Please review! :-)
It is the lifeblood of a fan-fic writer.
FYI this story will be long. Very.
Edit: 12/06/2016. I am very slowly writing material for this, however being on permanent night shifts for the past two years means I'm always bloody knackered. I'm currently re-editing the story. By adding items that are also in Fallout 4. For example, Vertibird pilots now have the Lancer designation attached to them.
Capitol with a Capital C
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
- Anne Frank.
Anno Domini 2294. Novus Diluculo 217. Prologue
After the Lone Wanderers journey through the wastes in the years 2277 and 2278, the Capital Wasteland has become something of a beacon. One of real hope and promise upon the eastern shores of the United States.
One of the only places with vast amounts of pure radiation free water and fertile plant life, the mass immigration coming from every direction has brought significant political clout to the newly formed Capitol Republic.
The newly fledged political entity began with the successful start of 'project purity.' The brainchild of James Lancaster, the father of the Lone Wanderer, Chris Lancaster.
With the East Coast Brotherhood of Steel and Rivet City Security working in unison to give free 'aqua pura' to everyone in the wastes and the ruins of Washington D.C. The need for survival of the fittest, strongest and deadliest lessened somewhat, leading to mutual co-operation which began to flourish after the crushing defeat of the Post-war American Government, the infamous Enclave.
Civilization had finally arrived in the Capital Wastes.
'The Lone Wanderer,' fabled stuff of Wasteland legend and the bane of the worst humanity had to offer was at the forefront of this revival.
With the inauguration of Lancaster as Steel Chairman of the Capitol Republic following his assistance in setting up the new state. A political post made to accommodate the East Coast Brotherhood into the fledgling state's executive.
It gave this new government massive wasteland support and appeal as their savior was now at its head.
In 2284, Rivet City with the assistance of Elder Lyons of the Brotherhood of Steel and with the negotiating skills of Sentinel Lancaster and his wife Sentinel Sarah Lancaster (nee Lyons) offered all the major of the major settlements of D.C. a mutual defense and trade treaty which each town readily agreed too.
The agreement, officially coined as the 'District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia trade accord' eventually became the precursor for membership into the newly dubbed Capitol Republic; young, old and re-settled communities across the Capital Wasteland quickly joined over the coming years.
The United States Capital had taken its first steps on the road to recovery and as an infant; its first steps would be plagued with difficulty
for war, war never changes.
Galaxy News Radio Broadcast: The Capitol Republic: The Capital Wasteland
"Hellloooo Wastelander's it is I, Three Dog, once again giving you the truth, whether you like it or not!
You know folks I've been around a long time, seen and heard shit you wouldn't believe, and now after nearly twenty years on the radio, I'm finally going to have a short break from the 'good fight' nearly everyone's fighting it now, HELL YEAAAH!
We've made it children of the waste; this Capital Wasteland is alive and breathing again! Phew, just thought I'd get that off my chest. No need to go all mushy on me.
Don't worry, though, as long as I still have breath you will hear the harsh and slightly less harsh truths of this new more verdant Wasteland. But a guys gotta sleep and rest, you dig? You'll be hearing a few new voices on Galaxy now, but of course, Three Dog will still be at the top… barking down to all of you… the news.
Now, remember kiddies, just because those new green trees are out there lapping up all this Wasteland sunshine doesn't mean it's going to scare the raiders or slavers off. Reports are coming through that some of the western raider tribes having been using some of the plants and shit for… get this, camouflage ha! What will they come up with next? A grass skirt or even a god forbid a… tree suit? Ha ha ha!
In other news, Fort Independence is now deserted, it looks like those black and red Outcasts have just up and left. Sightings indicate that a large group of Obsidian and Scarlet 'demons' were moving west towards D.C, others say moving west and south-ish, seriously I can't make this shit up!
Either way, though, it looks like these boys and girls have left their humble abode to find some new things to play with, in whichever directions they've gone. Now don't be getting idea's folks, that place is bound to be bobby-trapped to hell, so whatever thoughts you may have just had… forget about it and think of something else, like Loving someone Tender by our very old but still King, Mister Elvis Presley.
Now this is Three Dog as always, and you're listening to Galaxy News Radio, the Capitals number one radio station. Holla and enjoy the music!"
"If it's big, green and looks like its going to kill you, do the right thing and kill it first, okay?"
- Sentinel Sarah Lancaster.
Saturday 4th July 2294. 13.18 EST: The Citadel. Elder Lyons quarters.
"How are my grandchildren Sarah? How long has it been? Two months since I last saw them? Maria takes after you, you know, headstrong and stubborn." Owyn Lyons, Sarah's father, laughed heartily at his own statement. However, it soon turned into a further coughing fit.
Sarah grimaced at the sight of him in such a state.
"Father… are you okay? Have some more water please."
The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel Elder looked meekly at the glass, he had been reduced to laying in bed most days. The fatigue of old age and wasteland exposure finally succumbing him to this bedroom bunker view. Her father composed himself took the cool glass of liquid and drank a mouthful.
"Water won't fix this my darling. Nor medicine, you already know that. Now... now, tell me of any recent developments Sentinel." He had taken his thought processes from his family back to the Brotherhood.
Sarah knew that it meant. He was ready to sleep after she had given her report of yesterday's activities, it had become routine now for him to pass from one topic of conversation to another in an instant. She sighed and began her daily report.
"Elder, we have six new initiates in training. They have all completed their initial fitness program and are now on to live fire training as we speak. Some of our brothers are upset upon taking teenage recruits. They are the first from Vault 101 after the agreement with their charming Overseer. At least that has allayed some of their fears of wasteland 'rabble' joining, The fact Chri... Sentinel Lancaster was from Vault 101 has kept their prejudice leashed. They are in the minority, thankfully Elder."
Her father just nodded.
"Knight Maxson has also returned from the field with Junior Knight Vargas, Ramos and Paladin Hoss. Hoss has reported increased activity near Paradise fall's as well as Fort Bannister; it appears they have been re-garrisoned by an as of yet unknown force. He also informs me that Knight Maxson is turning out to be a terrific and focused member of his scouting team and also indicates that he should soon be promoted to Paladin for some of his recent efforts."
"Slavers and Talon no doubt. No matter how many are killed, more returned… and Arthur I knew he'd become a great brother… the line will continue…" Owyn mused, as if to himself.
"Carry on Sentinel." He stated once more, the formality of this last part of her daily ritual always slightly wounded her. It felt cold, yet she knew it was protocol and her fathers' way of distancing himself from the weak condition he was now in.
"Scouts have also noted increased sighting of the trait... erm… the Outcast's in the D.C. ruins; both near to Arlingtown and Eisendria. As per your orders, we have declined battle every time we've ventured across them."
Her father always refused to call them traitors, even if Sarah believed they were.
But by his order, they were still to be treated with decency. Which meant in Sarah's case, she wouldn't fire a couple of Plasma rounds into their traitorous Jet Black and Rust Red Powered helmets.
Still, they had been her brothers and sisters. Adam did not wish for the death of his son Cain after the betrayal and murder of Abel after all.
"Ah, I am glad of that, I do not wish for our brother's blood to be split. Soon, very soon they will realize I made the right decision… for the Brotherhood and for the people here. Even if they do not accept it and continue to shun us."
"Of Course Elder, Steel Preserve us and make it true," Sarah said with a mustering of conviction.
Even if she disagreed with her father's Outcast policy, the Sentinel believed that he would be proven right or at least she hoped he was.
"There is nothing else of note; therefore I shall take my leave now Elder." As she walked towards the exit, Sarah peered back periodically at her father. She heard his faint voice behind her in between a further coughing fit.
"Sarah, I… you're an exceptional woman and... I... know that I... I.. love you."
He's not said those words in such a long time. Sarah mused, a swell of emotion coming to the forefront of her mind.
Looking back again briefly, she silently mouthed the words back to him. Tear's started to trail down from her eyes, streaming down her cheeks, turning her fair complexion, wet and ruddy. Sarah finally left her father's room after seeing him relax into yet another troubled slumber. Standing in the doorway, she repeated what she had faintly voiced before, yet louder and with tender sincerity.
"I love you father."
The Sentinel now donned on her Helmet which she had earlier placed on an outside desk-table and left the room. Closing the door lightly behind her as not to disturb his ever-increasing time of rest.
Her father never heard what she'd just uttered. It would be last time Sarah Lancaster would see Elder Owyn Lyons, the Ember of Hope for the Capital Wastelands and her devoted father alive.
"It is said that patience is a virtue, that is true… but so is putting a 50. Calibre round into a super mutant master's head from a mile away, I call that virtuous right there."
- Sentinel and Steel Chairman Christopher Lancaster.
Saturday 4th July 2294 13.20 EST. Libertyville: the Old Lincoln Memorial. Capitol Congress.
Meeting after meeting. It was utterly tedious.
Do people always have to arrange them just to organize another? Chris thought cynically.
Trade negotiations were what this particular assembly was called for, but all he ever heard was constant bickering between the Capital Republic (CR) Representatives and then deceitful smiles whenever representatives from other non-Republican communities came to make a petition, deal or barter agreement.
He wanted to be back at the Citadel with his wife Sarah, and he wanted to see James Jr and Maria his children in Vault 101 or 'Vault town' as some Wastelanders were now want to call it. A terribly uninspired name for his old childhood home but it served its purpose.
It fits, I suppose. Dull grays and stark whites don't make for interesting monikers. He pondered mirthfully.
"…Chairman Lancaster do you have anything to add?"
Damn! What had they just been talking about? He'd been daydreaming again.
Right, okay. From the beginning.
Trade negotiations. Annesplace, a community slightly north-east of the Capital Wastes, or rather the Capitol Republic, had sent an envoy of sorts to broker a deal with the caravans of the Canterbury circuit, the caravans already went there, but this was just making it official.
The community was to sign the 'District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia trade accords.'
It was a piece of paper talking about water quota's, cap to water prices ratio's for transportation, Brahmin milk, and meat procurement, fruit and vegetable seed exportation, et cetera, however it was the original agreement that had bound the settlements of old D.C together.
It was important, remarkably so, he just didn't wish to be here and listen to all this superfluous politicking. The accord required that security is sent to the settlement for its defense which was why his approval was needed and why he was obliged to attend this current meeting.
"Representative Yale I… have nothing to add, no." That was an inner cringe moment. Yale would remember that point scored. Bastard. Laugh it up.
"If that's the case then Chairman, I'm sure the Annenite Envoy would be most gracious, as well as the whole council, if you would just sign the accord for our two communities to work closer together."
Yale, a toady and a buffoon from Rivet City. He had the political ambitions of a certain Representative Bannon who was also sat at the table of Congress. Yale possessed none of Bannon's acumen or indeed intellect; his only redeeming quality was his rather refined attitudes for the art of political protocol. The primary reason Yale held office was for the fact he and Bannon were dear friends of one another.
Chris could see how some, not all but some of the Council members desired and basked in the new-found authority they held. At least those that were craven idiots would be voted out soon enough. The joys of a democracy eh?
"Of course, I would be most honored, give her majestic Anne, our warmest regards and I hope the rest of your stay in the Capital will be most pleasant."
After those honorifics, the paper was signed with an old workable pre-war pen, just a small signature and another community had joined the Capital Republic in all but name.
With that three-hour session over, the meeting would soon be finished. Lancaster was glad because the next council assembly he was required to attend was two weeks away, more than enough time to have some fun, see his family and also celebrate his birthday.
The Council speaker Hannibal Hamlin standing up was a sure sign of that the assembly was about to be dismissed. Lancaster waited patiently, seemingly in anticipation of stretching his legs and getting off his damned seat.
"…and on to our next topic; the reclamation of the Capitol Building, so this Republic can sit where it truly belongs. It has been mired in the dust for too long!"
Cheers and claps of approval echoed across the old memorial for one of the former United States previous presidents.
He noted some of the momentarily confused expressions of the other council members close to him, before they too began to applaud, this subject was news to them as well. It mattered not he thought, he would listen and analysis yet again but Chris realized that it would be a long, long day playing politician.
"Your loyalty was unquestioned, your genius unsurpassed but most of all your friendship meant everything to me, it gave me strength and fortitude when I needed it most, you are my brother, and I will miss you dearly, as will we all."
- Elder Owyn Lyons: Part of his Eulogy at the Funeral Pyre of Head Scribe Reginald Rothchild, 2291 Anno Domini.
Saturday 4th July 2294 13.25 EST. The Citadel: Courtyard and Bailey.
Sentinel Sarah Lancaster marched across the courtyard of the Brotherhood of Steel's Citadel, the beating heart of the East Coast Organisation.
Looking inquisitively from side to side and observing the routine behavior of some of her brothers and sisters. Sarah attempted to lose the memory of her father's suffering from moments ago and shake off her sudden cascade of emotions and tears. She thanked the First Maxson that her Helmet would aid in hiding the latter at least.
Sarah finally noticed and overheard one of her Knight Captains.
"May God watch over you all because the way things are looking you won't be able to watch your own backs as well as well each other. Where did you all learn to shoot? Surely you must have had some weaponry in that Vault?"
This was Colvin, one of, if not the best sniper in the Brotherhood. He, however, due to his advanced years had been assigned to instruct new Initiates in firearms training. This particular firing range was focused on side-arm accuracy. The Lesson itself appeared to be catered to using only a single-handed grip. Each Initiate had been issued with their own N99 10mm Pistol, and from her own viewpoint, it looked like it wasn't going well at all.
Fortunately for his recruits, Colvin had taken notice of her presence behind and turned around to salute. But for a moment, the Initiates could breathe easy.
"Praise be to Steel, Sentinel."
"And you Knight Captain. At ease Initiates. Enough of the formalities, how are they doing? I can't say I've been dazzled and amazed by my first impressions but then again my husband didn't look like much when I first saw him." Both of them chuckled at that, Christopher would not have been amused.
"Their fitness is, I must admit, near excellent but they are sub-par at shooting even at a medium distance, ah hell… to be blunt Sentinel, this group couldn't hit a Behemoth if it was 30 meters away. They'll all need Vertibird Angels to keep them from knocking on Saint Peters Pearly Gates in longer than a day."
Colvin quickly turned. Giving some further advice to his new recruits.
"Initiates! Next time, aim for the target you're shooting at. Eye, to iron-sight, to target. Align it together. Focus, Firm grip, deep breathes! Shoulders forward, ahead of your hips. Fully extend your arm but don't lock your elbow. Keep a balanced posture, one foot slightly forward. Bend your knees, if you need to. Not too much Initiate Mack!"
The old veteran continued.
"You know the reason for this exercise! If your primary weapon is disabled while in power armor, it's essential you're able to use one hand to fire a small side-arm such as the N99 and if it comes to the point were one of yours arms are disabled without power armor, you'll have to use one hand. You need to be ready for any and all eventualities. Now back to it soldiers!"
After a few brief nods of acknowledgment from the six, another handful of rounds pottered the outer ring of their respective targets or missed altogether. Little to no change, despite the obvious alteration in firing stance.
These new recruits are a sorry bunch, Sarah Lyon noted.
With the relative peace in the Capitol Area, the art of shooting seemed to have declined somewhat, or it may have just been that this batch of recruits happened to be Vaultie's. There was only one Vault dweller that had an aptitude for long and short range shooting; that was her husband.
In fact, Lancaster had an aptitude for pretty much everything. He was almost perfect. Almost, he was wasn't a very talented cook, he was damn right awful actually.
By Steel, at least they'll be able to use Sub-machine guns. Hold the trigger long enough, and one shot will hit the target. Sarah reasoned it was a hollow thought, of course, H&K MP9's and MP10's didn't grow on trees. Neither did gunpowder, cordite, bullets, and shell casings.
Colvin was getting irritated the longer their target practice continued, that much was obvious to her. Bullets were being wasted, round after round, and the one thing the Knight Captain hated was ammunition wastage. Especially without signs of improvement.
Miss, miss, outer edge hit, miss, outer edge hit, inner edge hit, miss, miss, miss, miss. Not one Initiate had hit the bullseye, the inner ring or even the middle ring segment.
Sarah intervened quickly to defuse the otherwise calm man's, clear and palpable frustration.
"INITIATES! ATTENTION!" All six promptly turned.
Completely forgetting their past exercise. At least they obey orders well enough.
"I am your Sentinel, this is your task. Those targets over there! I want at least five of the next ten shots from all of you hitting the center mass, or you'll be doing laps around the courtyard until sunset. Is that understood?"
The look of horror and abject terror on their faces was clear, after a brief few seconds of bewilderment they all saluted and returned to their new, near unattainable training exercise.
Sarah inwardly grinned. Knowing their accuracy; this was going to be an improbable task, at least they'd get a tan under the Wasteland sun.
It was only half one in the afternoon and the middle of summer. After seeing her father still sick and bedridden that little thought brightened her already cloudy day somewhat.
Colvin laughed heartily. Sarah could have almost read her old comrade's thoughts.
That'll show them for squandering the Brotherhood's practice shells.
"My Mummy and Daddy have killed lots and lots of people for being mean and nasty and really evil if you think they'll let you take MY sweet roll… your dead wrong and Malcolm won't let you! Malcollmmmm!"
- Maria Katherine Lancaster at age seven, Vault 101 Kitchen Alpha.
Saturday 4th July 2294 14.48 EST. Vault 101: Vault Main Entrance. Known to many Wastelander's as Vault Town.
"Maria! Maria Katherine Lancaster! Don't you dare be leaving the Vault without a proper escort, you can only go out if you're with your parents or me!"
A stern look crossed the old man's features.
"Your Pa and Ma said you aren't supposed to go out now, not after the first time! There's a reason why you and your brother are here ma'am and that ain't just because your Pa wants you to have the same education as him and everyone else from one ooh one. There's bad people out there, ma'am, evil people that would do harm to you just to hurt your Ma and Pa. I'd be torn to piece if anything, anythin' at all where to happen to you and your brother little miss. An' well I'm sure your mom would tear me to pieces as well."
Her minder anxiously gulped after the last part.
Maria sighed, she was treated like a prisoner just because her parents were famous and leaders of the Republic in all but name.
Because apparently nasty evil people would take her and James away and do mean, bad things to them.
Malcolm, her babysitter bodyguard, was equally scolding and guilt tripping her again into staying in the vault where she was 'safe' and not venturing out into Megaton or the wastes. Maria frowned.
Mally always does this! She supposed it was because he cared.
"Sorry! But Mally it's just soo boring in here, it's just Vault subject classes, then wasteland survival lessons… what's the point in those if we... we can't go there? It's rubbish and stupid! We're told this so we can survive out there so why keep us in here?"
Maria was only nine years old but had the intelligence of someone far beyond her years, she was making a convincing argument as well. At least for a child, one that Malcolm Raymond kept underestimating time and time again, he grudgingly admitted. He knew what the wasteland had to offer, though, it wasn't a place for children and especially not young girls.
He had been a slave that Maria's father had rescued some time ago, way before she and her brother were born, but before that, he'd been a Regulator. The self-appointed Justicar's of the Capital Wastelands; Judge, Jury, and Executioners.
Her Vault class teachers had told her that much. He had been captured, the old Regulator hadn't told her how, where or why. She eventually got used to not knowing, as Malcolm had gotten used to her continuously asking.
As soon as his freedom had been re-earned in the blood, sweat and gore of the once 'great' slaver hub The Centre, (once known as Centreville). Way to the west of 101, he had at that point sworn his loyalty and eternal friendship to her father and in extension his children when they were born.
He had on numerous occasions protected the young children from the wasteland's perils and had been made an honorary member of her mother's old Pride unit, which included pre-war T-45d Power Armour and the training to wear it. On its right pauldron lay the Pride's emblem; recently a 101 had also been painted on both the chest plate and back plate of his now favorite working attire. It also symbolized his new residency.
Malcolm's expertise with small arms was excellent; combined with nigh impenetrable defenses for the average raider gang, it made him a brilliant bodyguard, however not a very adept babysitter.
After all, he had to sleep sometimes, and that's when little miss Lancaster would make her short attempted excursions to the bustling combined settlements of Megaton-upon-Springvale, or just 'Megaton' for short.
She'd already succeed twice, the first being the most 'traumatic' for Maria and him, the second not so much… there wasn't going to be a third time, not on his watch.
"Now, now, I hear ya loud and clear young lady but still, the wasteland ain't a safe place for nine-year-olds." She promptly pouted and walked towards the Vault atrium. Maria had been caught once more, she'd have to be sneakier next time.
He groaned in exasperation, at least her brother wasn't like this. In either case, harsh words were going to be said to which ever Vault-sec guard failed to stop a nine-year-old child from nearly, yet again escaping the Vault.
The wearied regulator chuckled to himself.
"At least we know which side of the family she takes after." He said to no one in particular. Now he would go and knock some heads together, metaphorically speaking of course.
"Regulate, Pacify and Liberate, three of our five rules. The fourth, if you're a jackass and treat everyone like Brahmin shit your trigger finger comes off. The fifth rule… don't get shot, dusters aren't bullet-proof, neither are those hats and brain stains are hard things to get out of Brahmin Leather."
- Pacificator Lucas Simms, former sheriff and ex-mayor of Megaton after his return from retirement and back to Regulating.
Saturday 4th July 2294 16.13 EST. The Capital Wasteland: Near New Grayditch.
It had taken just under an hour to get to the eastern entrance of Grayditch unlike what his Vertibird Pilot Lancer-Knight Philip Artemas had predicted fifty or so minutes ago.
"Sir, with all due respect…why would you walk when you can fly? I'll never understand you. It'll take you hours on foot, I swear, but if you insist, I'll be in radio contact with you Sentinel."
Artemas was one for lazily traveling from place to place while he just wasn't; fast travel wasn't his thing besides… he didn't really like being in the air; he told that to no one. He had bad memories of past air voyages.
"I do insist Knight Artemas and thanks. I'll call if I need assistance or if I'm feeling lonely out in the wastes and want a friendly chat, you know my channel."
Artemas just huffed, saluted and got on the Vertibird he named 'Angela.' After finally sitting in the cockpit, he gave the Sentinel one of his usual conservation ending remarks.
"Sure do Sir. Two, One, Six… and remember Sir, your Archangel Angela will be there when you need it, she may not be the prettiest, but she'll lay holier than thou wrath and fury on our enemies, may God forgive them all."
It was only two miles or so away; besides he wanted some fresh air after being let out of that council session. It was only four in the afternoon judging by the wasteland sun. Looking down at his left forearm, the dimly lit Pipboy 3000 made his estimate a pretty accurate one '16.13 Eastern Standard Time.'
The assembly went just as he assumed it would, an hour of grandiose designs and plans for the New 'Capitol' followed by disagreement on the cost, security, and maintenance of the building. He cared not, sitting down 'discussing' was all well and good, yet their discussions did very little. Action was what he did best.
Intelligence from both Rivet naval watch and Brotherhood recon had indicated that raiders or what looked like Raiders had been sighted near Big Town and former Langley near to the shores of the Potomac.
Apparently, it was a large gang of around fifty or so. Lancaster would scout it out and either make contact with them if they weren't raiders or bring in reinforcements, asking them once politely to surrender if they were.
Not like that would work, however, they would needlessly and stupidly fire upon him and his brothers, thus dying unnecessary deaths. This was usually the case. He would also be able to visit his beloved children along the way; Vault 101 was approximately in the same direction, northwest of where he was now. It had been a few days since he last saw them and he couldn't wait to see either of them again.
But now to the present, don't let your mind wander, like in that council session. He needed to stay focused.
Lancaster was closing in on the gates of the community now. As were a pair of the towns Militia. One male, one female. The welcoming committee.
Both were attired in rather weathered looking leather armor, over that they bore dust Grey cloaks. Upon their brows sat dark brown Yao Guai fur rimmed cowboy hats. They were all the rage this year, apparently. The pair were also shouldering antique yet newly polished hunting rifles.
"What business do ya bring to New Grayditch? Hope it's gonna be the friendly kind, we don't want no trouble but if you makes it and starts it... well, we'll end it. We got Brotherhood here."
The spiel came from the male, as he leveled his rifle at Lancaster. Nervy words, twitchy fingers. It was usually the case. A dangerous combination, in all honesty.
Before he could respond, however, the female lambasted the male sentry with gusto. Perhaps it was the attire, or perhaps it was due to the fact he'd just revealed his stubble-ridden face from under his russet hood.
"Redge, you are an idiot! Put your gun down! This… this.. it's the Lone Wanderer…" she momentarily stopped as if to recall something or somethings, she then began her speech anew.
"The Diffuser of Megaton, The Scourge of Paradise Falls, Saviour of The Centre, Cleanser of the Pitt, Purifier of the Potomac, Sentinel of the Capitol, Justicar of the East, The Baltimauler, Crusader of the wastes, Legend of…"
He interrupted her this time, knowing full well, that she could potentially have gone on until God knows how long. The sentry was no doubt another ardent fanatic of Galaxy News Radio, those epithets had Three Dogs creative handy work all over them.
"Yes, I'm the 'Lone Wanderer' miss but… please call me Chris, it's shorter and well, a lot easier to say than that long list you just brilliantly recited from memory." He said with a gentle smile and touch of flattery.
"I have come to rest, eat and see your Steel Warden, is she here now?"
To the truly blind, the term Steel Wardens would mean little. The position had been crafted for the Capitol Republic, with his father-in-law's blessing.
All Wardens were Brotherhood Knight's or above and were in nearly all cases, Wasteland born. They were Guardian's of their respective communities, as well as seekers of knowledge around the local area, as per the tenants of the Codex.
They liaised with the Regulator Justicar attachments which each Capitol settlement now also had; upon approval of the regional Pacificator and Regulator Mistress, the fabled
This newly fashioned arrangement was the begins of an infantile police force. The Cities, townships, and villages all over the world used to have them before the bombs fell.
"Of course… er… Chris, she's in the Dot's Diner Outhouse along with one of those Pacificator's… we ain't ever seen one of them before, there supposed to really good Regulator ain't they? Redge says you get to be one of them after chopping off over a two hundred Ar's and Esse's fingers but there ain't many Ar's and Esse's around D.C nowadays, still though I'm sure there's…" he interrupted her again.
"Yes miss, they're excellent Regulators. Some of the best; if a Pacificator is in your town, there won't be much trouble from either Slavers or Raiders. Anyway, thanks for the directions, I won't bother you any longer. Goodbye, the both of you."
He walked away swiftly after that and towards the directions he'd just been given. Leaving the two gate sentries to resume their assigned duty. He simply couldn't stop and chat to everyone. Especially hero worshippers. It wasn't that hard to be recognized when posters of his person had been put up in most towns around the Capital Wasteland, however recently it was. Moira Brown's handiwork, of that he held no doubt.
Speak of the Deathclaw!
He'd just seen one in fact…
"Do your part today! Let the Wanderer rest his feet for once."
Join the Capitol Republic security force.
Recruitment centers are situated in Megaton, Big Town, Rivet City, Canterbury Commons, Arlingtown, The Rest, and Libertyville.
CR-sec works in unison with Rivet Naval Watch, C.W. Regulator Division and the Brotherhood of Steel.
He grinned at the picture, it made him look far more handsome than he actually was. His old duster hat that he hadn't donned in years was on his head, it also seemed to be remarkably clean. Chris also noted that he had somehow grown a quite healthy and cleanly trimmed beard. He temporarily grieved for his old Vandyke, it had been shaven upon orders of his wife Sarah as it scratched and irritated her...sensitive areas.
"I'll leave it at that." He muttered to himself, he couldn't be thinking of her, especially now he had an assignment to do, even if it was a self-appointed one.
He continued on toward Dot's Diner. Not much was remarkably new here, except there were far more people, he had counted past fifty and gave up; derelict buildings were now being reused again, and small tufts of olive colored grass were slowly shooting up in some places.
Further down the cracked, pot hole ridden street, he spotted the Outhouse. It was a prefab building, with the usual assortments of scrap metals welded and bolted together to make a surprisingly sturdy structure. Next to the building and adjacent to the Walled entrance was a sentry tower, constructed of what it looked to be more scrap material, the base, and lower section, however, had a purely Enclave design to it. He shuddered slightly at the contemplation of his and the Capital Wastelands former adversaries. At the top of this tower flew what looked to be a recently made flag.
It was the Capitol Republic Flag.
Merged together to make it was the Pre-War American Capital's District flag, the Brotherhood Insignia and one of the old pre-war ancient civilizations symbols for water.
The background was white, with two red stripes going across it horizontally, one above and one below the center. Two conjoined open
Steel Grey wing's held the central piece, overlapping and folding outwards, while in the middle of this between the upper and lower red stripes, lay a white inverted triangle, surrounded by a dark blue, almost as if it were an island flanked on all sides by grays and reds. Above this, and higher than the most northern red stripe sat a lonesome crimson five-pointed star, it's heart pierced and crisscrossed by two steel blades.
He momentarily admired his handiwork, it was his design after all and was far enough away from the Old United States flag not to bring back memories of the Enclave and its dreaded President Eden who failed in his attempt at genocide all those years ago.
Upon reaching the Warden Outhouse, he overheard behind the makeshift doorway a rather young female and mature male trading words with one another, the first voice he perceived was that of the woman, it sounded both youthful and determined.
"…Simms, I know the rules by now, so do you; it's your rank and file I'm worried about!" He heard a pause, then the female spoke once more.
"…to be frank, I don't see how your two Regs can post fifteen fingers to this office in the past week… when there's been no reported sightings of any Baltimarauders, Slavers, Talon merc's, Raiders or God damn Fredberg rustlers for at least a month! Does that sound at all legitimate to you?"
The silence seemed as if this particular Pacificator agreed with the New Grayditch Steel Warden.
"I want, or rather, I request that you place a watch on these two Justicars." Chris heard a new voice, it sounded old and wizened with a hint of irritation in it.
"Mag…" the male hesitated.
"…Steel Warden Creel, I understand what you're suggesting if there's any support for this theory of yours I will deal with my Regulators personally. I can assure you of that, but there's not. Besides, do you think I could order another of my Regs to spy on other Regulator's for you?" His voice was getting louder and more irritable.
At this point, Chris decided to knock on the aluminum plated door to disrupt the apparent tension. It did so, somewhat at least. It was shortly followed by the female voice again.
"State your business please, I'm in the middle of an important discussion."
"Grey Steel shines beautifully in the shade as well as in sunshine," he quoted "…or as they say in Megaton, don't shoot the bomb, jackass."
The door was opened immediately by the wizened old male.
"Well, well, well if it ain't the main One Ooh One himself, can't say you aged well old man." A slight snigger came from his wasteland toiled lips.
The Sentinel retorted quickly.
"Look who's talking Lucas, you been sunbathing near the Potomac then running around naked in a Rad storm? You're looking hideous… as always." He replied with an over the top wink and mischievous smile.
All he heard was more laughter coming from the gentleman in front of him.
"…Heh heh! Looks like you lost your manners after all this time too." Pacificator Luca Simms said, he promptly stuck out his gloved right hand to shake Lancaster's own.
It was heartily accepted. Both gentlemen however turned around when a women's voice cut short their little reunion.
"May we forever stand vigilantly in the shade and in sunshine…"
It was only when the Steel Warden spotted him, did her demeanor change. Gone, was her taciturn tone, it was instead replaced by surprise and anxiety.
"…Sentinel, this is entirely unexpected. I was just updating our local Pacificator on some of his Regulators, is there… well… erm, anything… anything at all I can help you with?"
"Yes in fact, first, though, drop the Sentinel, the name's Chris or Christopher if you prefer to be a bit more formal, anyway, Steel Warden Creel? Little Maggie eh? All donned in T-45d." He answered jovially, as a grin sweep across his features. Lancaster chuckled to himself, he saw that her cheeks had turned a bright crimson.
"I need to have a look at your armory, I'll pay for the expense myself, so New Grayditch can restock what I take."
Warden Creel seemed to regain her composure… or so he thought.
"Chris…wow you're…well old, no erm… I meant your older, er damn I mean… you look different…I…you look… well, really…wow."
The Sentinel smiled at her sheer awkwardness, while, to his right, Luca Simms mirth was downright obvious. He laughed and laughed, then after his merriment subsided, he finally found the opportunity to speak.
"Well, well, Maggie. It didn't take a lot to break that barrier of 'strict military protocol' down. You're standing in the presence of a living legend, and you're just spouting random nonsense outta your mouth, I reckon I detect a crush, heh heh! My boy Harden won't be liking that heh heh! It's not a good idea to fancy one of the bosses either… especially when the one in charge of him is his wife…"
Chris shot a glare in his direction, it didn't stop the once retired Regulator.
"...and his Pa in law. I mean yeah, the guys famous and… he's got piles of caps but come on. He looks like a Yao Guai's moulted on that jaw, decided to shit on that face of his, then for lasting measure thought practicing some vicious paw swings on those cheeks would be a good idea. Hey, at least it weren't one of them giant Polartic Guai's from way up north… then he'd be looking dreadful." Simms turned to him, looking extremely amused with himself.
"Hell, one of those Rad Storms will take that fluff off your face you know Lancaster, of course, it would take the rest of your skin off too, but you'd look a mighty damn fine better." It was Simms's turn to cheekily grin and wink at the now laughing Sentinel.
"Shut up, old man!" That was all he could muster in his laughter, as Steel Warden Creel continued to drown in a sea of embarrassment.
"You're clouded by empathy Owyn! We can not afford it. Knowledge is what we seek and what we've been ordered to bring back west, you heard the message! They need our help now and might I add, we are to follow the Codex! I will not order my Knights to guard these wasteland savages, or their 'communities.' These tribals shouldn't be our concern, look at what 'tribals' have done to us out west! Give them an ounce of learning and technology, and they turn against us! I respectfully ask you to reconsider this policy of yours…otherwise, I will take my own steps to rectify this and carry on with the mission we're 'supposed' to be attempting to accomplish."
- Paladin Henry Casdin: Brotherhood of Steel and now Outcast, said in conservation with Elder Owyn Lyons. The day before the East Coast Schism. Circa 2276: Anno Domini.
Saturday 4th July 2294 17.35 EST. The Citadel. South-Eastern Battlements.
Sarah Lancaster had continued her inspection of both the courtyard and the outer perimeter of the Citadel upper battlements.
The Point Lookout bound steamboat Prince's delight had stopped on the Citadel's dock point, taking a handful of wastelander's to the southern settlement. The King's fortune was moored on the opposite bank of the Potomac, close to the Jefferson Memorial. While a handful of caravaners and their Brahmins had ventured down L'Enfant, probably on their way to Rivet City.
Nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary, it was… dull and wearisome, in all honesty. A typical day.
That illusion was broken, however, when she noted a newly promoted Knight pacing towards her at an alarming speed, despite being laden in Power Armor.
Something not boring, I hope.
The Sentinel waited for him to catch his breath. He saluted in a lackluster fashion, she'd let him off for that; after all, he'd just run the length of the Citadel up to the rear rooftop battlements to find her, while in T-45d.
"Report Knight…Grayson," she guessed, struggling to remember his last name.
"Grey… ma'am, but thank you for remembering."
Close… not close enough. Her mind berated itself. Yet the young Knight continued.
"Sentinel we have a… a few…umm… guests at the main gate entrance, they have asked for Elder Lyons. However, Knight Captain Bael informed them that you were in command so well… they wish to parley with you."
Parley? Who? That was certainly an interesting choice of word to employ.
"I will make my way there now Knight Grey, thank you," she paused.
"Return to your previous duties."
Upon arriving at the Citadel's main entrance, she saw a multitude of figures surrounded by Knights and Paladins with all assortments of weaponry trained upon on them.
The group had surrendered their arms thankfully. Sentinel Lyon's knew exactly who they were. The closest figure in front took off their Jet black and crimson helmet. He was male, looked to be around sixty years old, with a bald head; what little hair he did have was ashen white as were the unshaven whiskers around his chin, jaws, and neck. His Hazel eyes, which had once radiated anger and defiance, now shone mournfully at her.
"Casdin," she muttered, disbelieving.
"Miss Lyons... or should I say, Mrs. Lancaster?"
"You sure as Hell better not die on me, Christopher Eric Lancaster or I'll never forgive you! By Steel wake up! I'm not becoming a single Parent, and I'm not having my children have hundreds of uncles and aunties but no father!"
- Sentinel Sarah Lyons: Speaking to the Lone Wanderer in his second coma after the Assault on the Raven's Raider tribe of Baltimore: a few weeks before their eventual marriage. Circa 2285 Anno Domini.
Saturday 4th July 2294 17.40 EST: The Capital Wasteland: Close to Route 41-83, the Megaton Way.
Chris had been updated eventually on the New Grayditch Regulators, supposed Irregularity.
Upon hearing that these Justicars were also last seen near the relatively new fishing community of Dove's Walk. He volunteered himself to conduct Steel Warden Creel's investigation, after all by his Pipboy's Atlas it was the next settlement on the way to Megaton and by extension his children at 101 and then further on to the troublesome raider sightings near Big Town and Langley.
He had taken what equipment he need from the rather small Grayditch armory, leaving his Russet trench coat on over his new apparel, Lancaster's Steel Chairman Sliver Grey suit and pants were left for Artemas to pick up, much to the Lancer-Knight's annoyance. Well, at least the Vertibird ace had been given free rein to patrol near to Arlingtown and incinerate any hostile wastelands critters he saw, be it animal or human. That brought delight back to his Guardian angel's voice.
He had put on some dull silverine Combat armor under his old duster, this particular set of protective gear also had some painted segments of Olive green and tanned Bronze, to better fit into the more jaded Wasteland.
Chris had also picked up a former Enclave jury-rigged headset that he connected with his personal radio, it came complete with an earpiece, that was positioned into his left ear. This was for private two-way communication with his pilot, the earpiece would help with keeping conversations from unwanted and unheeded ears.
The Sentinel had also taken the only Scoped Rifle in view, a newly modified and refitted Winchester, complete with an attached Silencer.
Hmm, better than my first BB gun, at least.
That particular BB gun was now mounted on a wall in his and Sarah's quarters at the Citadel. Unless she'd taken it down...again. It'll be the eighth time if she does.
His side-arm he'd kept and wore on a holster at his right side; however, that was now annoyingly clanging on his armored thigh. It was a .44 Magnum revolver with 'Blackhawk' etched into the polished Mahogany handle, he had been given it by an old friend. One who had now, unfortunately, past from this Post-Apocalyptic world.
The Lone Wandering Sentinel continued his journey towards Dove's Walk. He had foolishly forgotten to eat at New Grayditch, so when he arrived he could at least have… whatever they were fishing from the Potomac.
His stomach rumbled at the thought of food but his imagined favorite meal, Brahmin fillet with Obsidian Rad Pepper sauce, washed down with Punga fruit flavored water was broken when he heard six distinct gunshots coming from behind one of the ruined Wasteland structures in the distance.
He'd give two caps for a guess that those shots had come from New Grayditch's Regulators.
"I am Alpha and Omega. The beginning... and the end."
- Revelation 21:6. The Bible.
Saturday 4th July 2294:17.48 EST: The Citadel. Entrance.
This was completely unexpected.
Why had there been no scouts to report such a large group of figures moving towards the Citadel?
No warning's had been issued from the northern battlements either. Sarah reminded herself however that none-confrontation was her father's policy to these traitors.
Still, being told that just under twenty power-armor donned individuals were coming to the central hub of the true East Coast Brotherhood only when they had arrived at the entrance was an enormous security risk and an annoyance to the extreme. She calmed herself, first things first, cooler heads always prevailed, her husband always said, she'd get to the bottom of her sentries blindness later.
Now for diplomacy, not a trait she was good at… but she'd give it a try.
"Sentinel Lancaster, my maiden name is Lyons. I can still roar. Remember that Protector Casdin."
She became annoyed with herself immediately, her use of the word Protector had come out as a veiled insult, and the rest of her sentence had been a threat too.
So much for diplomacy. Sarah thought without cheer. Hopefully, Casdin wouldn't notice.
"I see you've been doing a lot of protecting yourself over the years. A real Sentinel for these… people. Now let us forget these formalities and this attempt at an argument we're having; I have asked for parley and as you are currently leading... our Brotherhood I am hoping you would accept."
"What is it you wish Henry?" Sarah questioned, she also noted his usage of the word our even if it had been stated rather reluctantly.
Protector Henry Casdin moved closer. Weapons were pointed at his person immediately from more than one Knight standing near both leaders.
"Stand down Knights! Protector, I… apologize. What is it that you want?"
The former Paladin moved closer again, much more cautiously this time, her surrounding Brotherhood Knights had stood down, as had the rest surrounding their schismatic old comrades.
Casdin leaned towards her right ear and uttered one word rather sorrowfully and in a hushed tone, one in which only she could hear.