Whhhhhhhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, click, click, click.

"Ankle servos readjusting."

Click, drip drip drip, thunk.

"Left knee actuator oil reservoir replenished."

Just my suit going about its daily business while I patrol the surface.

We've been in this bunker in Hidden Valley for over a year now. We thought it was an ideal location because it is relatively out of the way, considering normal trade routes in the Mojave Desert. That and the phenomenon caused each night by the fans on the surface, blowing up a dust storm to reduce visibility. Pre-War men might have been foolish in some ways; hence the War, but they sure knew how to hide a military installation.

A small brown scorpion scuttled its way over the hill ahead of us. I turned my head to the squad leader, my neck actuators creaking slightly.

Should oil those later, I thought, I'll get a Knight to do it. Actually, I'll do it myself, I reconsidered, thinking of how much the Knights already do for us.

The squad leader, Jamieson, nodded, and I raised my rifle. I gently squeezed the trigger and a bright red beam lit up the night, vaporising the arachnid. The Paladins around me all stiffened and raised their weapons. I thumbed my comm. device, activating the radio I had kept silent for the past half an hour, wanting an escape from the chatter. I dropped into clear audio in the middle of a tense near-shouting match.

"Lewis! What're you shooting at?"

"What's going on? I saw laser fire!"

"Are we under attack? God, I hope we're under attack!"

The first cry came from my friend, Jessica. She was like one of those ninjas with her thermic lance, the sort of weapon usually shunned by Paladins, who preferred to use energy weapons like laser and plasma rifles. I'd done a whole mess of operations with her, we were even involved with the classified operation from years back in what is now the New California Republic. I can't be specific anymore, but it involved a certain man from Vault 13. And mutants, lots of mutants.

The second exclamation came from Lil' Jimmy. Jimmy was the Paladin who was meant to be a Scribe. He didn't like to shoot things, or hit things, unless they really deserved it. He spent his spare hours in the Archives, reading up on technology that isn't used for killing people. When somebody tried to harm his comrades though, he got up in arms. Really. His pneumatic gauntlet has claimed countless raider lives. Interestingly, he was not 'Lil' at all, in fact standing head-and-shoulder above Knights and Scribes and even most Paladins.

The final outcry on the radio, disturbingly, came from our designated marksman, Zack. He was an interesting piece of work, in that he felt no compunction in killing other human beings. It didn't actually affect his mind at all, in fact, he liked it. He customised his own personal gauss rifle to his liking, optimising it not for power but for amount of shots per micro-fusion cell. He told everyone it was so he could kill more, rather than better. As long as they're dead, it didn't really matter how dead.

"Calm down everyone, Lewis just put down a scorpion. Nothing to worry about." Jamieson ordered. "Although, in case anyone saw the light through the dust, we might want to lie low for a while. Zack, get up in the rocks, Lil' Jimmy, bunker down with me over by that vent. Lewis, Jessica, take the auxiliary bunker rooftop." he said, motioning with his grenade launcher to a secondary bunker entrance. It was disused, as the antechamber had entirely caved in, but the entrance was still clear, so we used it as a storeroom. Zack climbed into his makeshift sniper's nest and watched the main gate to the south.

"Gate's locked up tight, nothing on the other side" He reported.

"Gotta take it on the Otherside…" Lil' Jimmy sang quietly, making reference to an old song he found on a holotape marked 'Chili'. The rest of the squad chuckled. While it seemed half the Brotherhood like military band music, and the other half liked Radio New Vegas stuff, Jimmy was one of the few who liked alternative music, the kind that turned up often in California.

"Northern fence break's all clear." Jamieson said.

I lay beside Jessica, her thermic lance laying on her other side, as she had discarded it for the moment in favour of her laser sidearm. I had my rifle up, scanning the eastern fence break, the one that led to both Black Mountain and Scorpion Gulch.

"Few more scorpions hanging around, one big one, three…maybe four bark scorps. Otherwise, clear."

"Good. Let's get back to the bunker, our patrol's over. Before we go though, put that big scorp down." Jamieson said, before rising from his position with Lil' Jimmy.

I complied, burning a neat hole through the giant scorpion's head with my rifle, before rising. I helped Jessica up and retrieved her lance for her, like a gentleman. We rendezvoused with the others and made our way back to the bunker entrance.

Considering our lockdown status, this was an eventful night.

Boone here. I'll be back soon, and I'll come bearing gifts! That is, gifts in the form of more BoS oneshots, chapters for Graham's Prodigy, and maybe, just maybe, more Minecraft chapters. Enjoy, and please review!