AN: This crossover fiction uses setting and characters from Fallout: New Vegas, and characters from High School of the Dead. I make no claims to either, and encourage everybody to go and consume these products!
Level/Karma: "Desert Avenger"
Traits: Small Frame, Trigger Discipline
Perks: Cherchez la Femme, Rapid Reload, Hunter, Commando, Animal Control, Camel of the Mojave
Energy Weapons: 15
Guns: 50 (tag)
Lockpick: 30 (tag)
Melee Weapons: 35
Speech: 50 (tag)
Min was having a bad day, which was steadily getting worse.
"…Trade a favor for a favor?" Manny Vargas had information that was vital to her revenge, but was playing coy.
"What favor do you want?" Min took a closer look at the ex-NCR soldier. "If it involves sex, count me out."
Manny snickered at that, making the growing headache beating within Min's skull pulse.
"Don't worry about it, my newest friend! It's nothing demeaning; I just want to help this town. I've lived many places in my life, and now that I've found a good home here, I want to help Novac."
The Courier nodded. It was an understandable and worthy desire.
"Now I know this town doesn't look like much, and to be brutally honest, it really isn't much. But until recently, we had a good source of income, in the form of salvage from the old REPCONN test site west of here. Lately, we've had a ghoul problem. The ghouls are preventing our prospectors from accessing materials we need. If you go and clear out the ghouls, I'll tell you everything I know."
A line creased Min's pale brow. "Let me get this straight: You will, in exchange for the removal of an entire population of ghouls from a massive, possibly irradiated test site, give me information of dubious quality?"
Manny's lips quirked up in a faint smile. "It sounds kind of unfair when you put it that way. Tell you what, in exchange for removing the ghouls you get five hundred caps, a five percent discount at Cliff's Store, and the information. Deal?"
The Courier thought for a moment. While five hundred caps wouldn't make her rich, it was nothing to be sneezed at. The discount would be helpful when she would inevitably need to replenish her ammunition supply, and the information was probably vital for the fulfillment of her revenge.
"It's a deal. I'll start immediately."
"Good luck and happy hunting. Try to make it back in one piece."
And so, less than two hours after the Courier had entered Novac, she left, mildly tipsy after a quick meal and whiskey break, and with enough .357 ammunition to slay an army of ghouls jangling in her heavy backpack. Her hatchet dug into her side as she walked, and the cowboy repeater that hung over her shoulder ground into the bone. The town shrank in her sight as she walked, until gradually even the giant dinosaur sniper nest faded from view.
The walk westward was quiet, with the noonday heat beating down on the ancient asphalt reducing the number of animals out and about. A coyote growled at the wearied woman as she trudged by, only to recoil in surprise as she bared her teeth right back. The oppressive heat and dust only thickened the sweltering air, and when the road was blocked by a congested check point, Min could only collapse in relief into the shade offered by the ancient guard booth. Removing the battered cowboy hat from her head, the Courier rested for a few minutes against the slowly decaying concrete, before standing and resuming her journey.
As the Courier turned the last corner, a loud moan echoed from the cliffs, and a rhythm of slamming feet began. With a sigh, she shouldered her repeater as the first ghoul came rushing towards her.
"Just once," she muttered, chambering another .357 shell as the onrushing ghoul collapsed, two new holes in his torso oozing "I'd like to show up at a place that didn't try to kill me immediately!" As if to punctuate her sentence, a second ghoul wailed as a third shot took it in the shoulder, followed by two more to the abdomen.
Shouldering her smoking rifle, Min approached the slumped bodies of the ghouls. Kneeling beside the first ghoul, which lay flat on its back, staring up at the blue sky, her practiced hands ruffled through the decayed pouches and the pockets of its ragged trousers. Finding only a single bottle cap, quickly pocketed, the Courier gently closed the cracked and yellowed eyes and whispered a quick prayer. "Deep sleep; and a better life next time."
Moving on to the second ghoul, Min quickly searched the body, and sealed the irradiated ex-human's glassy orbs. She stood, and winced slightly as her spine cracked. For a moment, as the Courier looked down upon the two ghouls, symbols of the growing decay of the radioactive post-War world, a cold wind seemed to blow through her soul. The unrelenting heat of the sun brought her back from her morbid reflection on the wasteland, and hastened her steps as Min crossed the cracked asphalt in front of the main structure. Ducking and weaving from debris to wall, cover to cover, hiding from any lurking assailants, Min carefully moved across the outer portion of the site, and climbed the stairs that led towards the main entrance. Her stealthy movements had prevented the two ghouls who lurched around the entrance from noting her; with sadness in her heart for whom the ghouls had once been, Min ended their miserable existences.
"Deep sleep; and a better life next time."
"Deep sleep; and a better life next time."
Gently pushing the rusting door open, and wincing at the loud creak of the unmaintained hinges, Min crossed the dusty portal into the lobby of the test site office complex. Immediately she began to notice signs of recent habitation, and even more recent evacuation. Overturned coffee mugs still smelled of xander root tea, the hot beverage of choice in the Mojave; a piece of prickly pear fruit had just begun to rot, and had yet to attract any insects. Even more telling, clear trails in the dust led into the hallways that led away from either side of the room. Gazing upwards, a giant mobile hung from the ceiling, the model rocket sadly rotating in the gentle breeze. Balconies lined the upper part of the lobby, all abandoned.
Quietly moving past the looted desk, Min picked open the lock on the door immediately behind the greeter's position. The lock was nearly rusted shut, explaining why the Novac salvagers hadn't opened the door previously. As the lock finally gave to a combination of lockpick and shoulder application, Min heard mutters of conversation from the second floor. Realizing her exposed location, the Courier slipped through the door, carefully engaging the latch behind her.
The closed door saved Min's life in that moment. As the door closed, a loud crash resounded from the other side. In that moment, as the wall collapsed over the savior door, Min could do nothing but stare in astonishment, as the sounds of moving feet and feral moans filled her ears, wondering where such a simple mission had gone so wrong.
Abandoning any hope of leaving the way she came, but very curious about what had managed to take down a wall right behind her, Min ran out the gaping doorway on the other side of the office that she found herself in. As she turned the corner into the dank hallway, she pulled the hatchet from her belt, and tucked her repeater under her arm, for easy access. Cursing the loud clops her boots produced as she ran, Min almost missed the telltale moan of a nearby feral ghoul. As she flew around a left-hand corner, running back towards the front of the building, the Courier ran directly into the arms of a waiting ghoul.
As the ghoul (who seemed just as surprised as the Courier) reeled backwards, compensating for the transfer of kinetic energy, Min followed the walking corpse, swinging her hatchet in a downwards arc. As the hatchet slashed down, the ghoul stumbled, moving its head out of the blade's trajectory. The wedge of the blade, instead of planting deep in the skull, caved in the left orbit, and ripped out through the rotting tatters of the cheek, taking a handful of teeth along for the ride, and dehinging the jaw.
"Fuck!" Screaming in frustration, the Courier rammed the butt of her repeater into the ghoul's chest, knocking it to the ground, where she finished it with another hatchet blow.
Standing over her latest kill, chest heaving against her leather armor as she greedily drew in breath, the sounds of a violent commotion reached her ears. Pulling out a bottle of purified water, Min drained half the bottle in a long pull, washing away much of her fatigue. Replacing the bottle in her backpack, the Courier, slid the hatchet into her belt, checked the load on her repeater, and stepped back into the lobby.
Almost surreally, the first thing the Courier noticed was the mobile. It had fallen, taking much of its chain with it, and had landed nose-first on the reception desk. Beside the crushed splinters of the rocket-desk, incongruously, the tail-end of a pre-War military vehicle was visible, skid marks indicating a futile attempt at braking.
As the Courier continued to tune out the ghouls that had begun to spill into the room from the other hallway, she stared at the most bizarre part of the whole spectacle: Stumbling out of the wrecked vehicle were the most outlandish people Min had ever seen. Their eyes were slanted, like the Shin of San Francisco back home in the NCR, but their faces were clean, with none of the ingrained grime that was common to all wasteland dwellers. Their hair was elaborately styled, and profoundly unnatural in color; most strangely, one girl who had emerged from the rear of the vehicle had ridiculously long pink hair, styled into a two-tailed effort, with each tail reaching her waist. Most bizarrely, the females were all over-endowed to the point of grotesquery, most notably a stunned blonde, whose breasts appeared larger than her head.
As a baffled Min continued to try and make sense of the scene before her, the group noticed the feral ghouls, and reached for an arsenal of weapons that had apparently been stowed inside the vehicle.
With a cry almost as feral as the onrushing ghouls the first of the vehicle people drew a sword, and rushed towards the horde.