Veritate Venit

DISCLAIMER: I don't own the Fallout franchise. I do, however, own any original characters you see here. This disclaimer is in effect for the whole story.

I suppose I should start at the beginning...

My name is Veritas. Veritas Venitus- I was told my parents misspelled it, but I don't care. I can't really blame them. I am, currently, 19 years old, just shy of six feet, and I weigh in at about 140 lbs. My childhood was...

Different. I am a slave for Mr. Jones, a rich, whiny fuck, who doesn't seem fond of letting any of us outside. We're in an underground bunker, which is safe, I guess, but not really... entertaining. I have the same routine everyday, an annoying bunkmate, and multiple tedious activities. Nothing ever changes, and nothing ever will- or at least, that's what I thought.

In fact, I only have one bright part of my day- Lara. She works in the kitchen, alongside all the female slaves that are considered too young to be in Jones' bed, and seems to always have a smile on her face. Her quarters are across from mine, and we spend a lot of time together during the hour of socialization we have every other day.

Anyways, on the days that I can't talk to her, I usually just kinda laze around, sort of getting my assignments done. I've been lazy since the day I could walk- usually choosing not to. I also eat ridiculous amounts in comparison to the other slaves- usually I swipe all the leftovers. That's one bright side of 'working' for Jones. You never go hungry, despite how insufferable the prick can be.

Now, the day that everything changed for me was just like any other one- I woke up, went to the cafeteria, ate, and went about my duties like any other day. I remember, me and my bunkmate, Jason, were cleaning the bathrooms. Always the worst job.

Oh, yeah. Forgot to mention. Jason is a ghoul. And not the nice, submissive kind, either. Fucker is always in my face, always doing everything he could to aggravate me. He looks like something out of a horror movie, and I swear, everyday another piece of him is gone, rotted away. It looks like somebody took a cheese grater to his face.

Anyways, I was scrubbing away at a particularly nasty...something, when Jay decided to initiate conversation. In the most fucking annoying, gross, just messed up way possible.

He threw part of his ear at me. His ear. His fucking EAR! Rotted, gross, just... ugh. I felt sick, as it splattered against my face. Somehow, something so small just reeked of corpse, and... I don't even know. Just to start a conversation.

"Hey, smoothskin!" he says, his low, gravelly voice clawing at my ear drums.

"What, Jay?" I respond, an annoyed inflection poisoning my words.

"Wanna toss me the sponge?"

"Why, cleaning up part of your face?"

"Very funny, smoothskin. No, I can't find mine. Think Grubby ate it..."

Grubby. Ugh. That was Jason's 'pet' radroach- which, for one reason or another, was completely fucking docile. Everytime Jones made him get rid of it, the thing somehow made it back- and I swear, it's unkillable. It's been stabbed, shot, maimed, and the thing just won't die. And it eats everything.

"...Fine, sure, whatever. But you're doing my part of the work, Jay. Everything has a price- and don't expect me to cover for you if ol' Jonesy comes. At least you don't have to worry about him biting your head off, though. He'd never get the taste of Zombie out of his mouth if he did." I spat, tossing the sponge.

Jason grunted, eyes narrowing. "Watch yourself, smoothskin. There's such thing as 'too far'." he said, cracking his knuckles. I gulped. I might not like the guy, but I've seen him fight. He's... Way outta my league. In fact, a lot of people are completely out of my league. I can't fight, but, I get really lucky sometimes, and hit something important.

Not that I fight a lot. I've been in...three? About that. Only won one of them. But that's besides the point...

Jason must have caught the sponge, because he was scrubbing away tirelessly at something- when we heard a knock on the door, prompting me to gulp. Uh-oh. The only person who comes around when the 'Being Cleaned' sign is up is...

"Jason, gimme my sponge!" I yell, rushing over to him- he was a foot or so away from me. I reach for it, but he withdraws his hand.

"Ah ah ah, Smoothskin. Pay back is a bitch." he teases, baring his rotting teeth in a grin.

I cock back my foot, and bury it into his sternum, momentarily forgetting everything- damn my temper. This was gonna bite me in the ass...

Anyways, as he clutches at his side, I rush towards the door, unlocking it and opening it, as I fixed my hair- staring back at me was Jones, a crooked grin on his face. Next to him was Harry, his bodyguard, and Bear, Jones' dog. Harry didn't like me much, but Jones seemed to have taken a liking to me. Don't know why for either of them.

"Ah, Mister Venitus. Pleasure, as always." Jones said, extending a hand. I gripped it firmly, shaking it. First thing he noticed on me was my lack of a sponge. Second thing? I wasn't sweating.

"Slacking as always, I see..." he says, frowning. Damn. Bastard's perceptive.

"Well, I er.. Uh.. Somebody took my sponge. I was actually going to requisition another..." I lied, scratching the back of my head, while grinning sheepishly.

Tch. I need to work on my lying skills.

Harry glared at me, handing resting on the baton at his waist. Guy loved using it, too- and he was deadly with it. He was also giant- the others say that he came from some military group on the surface, but I don't know. I wouldn't cross him, ever- although, I have a tendency to annoy him whenever I can.

"So, Harry. How's your day been?" I ask, grin fading.

He grunts, shaking his head. Bad. Uh-oh.

"Not gonna talk?"

He stares blankly at me.

"Really? After all we've been through?"

Nothing.

Fun.

I shifted my gaze over to Jones, releasing his hand- had I been holding it this whole time?

"So, uh, boss. Why're you here?"

"To check on you- you're actually the last person on my list, other than Jason. Hrm."

That's me. Last. Always. Had it's benefits- but when I was young it was a little degrading. During class I'd be the last person called for roll call, though, so when I got there late it wasn't a problem.

"Veritas. Question." Jones says, tone shifting.

"Hrm?"

"You have the lowest job completion rate out of everybody. Even worse than Old Man Smithers. And he can't walk."

"I'm not built for work. I'm built for..." I said, struggling to come up with a witty remark. Damn.

"Fix it, Veritas. That's all." he said, turning around, and walking down the corridor. Harry followed him, and I watched them turn around the corridor. I swiveled on my feet, frowning, glaring at Jason.

"Goddamnit, Jay, gimme my damn spo-" I was cut off by a deafening explosion, coming from somewhere down the hall. What the hell? Suddenly, I heard strange, loud pops coming from the hallway, and Jason's eyes widened.

"What's going on?" I asked, panic rising in my voice. I struggled to keep it back, but I was beginning to freak out.

Jason's demeanor changed rather quickly, his eyebrows narrowing. "Gunfire." he spits, coolly

Now, I'd known Jason my whole life. And I know he's been around-in order to become a Ghoul, you have to be exposed to lots of radiation, and survive. I've never seen Jason's eyes look like they do now. Cold. Calculating. I was shaking, frightened. Guns? I didn't know what was happening.

"What do you mean gunfire? Guns? Nobody down here has a gun except Jones and Harry!"

"You heard me, Smoothskin. Guns. We can't stay here- not if there's a gunfight. Go lock the door, and look around. Find something you can use as a sort of weapon."

I stood there, looking dumb, just kinda... glancing around, shaking. Guns? Would I die? What could be happening out there? What i-

"VERITAS! DOOR! WEAPONS! GO!" Jason commanded, as he went into action. He ran into one of the bathroom stalls, and I heard a lot of clanking around. I wasn't sure what he was doing, so I ran over to the exit, and pressed the button for it to close, and then locked it.

My eyes scanned the room, as I looked for a weapon...

All I saw was the room, pretty much empty. There was nothing there. Nothing I could use. I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I jumped, before turning around. It was just Jason.

"Fuck, man, you scared me!" I yelped.

"Calm down." he orders, handing me a pipe. In the stall, water was flowing out. I noticed that his hand had three dog-tags in it- the ones he usually wore around his neck.

"What're you gonna do with those?" I inquired.

"Makes my hits more painful, and do some more damage. I'm better with my fists than I am a pipe. Some keys would be better." he explained. Turning around, he points at the ventilation ducts. "Get that grate off. We're small enough to climb through it."

I nodded, rushing over to it, jumping up onto the sink. Hefting back my pipe, I swung it down with all my strength, smashing the grating. It dents, so I smash it again. And again. And once more- until it finally breaks, and falls off.

"Get in." the Ghoul orders. I nod in agreement, climbing up. I feel him enter into the vents behind me, and I start crawling around. He was silent, barely making any noise, but I... I wasn't. My pipe clanged around, and my elbows hit off the walls.

"Go left three times, and then turn right twice. We'll make it into our room. Gotta get Grubby, and some..contraband."

I grunt in agreement, following his orders. It was cramped in here- I hate small spaces. I also hate Grubby. The gunfire was getting louder, as though it was coming our way. Fuck. I rushed, crawling as fast as I could.

Suddenly, it dropped off, and I fell through a hole in the ceiling. Funny. I never even noticed it. I then noticed that I had landed on Jason's cot. Huh. I stood up, and shifted nervously. The gunfire seemed to just keep getting louder...

Anyways, reviews please. Positive ones will make me want to update, assuming you /want/ me to update. Thanks.

-DBM