A/n: As per my other stories, this one will be canon with a smattering of non-canon surprises. I hope to provide an interesting perspective on many beloved characters, as well as some minor ones that might be overlooked.
Courier number Six is the center of unwanted attention as every power in the Mojave scrambles to figure out her forgotten identity. What will she choose? Will she regain her lost memories?
General stuff about this fic:
This fic is going to be dark. There's no getting around it, especially given the subject matter and content that is in the game itself.
That being said, this fic will mention and may describe slavery, rape, torture, substance abuse, molestation, intense punishment, abuse, bribery, and sex in detail. The rating is M, so this shouldn't be a surprise.
If there is a chapter with graphic sexual content or something that might trigger bad memories for someone (eg: rape scene), there will be a warning in the author's note and the section will be marked with asterisks. I strongly encourage all readers to read each and every author's note so that no misunderstandings will occur.
Sensation slowly returned in stages to Courier number six. The scent of sun-dried laundry pervaded her senses, along with the old, musty scent of a still intact pre-war house. She felt a worn sheet draped over her half-naked body. The next sensation was a hint of pain behind a haze of chems which burned a sludgy swath through her veins.
Courier number six slowly opened her eyes, her vision spinning as the world slowly came into focus.
"You're awake, how 'bout that," a voice sounded off to the right.
The Courier sat up, a wave of nausea threatening to overtake her. A man sat in a chair. He leaned forward, his hands reaching to steady her.
"Easy there," the man chided, "you've been out cold for a few days. Can you tell me your name?"
She stared at him, her mouth open. Name. She had to have a name.
Her mouth shut with an audible click as she realized that she had no idea who she was. Her eyes darted about the room, trying to find something of familiarity that would trigger some form of memory. But as she attempted to remember her name or where she was from, the courier was met with a void of nothingness. Her eyes darted back to the man in front of her.
His expression melted from cautious curiosity to pity.
"It's okay," he murmured, placing a hand on her arm, "you're alive. That's what's important. What's the last thing that you remember?"
Her brow furrowed as something tugged at the corner of her mind.
"A checkered suit," she recalled, "a golden gun-"
Her eyes widened.
"I was shot," the courier mumbled.
She felt light-headed as she came to the realization that she had been so close to death.
"Yes, you were," the man replied.
He reached over to hand her a bottle of water. She mumbled her thanks and unscrewed the lid, taking a measured sip. Her head swam with the knowledge that she didn't know herself. She was a blank slate,
a complete stranger stuck inside her own head.
"I'm Doc Mitchell," he continued, "let's have you take a look at your face."
She took the mirror from the doctor's hand and stared intently into a face that she'd never seen before. In the reflection a young woman stared back with large, hazel eyes. Long, tangled black hair curled about a pale face. She supposed herself to be a possible beauty. These things were superficial.
But the thing she saw most was the wild look in her eyes. In a second, she knew that her expression wasn't what it was supposed to be. It was unsettling; she turned away.
"I have to find that man," she murmured, pointing her gaze at the doctor, "he might know who I am. I have to try."
"I'm not about to stop you, missy," he replied, "but I think you should stop to speak with Sunny Smiles first. You should be able to find her outside. Can't miss her; she and her dog Cheyenne patrol the town."
She slowly stood and began to walk toward the door. A cough made her turn around.
Doc Mitchell held out a jumpsuit, a sad smile on his face.
"The clothes you had weren't salvageable," he said.
Clothes. She couldn't run around without clothes. As she dressed, a look of worry was etched into the doctor's face. It made her feel guilty. She didn't know why.
He turned from her to rifle around in a drawer and the Courier found herself grateful because she didn't want to embarrass herself again with attempting to dress herself. She stared at the jumpsuit, trying to make sense of the garment. A toggle caught her eye and she drew it down, thus dividing the suit down the middle. The tube-like formations had to be for her limbs. She stepped into it, pleased that she'd matched up the proper tube with its correlating limb. The Courier zipped the suit and watched the doctor finish fumbling around in his desk.
"This should help you, missy," he said. Doc Mitchell turned from his desk and gently grabbed her arm, strapping a device to the limb.
"It's a Pip-boy," he explained, "pre-war technology. It's waterproof, shockproof, and can resist temperatures that your body can't. It'll keep track of anything you set it to track and has a map, as well as a storage system. You can also use it to listen to the radio if you're so inclined."
He jiggled the Pip-boy around, checking to see if it was properly secured. The Courier watched numbly as he showed her how to store a note that she'd had in her pack. The gift's value had to be incredible.
"You're sure you don't need-"
"Nonesense," the doctor interrupted, "I don't use it anymore and quite frankly, it'd be dreadful of me sending a gal who'd been shot in the head out without as much help as I could afford."
He smiled at her and she felt no further need to protest. Surely it'd be annoying if she continued to refuse.
The Courier turned to the Pip-boy to read the note she'd had in her pack. Apparently, she had some connection to the Mojave Express. The note said that she'd carried order number six out of six.
Something resonated with her when she read the word 'six'. Maybe the number had some sort of significant meaning to her. Maybe it was a birthdate or the number of siblings she had (she was sure she'd never had children).
"Six," she said, "I think I'll go by that."
"Well, it'll definitely do until you figure out your original name," the doctor chuckled, "Now I do suggest you go see Sunny. If shes' not outside, you'll catch her in the Saloon. She should be able to give you a little bit of knowledge on how to survive out there."
Six gave her thanks and headed toward the door. On her way out, she spied bookshelves full of old medical text. Some of those could fetch a very nice price. The Courier picked up a bunch of them, stopping only when her arms had reached their limit.
The doctor cleared his throat.
"Um, it's not generally regarded as polite or morally upstanding to take people's things," he said. Mitchell looked very concerned, almost disturbed.
Her eyes widened and she began to return the books back to the shelves, murmuring her apologies. As soon as her arms were empty, Six rushed outside into the barren Mojave.
She wondered how many mistakes she'd make as she went on her journey.