glasses, lugging two overfilled duffle bags. The ghoul and super mutant at the rear were both well-armed as well. She recognized those two.

Reilly turned to the nervous looking merc on gate duty and signaled him to open the gates.

"That's Murphy and his guard Barrett. He used to deal drugs, but Neal found a better use of his talents. Those two, I'm sure you know, Charon and Fawkes."

The group entered and waited for Reilly to meet them.

Reilly turned on her leader persona. "Good to see you all made it."

Murphy was the one to respond, "Thank you. Would you mind giving me some help with this equipment?"

Reilly motioned for Amata to grab the other bag. They both heaved the bags onto their shoulders. Amata felt the weight of the bag vanish. Turning around to see what had happened, Amata jumped at the sight of the hulking, eight foot tall super mutant looking at her, the duffle bag dangling from one hand like it was nothing.

"I'll take it." Fawkes said, his expression, looked like a polite smile. Amata managed to respond the smile despite her unease with the unfamiliar creature.

"Thank you." She said.

Reilly turned back to Amata, "Would you mind getting Lucy West and Billy Creel? They're supposed to represent Megaton."

Amata did what she was told, hoping she could remember who they were. She moved over towards the woman in the red jumpsuit. Amata recognized her from the other day.

"Excuse me." Amata said, since she did not recall the woman's name.

The woman turned around and adjusted her glasses.

"Can I help you?" the woman asked politely, "Is it Jericho?"

Amata recalled the merc to which she referred.

"No. I was wondering if you could point me to Billy Creel and Lucy West."

The woman appeared to think for a moment, "The names do ring a bell, but I can't put a face with 'em. Maybe I can find someone who will know." The woman motioned for her to follow. "Name's Red by the way."

"Thanks. I'm Amata"

"Amata. Never heard that name before. It has a nice ring to it." the doctor commented as she walked through the grounds.

"Here," she said, pointing to redheaded woman standing near a tent. "Her name is Nova, she'll know how to find who you're looking for."

Before Amata could say anything the woman turned and appeared to size her up. Amata did the same. Nova was a sultry sort of attractive but she had a glassy look in her eyes. The way she carried herself made her seem much older, but on the surface Nova couldn't be much older than she was. Amata got the feeling Nova must have been a drug user at one time, many wasters were.

"You must be Amata." The woman's voice was husky, she didn't sound too excited to see her.

"Yes. Do I know you?" Amata questioned.

"No, but I know you." Nova said, her tone suggested she didn't have too high of an opinion of her.

"Uh, okay…" Amata said slowly, "Do you know where I can find Lucy West and Billy Creel?"

Nova seemed to look down on her as she responded, "I do."

Amata was getting frustrated with this Nova. "Are you going to tell me?"

"No." the lady said simply, taking a drag from a cigarette and blowing the smoke at Amata.

"What's the problem?" Amata said, growing more irritable every second.

"Well, I figured since you made my life difficult I'd at least make yours a little hard too."

Amata was completely at a loss, "I've never even met you! How could I possibly be responsible for that?"

Another woman stepped forward next to Nova, she looked to be about Amata's age.

"What Nova isn't telling you is that one day our friend, Neal returned from the vault in a very depressed state. He wouldn't stop drinking. Eventually he was upset about a girl and kept threatening to kill himself. It wasn't easy." The blonde woman looked familiar, Amata guessed this was Lucy West.

"The Lone Wanderer is special to Megaton since we took him in when he first left the vault. He was injured and scared, but it didn't take him long to start taking out entire camps of raiders. Doing that saved us a lot of trouble as well as our lives. He set right to work at disarming the bomb in the center of town. He even helped me get my brother back." Lucy said, the look in her eye showed she knew what she was talking about.

Amata felt the long suppressed guilt begin to rise up from within. She kept her face neutral as she spoke, "I was sent here to get Lucy West and Billy Creel, not to argue about my past decisions. As regrettable as they are."

Nova snorted in contempt while Lucy appeared to accept this more.

"Actually, Billy's still recovering from his wounds, I'll have to do." Lucy motioned for Amata to follow. As she started off, Amata heard Nova mutter something insulting as she left. She was going to have to look into this Nova more as well as this incident she keeps hearing about.

It was strange to hear Lucy talk about Neal when he first left the vault. This was the first time she'd heard anything about Neal that wasn't regaling his bravery and prowess. It was almost a relief to hear that Neal wasn't always so brave and strong. It made him seem human…unlike now.

Amata made note of yet another group of ghouls entering the premises. She also saw a few mister handy bots and…a woman that looked like someone she knew quite well, but for the life of her, she couldn't remember who.

The meeting was about to begin from the sounds of things. The halls were filled with humans, ghouls, and even a super mutant, all seeming to be heading towards the same place.

Amata continued to follow Lucy who appeared to be nervous, for she kept wringing her hands and taking deep breaths. Amata and Lucy went up a flight of stairs and followed the others into a good sized room, but things were still a little cozy.

Neal and John were standing at the opposite side of the room to everyone else They conversed quietly while the others chatted amongst themselves. Amata noticed Reilly and Sarah talking as well, both seemed rather subdued for some reason.

Neal raised his voice to quiet everyone. Let's get started. First off I'd like to thank everyone for making the trip, I know it's not an easy one. In case you haven't met some of your future allies, I'll go around the room and introduce everyone."

Sarah was surprised at how many people Neal and Reilly had managed to bring in to this budding alliance. When he addressed the room, he sounded every bit the leader his father was and then some.

A group of ghouls were the first to be introduced. The one in the lab coat, Murphy, was the brains behind the Raven Rock operations while his bodyguard (and rumored lover according to Reilly) Barrett was in charge of security.

Another lone ghoul named Roy Phillips came as a representative of Tenpenny Tower. He admitted that although he didn't particularly like humans, mostly because of how they treated him in the past, he still pledged his support to the cause.

Neal's former companion Charon as well as the super mutant follower Fawkes were both in charge of relations with Tenpenny Tower, now under Roy Phillip's control, as well as underworld and Raven Rock. The two were so damned hard to kill through their years with Neal, it only seemed appropriate that he entrusted them to keep things civil between ghouls and humans.

A young woman stepped forward when Temple of the Union was brought up. She introduced herself as Alejandra Torres, sister to Julian Torres and former slave. She spoke very well despite her background suggesting otherwise. She told of how the Lone Wanderer had aided her people time and again against slavers and even sent her brother, who believed her dead, to see her. Though she was there in the true leader's stead, she pledged full and unwavering support.

Sarah also recognized a Megaton resident standing towards the back. The young woman, Lucy West, was the best they had for a representative with Simms being dead. Having been uprooted Sarah wondered what life would be like for the Megatonians here at the fort. It would be vastly different from having your own home, but it was better than the alternative.

It was something to see. All of the contacts Neal had made over the years finally cashing in. It was a little odd for everyone seeing the Lone Wanderer and Courier without their armor. Instead the two were both wearing tightly fitting shirts and military style cargo pants that ran the length of the leg and tucked into black combat boots. Even without true armor, both the courier and the wanderer looked like weapons. They stood with their arms folded at the other side of the room, personifying the leader look quite well.

Neal stepped forward cutting the chatter to silence. "Before we plan our attack on the Citadel, I need to give out a few special assignments. The rest of you may take a few minutes to talk amongst yourselves, but I ask that you leave this room. As the room cleared, only Amata, Sarah, Reilly, and John remained. Murphy lingered near the door, he adjusted his glasses and stepped in next to Neal.

Neal played with his pip-boy for a bit before speaking.

"Amata. To use your set of skills properly, you're going to need some training in stealth and scouting. I would recommend you be one of the first to use the Operation: Anchorage simulation to learn how to fight. It's not quite the real thing, but it's still very effective. Your job is going to be tough, but I can think of no one else who could succeed. I need you to move around the wastes and persuade the holdout groups to move to a more secure location. If they choose to stay where they are and wait it out they will be massacred." Neal's voice was grave. Judging by John's expression, Neal wasn't exaggerating.

"I know it might sound like most of your work is out in the field, but where you are needed most is here. Reilly and Lucy are going to need your help running this place. That's something you're already familiar with. At any rate I had Murphy put together recon armor. Any questions?"

Amata was humbled at the importance of her duties, but also a little intimidated at what she was up against. She shook her head indicating she had no questions. The ghoul scientist moved over towards Amata and handed her a surprisingly light outfit so she could look at it.

"The measurements might be a little off but it should work for now. I can fix when you get back if it's uncomfortable." He said curtly.

Neal appeared ready to move on to the next subject. Everyone appeared to sense this and went silent.

"Julian is also going to be running recon missions. His job will deal with supply lines and scouting. He's a good shot and knows a quite a bit about running caravans. If supply lines get cut off during an invasion, all the Legion will have to do is starve everyone out. Which is something that goes both ways, but we'll get to that later. Julian will also be helping Gallows keep an eye on the Legion progress. He has already been briefed on his duties." Neal said, shifting his attention to Reilly.

"Reilly and her rangers will be serving as expeditionary forces. While they won't see as much direct combat they will be vital. Reilly's rangers are keeping this stronghold as a functioning refugee camp as well as center for trade caravans. Her mercs will also be in charge of guarding these caravans. Her troops will work in severing Legion supply lines as well as maintaining our own. They will also provide support to Brotherhood soldiers and use their explosives expertise to its full advantage."

"As for the other places that have been recruited into this alliance, they each have their own contribution. Raven Rock will be providing a lot of tech. New weapons, upgraded armor, even some rebuilt robots. Right now they're working on putting the eye-bots back out there. Without the music of course."

Everyone laughed though it was little to ease the tension.

Reilly nodded, "We're ready."

Neal finally turned to Sarah.

"The Brotherhood will have to be the muscle of this operation as your soldiers are the most highly trained and best equipped. Things have been running short lately, but John and I have taken care of that. The Operation: Anchorage simulation will help you train soldiers faster. A friend of John's will also be arriving in a few months to consult you on a few things they picked up while fighting the Legion back west. You're entire force will need to be strong and resilient. You will lose men, there is no avoiding it unless John and I succeed in the Midwest." He stopped for a moment and let John chime in.

"Let me make this clear. The Legion is not to be negotiated with. They pillage, rape, and murder every lesser civilization they come across. Their strength is in numbers and discipline. Legionnaires do not fear death and never disobey orders, you cannot persuade them to do so. Every settlement they sack will be divided into soldiers and slaves. Able bodied men become Legionnaires, though many die in training. They do not use technology based weapons. So guns, power armor, and mines are not used. They generally attack with machetes and spears, though they do use some power fists among their high ranking officers. The weak, women, and children become slaves. The Legion is prejudiced in its policy, as no women are accepted into their ranks. They use slave collars to subdue their slaves and prevent rebellion. If they keep a captured soldier alive, which is rare, they force them to fight their legionnaires or one another in an arena. They use attack dogs not only for combat but scouting as well. They are not above using spies and espionage to advance their agendas. If any of you are ever approached to speak to their leaders, do not accept it unless you are given a golden pendant called the mark of the Caesar. Only under that premise are you to even think about entering a Legion camp. They like to surprise and ambush with numbers to make up for their lack of firepower and armor. What they don't have in technology they make up for in toughness and skill, do not underestimate them." John appeared to be finished.

Neal looked around at the small contingent. "Is everyone good?"

He was answered by a number of hesitant nods.

"Then it's time to plan our own invasion. We make preparations and leave tonight."

John exited the room and came back with the rangers, clad in their trademark green armor.

Neal looked around at the group and pulled out a hand drawn map of the Citadel and the area surrounding from a bird's eye view. He already had a few points marked.

He pointed to the remains of an overpass and maybe a toll or rest stop were just north of the fortress.

"We will rendezvous just north of this location and take it quietly. This will give us a good point to ready for infiltration. We're going to have three teams. The first team will consist of John, Gallows, Julian, and I. We will infiltrate and open the gates. The other two teams, Reilly's Rangers and Sarah will take the main gate."

Neal looked at Murphy for a moment, "Do you have it?"

Murphy smiled and nodded, hefting a massive weapon onto the table. Sarah wasn't sure what it was, but it looked something like a repurposed rock-it launcher. Neal looked over at Brick with a smirk on his face.

"Think you can carry the extra cargo?"

Brick smiled, "No problem." She said sounding almost giddy.

"What is that?" Reilly asked, staring at the bulky weapon.

Neal only smirked, "Let's just say it's a little demo of what our friends at Raven Rock are capable of."

"We don't have much to go on, but check your shots. No doubt there will be friendlies in there. There's not much cover inside the inner gate so be on your toes."

Neal looked to Sarah, "Do you have anything to add? Burke's men are dressed like Brotherhood Outcasts. So if you see black attack. Grey armor is a friendly."

Everyone appeared to understand.

Neal gave everyone a good hard look.

"We've been on the run for a long time. It's time to stop fighting with our backs against the wall. This time, we have the upper hand!"

Everyone gave a shout of support.

"Move out everyone. The vertibirds are waiting!"

John smirked and elbowed Neal as the elite group of soldiers herded from the room, everyone hurrying to get their gear on.

"Did you see those rangers? Looks like the kids are gonna get their first vertibird ride."

The wasteland legends shared a laugh.

A/N: So the last chapter is finally here. It may seem like everything is revealed, but I do have a few tricks left up my sleeve. I've been working on setting this up for the sequel which I anticipate to be a much more intense and engaging story. It will feature both the DC wasteland as well as the Midwest. Also, you will see appearances from both Fallout: New Vegas characters and Fallout 3 characters. This is my attempt it bringing both stories full circle and clashing them head on. I'm taking a risk in attempting to make a modern Midwest Brotherhood and not having played fallout 2, but I will try to make it unique. Anyways, thanks for your support and for sticking with me this far. I really do appreciate you taking the time to read this.

Beta note: I checked this at 4am, to get it out to folks. Any mistakes made are mine, not Reds. Also:

*Jedimind trick* There are no mistakes