((A/N: I apologize both for the long absence and the short chapter, but I should be making chapters more frequently now, and my goal is to build up in chapter length. Anyhow, enjoy this, and I hope you guys like it!))

Jack listened with rapt attention as his assasin, Mary as she had revealed her name to be, completed this story. He furrowed his brows, unsure of what this could mean, and muttered "Hmm." He turned away from Mary and began to go over things in his mind, re-tracing his steps since he recovered in Goodsprings. The Powder Gangers were wiped out and never had that many caps in the first place, the NCR could've done it but they were much more likely to send Rangers, Caesar's Legion had fragmented to a major degree and was now busy fighting itself, this left only the Strip Families, who very much so dis-liked Jack's attempts to begin posting soldiers within the Casinos, nor his crackdown on their less reputable operations via TSC Marines, however each family had a motive. The Gomorrah's working girls had been taken away and given new lives via TSC Education programs, The Ultra-Luxe's staff had received serious thinning by TSC Thunderhawk execution squads on account to more and more reports of cannibalism, and The Tops had it's entire leadership structure eliminated by a Night Raid by more Thunderhawk squads on account of suspected revolutionaries. His thoughts were called back to the present, and the woman in the cell, when he heard her voice, sounding soft and hesitant, asked "Why?" Jack turned back to face Mary again, cocking his head confusedly, "Why what?" Jack questioned. Mary clecared her throat "Why have you, you know." She made a wide gesture with her hands "Eliminate all these factions, the NCR, House, The Legion, why didn't you pick a side?" Jack wanted to give a non-commital answer, something to remind her that he was asking the questions and not her, but there was just something about her that made him want to answer her question, explain his motives to her. Jack was confused by this, he wasn't used to any form of emotion beyond cool in-difference, let alone un-identifiable emotions, but there wasn't time to worry about that. He acted on his feelings for once, and slowly said "The Mojave deserved better, the people deserved better, so I decided to give it to them, the TSC has the manpower and the tech to make the Mojave it's best." At that Jack looked away, feeling surprisingly shy, and he heard Mary say in a quite calm voice "Maybe so...but did you ever think about what they want?" Jack found himself turning back again and slowly stated "I can honestly say I didn't, I'm thinking of what they need." Mary seemed to accept this as a valid answer and Jack sighed, pressing a button to summon 2 Black Guardsmen. When they arrived, Jack spoke quickly and precisely "Keep Ms. Mary secured and keep her fed and watered." The men saluted and their voices came out over the harsh speakers "Yes sir." With a nod, Jack strode to the teleporter that led him to his personal quarters, trying desperately to forget the feeling he had gotten while speaking to Mary Simeon.