It had been a gruesome, painful week. Her trek back to the Divide proved to be the most daunting task she had ever taken on: but she felt obligated to deliver Ulysses the present she acquired after the battle at Hoover Dam. No one bothered to attack her, not even the remnants of the Legion. Despite the pain in her shoulder and lack of sleep, she pressed on through the canyon wreckage, passed the snide remarks written by the other courier on the sheets of rusted metal. The sound of the metal twisting as she moved through the maze made her nauseous, or maybe it was infected stab wound Vulpes had so lovingly graced her with. Perhaps, it was the fever that accompanied it . . . or all three. She really couldn't remember what it was that made her cringe at the sound. Then again, there was a lot she couldn't remember.
Slowly, the vast expanse of the Divide appeared before her. The lights on the tall radio towers flickered. Hopeville remained quiet as ever, nearly hidden under the cover of the red dust storm that was typical for the time of day. The wind quickly picked up as she exited the narrow canyon, whipping her hair around her face and shoulders. Her pace slowed as she came to the edge: her heart stopped, breathing quickened. The shadow that usually graced the overlook was not present. Ulysses the sorrowful, sarcastic vigilant had disappeared. A disgruntled, pained moan escaped the sixth courier's mouth as she sunk down in the spot Ulysses sat most often.
"Well, Caesar," she said, setting the Legionnaires mummifying head down beside her, pronouncing his name as the Frumentarii did, "our journey has now been made a few hours longer thanks to this jackass."
She rummaged through her bag and pulled out her canteen, taking a few sips before pouring the rest over the festering infection that kissed her shoulder. The water mixed with the dried blood on her shirt, causing the reddish stain to seep further into the fibers. She winced and groaned: out of stims, med-x, and now out of water.
"At least you're shitty skull doesn't smell anymore," she laughed, dropping the head into her bag. She was tired, and sick. Really sick. In fact, she wasn't sure if anything could calm her fever, even if she did find Ulysses.
The courier slowly stood and stretched the best she could before venturing into the Hopeville silo bunker.
She let her eyes adjust as the steel door closed behind her: everything looked just as she left it, with the exception of a few more dead marked-men that had been killed by Ulysses. Blood and more of the man's snarky messages covered the metallic walls. Courier Six made her way through the bunker, being careful not to trigger any of the traps the ex-legionnaire had placed. A rigged shotgun here, mine-field there, grenade bouquet . . . she was getting panicky from having to maneuver around so many hostile weapons . . . and the heat: the heat was becoming unbearable. The more frustrated and warm she became, the more she panicked. A dead marked-man she stumbled on twitched, startling her. Ulysses had recently passed through here. She quickly took the butt of her rifle and smashed the body's skull in, making sure it was, in fact, dead. The farther into the bunker she ventured, the more agitated she became: a crying spell here, a fit of rage there: anywhere there wasn't a trap set, she turned into a war zone, throwing books and tools as she looked for any sign of where the vigilant had gone. Each room became smaller and smaller. She felt like a caged animal ready to be slaughtered, sweat dripping from her brow like a stuck pig.
"I'll fucking kill him. I swear I will."
She stumbled out of the bunker and onto the roof of a building. The sun's glow blinded her for a split second. Hopeville had seen better days: days she couldn't recall, though she was sure she had been present for many of them. Many of the barracks were still intact, as well as some of the brick buildings that once were homes to general stores and markets. The courier scanned the horizon. Nothing but dust. She made her way to the edge of the roof. Upon further study, she spotted the vigilant, backed up against a wall by a pretty mean looking deathclaw. It looked like it was slowly sharpening its claws, taunting Ulysses with an inevitable death. She sighed and drew her pistol, unable to hold her rifle properly.
She whistled loudly and shouted, "Hey, fuck-ass!"
With a single shot, a bullet was sent spiraling through the distracted and drooling beast's skull, reducing it to a heaping mass on the ground.
"Lily . . ." Ulysses whispered, studying the figure at the top of the building in awe. The slightly emaciated, tall girl was holding something above her head. Her red hair, longer than it was at the time of their first meeting, was lit up from the back as it flew around. He never thought he'd actually be happy to see the girl.
"I . . . brought you . . . a present," she yelled with what she had left in her fragile core, voice cracking, "the head of Caesar."
Ulysses slowly walked toward the makeshift ramp that twisted around the building, unsure of what to think about this "present." He could see the weakness in her body language. His pace quickened, but Lily collapsed on the roof, dropping the head and her gun far before he could make it to the top of the building.
This is my first ever fan-fiction I've posted on here, and the first I've written in a long while. I really do hope you enjoy this, and the chapters that are to come. I decided to write this because there are so few well written Ulysses stories and his personality has so much potential to be expanded upon. My courier, Lily, is probably my most developed character and I'm super excited to finally be working with her. So, if anyone would like to actually see the full development, I'd be happy to publish it.