Despite the heavy toll that the infighting had taken, as soon as the forces were ready the campaign to reclaim what remained of Tennessee still not under control of the NCS resumed. Since almost the entire army was in Nashville, the plan was to follow the I-40 east, to Knoxville. The 4th Confederate was ordered to accomplish the mission, as they were not even in Nashville at the time of the fight, but arrived from the south soon after, but not showing any sign of treason, they were not accused of having done it on purpose. This time the President remained in Nashville, busy with the internal affairs, leaving the 4th officers the duty to complete their assignment, but that should have been easy, as the reports showed little chances of the wastelanders to offer any real resistance to the NCS march. The first major settlement was Cookeville, so near to the NCS core that some ot the inhabitants actually left the town in the past several times, seeking to join the Confederates, so the settlers were fully aware of having such a cumbersome neighbor, and that sooner or later they would come for them. To avoid getting enslaved, the wastelanders wisely decide to accept the NCS rule without fighting, and many helped the occupants, indicating them strategic resources in the area, including the Tennessee Tech University, just outside their settlement, in the outer ruins of the city. Following the I-40, next settlement was Monterey, really just a big camp, also here the locals accepted peacefully the NCS rule, but begged the soldiers to deal with some raiders that had robbed them many times. They indicated the raiders base in the vast Perdue Farms meat processing complex, which happened to be just a couple miles south on the I-40. The raiders had rearranged some containers and machinery as barricades, but they were clearly not ready for a full-scale assault. Many hided inside the complex, but were hunted to the last one by the 4st soldiers. Last stop, before they stopped, was Crossville. Here there were no more than bunch of inhabitants, that didn't fight just because they saw the pointlessness of doing that. Of by far greater interest was the superb Stone Peak-Crossville Ceramics industrial complex, the site was damaged, but was by far the largest the NCS had found still in repairable condition. The marching forces encamped in the ruins of Crab Orchard, resting and waiting to continue their advance along the I-40.
Pop Loss/Gain +639
The Stone Peak-Crossville Ceramics industrial furnaces, with some repair, proven perfect for smelting. Found damaged Medium Foundry
The Tennesse Tech University was salvaged for pre-War data and documents, a small quantity of valuable information was found. Technical documents found
. . .So wish on the moon And someday it may be tomorrow You will suddenly hear chimes And you'll have your happy, happy times. . .
The room burst into applause as Bruce Isaac and his companion, the Lonesome Drifter, give a bow on the stage. Tommy can't help but smile, the act of Isaac and the Drifter have brought in more caps to Gomorrah than he could've ever imagined. Tommy claps for the duo as they exit and head backstage. Up next was the typical nightly show; Jenny and her band of seven prostitutes who'll give their usual showing. As Jenny's Crew arrive on the stage, a man in a purple pinstripe suit walks over to Tommy. Tommy knew instantly who it was, his good friend Devan, the often too serious second-in-command of the Serenity Family. "Tommy, we got that package in from, uh. . .you know who." Tommy smirks, this package has been a long time coming. He had a sweet deal worked out with an associate that just arrived in town. "Alright," Tommy beams, "Let's go see the merchandise."
Tommy heads with Devan to the main elevator, down to the lower levels of Gomorrah. The lower levels were where the dirtiest, nastiest deeds of the Serenity Family take place. Prostitution rings, smuggling of drugs and weapons, and much more. Tommy knows what it takes to stay on top in the Strip. And he has to beat Swank and his Chairmen at the Tops. So everything is on the table. Including. . .the package. Heading into his own personal suite, Tommy is greeted by a beautiful brunette, dressed in a stunning red dress. "Oh my," Tommy has already fallen in love with just one look, "I was expecting a different package, but. . ." Devan elbows Tommy, and then Tommy notices the large container in the room, a crowbar sitting on top of the package. The woman smiles, "Just as you asked for," She takes the crowbar and pries the container open. Inside was a man gagged and bound at the feet and hands. The woman drags the man out, and Tommy can make him out. . .Swank. "Oh how the tables have turned!" Tommy exclaims, he couldn't be more happy if he tried. The leader of the Chairmen, his biggest competitor, in his palms. Swank's eyes were filled with terror and fear. "Thought you were the hottest man on the Strip, didn't you?" Tommy says, mocking Swank. He delivers a kick to Swank's abdomen, who grunts under his gag. "Not so hot now, are you? Haha! Oh this is great. . .this is great! Devan, put our new friend in the down low and let Frank down there to give him some company, haha!" Swank cries out beneath his gag as Devan drags him away. Once they are gone, Tommy turns to the woman, "Happy times are ahead darling. When I rule the Strip, I promise you and our mutual friend all of Vegas." The woman smirks, "I couldn't care less about Vegas right now. . ." She approaches Tommy and grabs him by the tie, "Right now, I want you," She kisses Tommy, and the two embrace. Right now, Tommy couldn't be happier. Happy times are indeed ahead.
Official Construction Edict by the Presidium, the Functionariat and the Secretariat in Regards to the Prefecture of McClellanville
In a new edict issued by the Industrial Bureau of the Secretariat of the United Prefectural Directorate on behalf of the Director and enacted by the Presidium, it has ordered that the following Prefecture is to construct a foundry in order to facilitate the swift and efficient supplying of the United Prefectural Directorate's nascent industrial base. It is the hope of the Presidium that this foundry will serve as the foundation of South Carolina's industrial heartland and will supply its factories with valuable metals with which to produce the many kinds of equipment needed for the Commissariat and its Protectors.
[Constructing: Medium Foundry, Completed 3/19/21] [Resources Expended: 6 Concrete/8 Steel]
Due to the influx of pre-war technological blueprints and documents provided by the Antiquarian Bureau of the Secretariat, the Scientific Bureau, or more informally the Doctorate, has seen an explosion in the energy technology of the Directorate. Despite the massive stockpile of ethanol fuel, which at this time has not been used at all due to the lack of vehicles which would require fuel, it has come to the attention of the Doctorate that perhaps the latest designs being tested by the Industrial Design Bureau may require a higher grade of fuel with which to operate on. Nevertheless, this increase in technology will surely find some applications with the civilian bureaus.
Energy Five Research: Complete Engineering Three Research: Started
Nipton was once known to many as a sick, debased, and corrupt town. Gangs, prostitutes, and criminals were allowed to roam freely without any repercussions. But now, Nipton has been realigned, now known as a beacon of law and order in a chaotic Mojave. Nipton has grown in recent months following the failures of Operation Hearth. And that is all because of Mayor Ray. . .and Xavier. Xavier was modest in his role in helping Nipton, he just helped people in the town, handing out supplies and medicine where needed. He desperately wants to join the Followers of the Apocalypse and roam the Wastes, helping those in need. But for now, he is content with staying in Nipton and helping others. Today at first seems like any other day to Xavier. The Sun is shining, people on the streets are handing out locally produced foods from farms at stands. Xavier went about his routine, visiting Lilly at her stand, talking with Marge and some of the older residents, and begins his path to the Town Hall to speak with the Mayor.
As he walks the path, he notices a gang of individuals entering the community. They were all dressed in leather jackets and leather armor. Every one of the gang members have a brand on the right side of their face, a marking that resembles a bird. With firearms brandished on their sides, they stride through the town as if they own it. After taking a small glance through the town they begin opening fire. Bullets fly throughout the town, through windows, striking many residents. Civilians are caught off guard and quickly get shot down. Xavier, shocked and stunned, runs with his head down to the Town Hall as gunfire rings out behind him. Rushing inside, he desperately searches for Mayor Ray. He spots him calmly walking down the stairs. "Mark!" Xavier exclaims, "Raiders!" The Mayor seems unimpressed and says, "They arrived late." Xavier, confused, shakes his head, "What are you talking about?" The Mayor stares down Xavier, "You would be wise to wait here and keep your mouth shut."
Through the front doors one of the gang members arrives. He was brutish in appearance, the man's face was scarred and burned in many places. The Mayor remains calm as he speaks to him, "Karl, you took your time." Karl smirks, "Can't rush these things Mr. Mayor." He looks over to Xavier, staring right through him. "And who's this?" "Not part of the deal," The Mayor quips back, "You know our agreement." Karl doesn't take his eyes off Xavier but only nods before turning back and leaving. "Mark, what the hell are you doing?" Xavier asks. The Mayor has always been a good man, dedicated to building up Nipton. Never has there been an open agreement with murderers and gangsters. Mayor Ray sighs, "The only thing I can do. You need to leave, get as far away from here as possible. These people, the Newborn, they won't stop here. All I can do is buy time. Xavier, it would be best if you left the Mojave. There is nothing left here that is worth a damn thing. Everything has already happened before, you would be wise to avoid it at all costs." On that note the Mayor leaves Xavier alone to ponder his words as outside, the Newborn commit atrocities ravaging the town of Nipton.
Vault 257 Presidential Office. Elm Mountain, Killeen, TX.
As an aide drones on about the state of Fort Hood, President Archer Graves peruses the handful of exploration reports sent in from the three man scout teams that had set out a week prior. "Mr. President, as it stands the old fort is in a state of ruin. The Darnall Medical Center is one of the last buildings left standing in the southern sector, as the southern motor pool seems to have been hit by multiple long range missiles - none of them nuclear, thankfully. The Seven Seventeen motor pool looks to be intact, though a majority of the vehicles left have rusted to nothingness or are otherwise inoperable due to exposure to the elements. Representative Stefek believes..."
Blocking out the aide, Graves focuses more on the reports - they offer no conjecture nor mindless suppositions so common in the aides sent from the various Representatives of the Vault.
Alpha Team Report: Harker Heights Team deployed with orders to investigate town of Harker Heights one week prior to this report. Gathered intelligence suggests existence of other survivors in the vicinity of Killeen, as three bodies were discovered outside Eastern Hills Middle School - some tattered bits of flesh remained upon the bones. Had there been no flesh, these corpses would have been assumed to be victims of the Great War. Cursory investigation of surrounding HEB, Target, and Walmart reveals small amounts of canned goods and preserved foods in the storerooms, with little to none on the shelves. Hunting and fishing supplies are available in moderate quantities in Harker Walmart - team suggests recovering the gear as soon as possible in order to bolster food stocks from the Vault.
"...Mr. President? Are you listening?"
Graves looks up with a weary smile, although the cold look in his eyes betrays his irritation at the aide. "Of course, son. You had mentioned Representative Stefek?" The aide smiles, oblivious to the look in Graves' eyes. "Yes, sir! Mr. Stefek wishes to move his people out of the Vault and into the First Army Division West HQ, to let them experience more freedom."
"He may do so, but I would recommend they stick closer to the Vault. Alpha Team's exploratory report came back today and they don't think we're alone in the city; and I will not lose any of our people if I can help it. Have them move into the complex around East Range and North Nolan; far enough to give them a bit more freedom from the Vault, but close enough that our soldiers can provide support if need be. Now if you'll excuse me, son, I have a meeting with Representative Bell from Hydroponics. This Vault - the Republic - can't make food appear from thin air, after all."
Official Construction Edict by the Presidium, the Functionariat and the Secretariat in Regards to the Prefectures of Walhalla, Pickens and York
In a new edict issued by the Industrial Bureau of the Secretariat of the United Prefectural Directorate on behalf of the Director and enacted by the Presidium, it has ordered that the following Prefectures are to construct farms and begin agricultural efforts in order to further supply the needs of the population of the United Prefectural Directorate, ensure ample foodstuffs for conversion into ethanol fuel and to increase the standard of living across the UPD and its South Carolinian Prefectures. It is the plan of the government that with this edict, no citizen will ever suffer the scourge of starvation again.
As the sun set, the troops of the 1st Infantry continued their advance into Eastern Tennessee, following the old I-40. Before arriving in the proper city area of Knoxville, the soldiers crossed the Clinch at Kingston, small settlement notable only for the large coal powered plant that towered above the ruins and makeshift homes. It wasn't the first, but the NCS engineers already knew that trying to put it back to work without the proper knowledge was arduous, so it was left alone until new orders arrived. Soon after, the first scouts were in wieving range of the city itself: in the outskirts many large settlements of wastelanders that lived scavenging the ruins were present, but the downtown itself had been abandoned completely, or actually, been overrun by feral ghouls. The reason of such a high density of ghouls wasn't certain, but the most accredited theory told that the particular position of the city, "captured" between the mountains, addled to the natural accumulation of radiations in urban areas, created a zone were low-strength radiations continued to persist much longer than the normal. Now, the city itself didn't hold much value, the wastelanders in the surroundings had already accepted, voluntarily or not, the Confederate rule, and many in the NCS despised the city itself, as a place where Southern brothers took arms against each other; many couldn't ignore how history repeated itself just before. The real reason the NCS wanted the city was for the energy: all power plants that they controlled, as well as the dams, needed specific know-how to be run, as well as administrator codes and much more information. All of this could be found only in one place: the TVA, Tennesse Valley Authority, headquarters, which happened to be located in the heart of Knoxville. Two full companies were sent to clear the city from the ghouls. Their numbers were impressive for sure, but the 1st was now made of battle-hardened veterans and, despite losses were inevitable, all feral ghouls presence in the area was slowly but surely eradicated. While various platoons were sent to check the buildings for any further ghoul presence, a group of soldiers was sent to investigate in the TVA headquarters: the eastern tower had collapsed long ago, maybe during even the initial nuclear blast, but the western one was still explorable. The building auto-defense systems were still active, but probably the TVA made some cuts to the security budget before the bombs dropped, or maybe something didn't work in the electronics, because the NCS soldiers had to fight their way through just a few turrets and many harmless protectrons to reach the company archives, where they found the information they needed. Knoxville was once again in Confederate hands, and soon power would arrive in the NCS.
Pop Loss/Gain +1537
In the archives were also found many blueprints and other technical data which wasn't directly related to the power plants, which was then retrieved for other use. Technical documents found
Unmarked Building, Corner of East Range & North Nolan. Killeen Outskirts, Texas.
Three days later, Representative Stefek and his forty-odd civilians have emerged from Vault 257; a day prior a small team of Vault Police ensured that the chosen building was clear of any threats. Although the elements had long ago wiped away any sign of the building's original designation, the group now inhabiting it has rechristened it to be 'Nolan's Dawn', both to signify the road it sits on and the dawning of a new age for the men and women of the Republic of Texas. Various vehicle husks lay outside, and Stefek sets to work with an eagerness not seen in fifteen years, since the election of President Graves - shifts are assigned to his forty person group, moving the vehicles out of the way of the building proper, allowing easier access to the interior.
Within are dozens of filing cabinets and ancient computer banks, all filled with information kept by the US Army of old. As the early morning turns to mid-afternoon, the shifts move inside to clear out space for living arrangements, allowing Stefek to peruse some of the papers within the cabinets. Many of the documents are simply about Fort Hood's budget and how best to allocate soldiers and supplies throughout the compound, as well as more papers regarding the Communist threat in China and how urgent it is to train more soldiers to fight in the name of the United States. While Stefek browses the paperwork, the 'settlers' properly establish their living quarters, using the filing cabinets to construct makeshift walls when necessary, and the building soon fills with laughter and excitement.
This is the first step to reclaiming the wasteland, to rebuilding civilization. The Texans are proud of even this, such a miniscule move in the grand scheme of things - merely moving into a building a mile away from their Vault is something to celebrate after generations of living underground.
Deez Big Rocks, Part 2 After what must have been weeks of ceasefire, the mountain insurgents finally launched an assault, on three of the pins simultaneously no less. By this point, the fort walls have been able to be reinforced into red bricks, with a wooden inner fence. Watchtowers have been built in most of them, allowing for deployment of pins in more areas, unrestricted by geography. A much harder nut to crack, now that they have let it grow.
The defense seems to be holding. They're pushing back the militants. But then, one of them sprinted forward, carrying "a large, metallic tube" on their left shoulder. He lies down on the ground, ankles red from scratching the rough soil, aims the weapon, and pulls the trigger. A white cloud blows out his back, while a projectile, larger than anything these soldiers have seen, is pummeling towards the wall.
It hits like a truck, blowing away the bricks and the wood, peppering fragments and splinters everywhere. The fort has been breached. The junglemen, as if this was planned all along, immediately rushed forward. Troops desperately formed on the hole, blocking and returning fire. If there's one good thing, the slope allowed them to deploy machine guns in a dominant position. The launcher man did not live to tell the day's tale, nor did many of his comrades. While it was a win for the Republic, it was pyrrhic at best, and proved that these pins are not as invulnerable as they seem.
That said, the attackers left behind a lot of equipment, including their valuable shoulder cannon. It may prove useful for the infantry and especially the mobile charros.
Before the end of the Tennesse campaign could be declared, and the government could set their sights on new industrial, research and military targets, the northeastern tip of the state needed to be annexed. After continuing for a while on the I-40, the troops continued their march on the I-81. They encountered many small settlements where, already knowing what was coming,everyone had already moved out to escape the NCS rule or had decided to wait and peacefully accept it. But the two main prizes of the invasion were still haven't been reached, being them Kingsport and Johnson City. The first was almost empty, but the enormous Eastman Chemicals complex was still in the conditions the Confederate engineers had hoped. Of course they didn't need to produce chemicals, but some parts of the factory could be repurposed to produce weapons and machinery with little work. On the other side, Johnson had a pretty impressive population for wasteland standards, the problem was that, unlikely the Eastman Chemicals machinery, people are far more resistant to be controlled and used, so the inhabitants had prepared themselves for a fight, the last place in Tennessee not under the NCS would try to resist the incoming Confederate column. Hearing this news, the leaders of the 1st Infantry prepared their men for the battle, to wipe out the last eastern traitors from their hiding spot, a chance to prove the Confederate superiority to all of those that already had accepted their rule. The Confederates, who were advancing from Kingsport to Johnson City, and the wastelanders, who were going the opposite way, met at the Tri-Cities Airport, north-west of the Boone Lake. The numbers were similar, about 800 men in the Confederate avant-garde, 700 the full Johnson militia. The wastelanders positioned themselves between the airport and the river, hoping to use the flat area of the first to not offer any cover to the advancing enemies. But they underestimated the determination and will of their enemies, who ignored the clearly disadvantageous ground: the full force disposed itself in a line, and charged straight through the airport. The wastelanders were caught unprepared and, despite cutting down many of the attackers, the shock attack provoked their lines to rout in a matter of minutes, their men weren't ready for such a ferocity. At that point their adventegous position turned on itself: the escaping wastelanders had the only choice to run through the lake, where they all either drowned or were shot down by the Confederates, being just easy slow-moving targets. Johnson City would fall in Confederate hands soon after.
Pop Loss/Gain +2308
Easteman Chemicals vaste complex contained much useless machinery, but some parts could be repurposed to produce other manufacts. Found damaged Medium Factory
Megacorp, pt. 1 Ivan sank wearily into his overstuffed office chair and let out a long, drawn-out sigh. Meetings with the Board of Directors always exhausted him, and today's had been especially taxing. The Water Merchant guild had spent almost the whole meeting pressing him for more protection for their water caravans, trying to leverage their rapidly-shrinking influence as the primary profit-drivers of the corporation into controlling him. In the end he'd had to remind them that he owned the source of their water and if they didn't shut up he would turn it off.
He was bluffing, of course - there were still many communities on the outskirts of Detroit that depended on water from the Golden Towers and Ivan wasn't about to cut them off just to spite the Water Guild. That was both unethical and bad business - he could ill afford to alienate the smaller settlements who were some of his primary supporters.
In all technicality, Ivan was an autocrat. He owned a supermajority stake in the company, meaning his vote alone was often enough to sink or swim a proposal before the Board. In practice, Ivan wielded it as a veto when necessary. When he thought it was a good idea or if it was too meh to get involved in, he'd abstain and let the Directors make the decision. He rarely voted yes on a proposal unless it looked like it would be unanimous anyway - or if it was an emergency. And even then, he could be sure to hear them bellyaching about "going over their heads" for months afterwards.
It didn't have to be that way, he supposed. He could just disband the Board and rule by decree. But his little Corporate empire was composed of numerous diverse factions with their own interests and powers that needed placating lest they refuse their support in passive-aggressive ways. Besides, the Directorate took most of the burden of coming up with legislation off of him, leaving him to the more important bits of his job - running his corporation.
He looked up as the door to his office opened to admit his wife, Sunset. "Long day?" she asked with a slight smile, walking over and around his desk.
Ivan managed a wan smile and replied, "Yes. The Water Guild spent almost the whole day harrassing me about additional protection for their caravans." He grimaced. "As if they didn't already have enough caps to hire all the best mercenaries in the state," he growled through gritted teeth."
"Apparently you're not the only one annoyed," Sunset chided softly, plopping herself on the edge of his desk and laying a hand on his shoulder. "I happened to bump into the Chieftan of Raisin afterwards, he was pretty p*ssed that he didn't get to present a request for the Corporation to do something about those raiders in Toledo."
Ivan groaned. "I completely forgot about it!" he exclaimed frustratedly. "We did have just enough time at the end to at least touch on it but I completely forgot. That should have been a priority." He drummed his fingers on the desk. "He told me once they've been fending them off for decades but that the raids have gotten worse in the last couple of years." He abruptly smacked the table with his fist. "I'mma send Jonathan to do something about them."
"Are we in a position to draw troops away from the homefront?" Sunset asked. "Last I checked, Vault 100 is still seething over having been defeated and forced into subservience."
"Their allies have more or less accepted their place, though. The Caliph and I, for example, are good friends these days, and the Dons aren't likely to give us any trouble so long as we stay out of their... y'know... business." He sighed. "Still, from what I'm told these raiders aren't very organized. We should be able to send only a couple of battalions and leave the rest to keep Motown under thumb."
City of Glass, pt. 1 Twenty years ago, Ivan's intel would have been correct. For most of the Glass City's life, it had existed in a state of anarchy, divided up among a number of raider tribes that fought constantly with each other for resources and territory. Though they also raided the surrounding countryside, their raids were piecemeal and uncoordinated, little more than bullying. The raider tribes would often clash on raids and fight over spheres of influence.
This all changed in 2267 when a figure known only as the Khan arose in the city. He united the raider tribes by force, integrating some, crushing others, until Toledo was united. He then set out to build an empire from the lands around him, including the lands around the Raisin River. After conquering as far east as Sandusky, as far west as Bryan, and as far south as Findlay, he set his sights on Detroit. His army of raiders, now organized and armed like the army of a nation-state, moved to conquer the Raisin Tribe.
The Chief of the Raisins appealed to the Caliph, who with Vault 100 sent an army to relieve them. Together, the three factions stood against the Khan in the ruins of Monroe. After a pitched battle that lasted three days, the Khan was driven off. The Caliphate and Vault 100 dealt such a decisive blow to his army that it would be years before the Khan would even dare to set foot outside of his lands. Though the battle was fierce and the Allies not unscathed, the story grew that the raiders of Toledo bit off more than they could chew, contributing to Ivan's thought that the Toledo Raiders are not very organized.
The Khan himself died in 2281 without ever being able to rebuild his armies for a second try. His youngest son ascended to the throne, having killed his brothers and sisters, and set out to recapture his father's glory, hence the increase in frequency of raids upon the Raisin Tribe.
Of course, he hadn't counted on Ivan Industries taking an interest in taking him out...
Official Construction Edict by the Presidium, the Functionariat and the Secretariat in Regards to the Prefectures of Hampton, Aiken, Walhalla, Pickens and York
In a new edict issued by the Presidium of the Secretariat of the United Prefectural Directorate on behalf of the Director and enacted by the Industrial Bureau, it has ordered that the following Prefectures are to construct radio towers in order to facilitate swift and efficient communication between the Prefectures, ensure rapid compliance with and completion of the edicts issued by the Presidium and allow the populace of the Prefectures to enjoy the daily broadcasts of the Informational Bureau's radio show. The Informational Bureau will be sure to inform the latest set of Prefectures of the benefits of the United Prefectural Directorate and the ways its benevolent rule have positively affected the Prefectures that came before them into its embrace.
[Constructing: Radio Towers, Completed 3/8/21] [Resources Expended: 5 Scrap Electronics/5 Steel (5 Radio Towers)]
The warm Mojave wind fluttered the loose black hairs that had fallen out of Vanessa's ponytail. The dust and dirt it carried along with it coated the bottom of her jeans in a brownish orange layer of grime. Stopping for a moment to take a drink of water she peered off into the distance at what was unmistakably the ruins of Camp Searchlight. She was getting close. Perhaps another hours journey if nothing delayed her. Putting her water away she looked around and continued onwards through the dirt of the desert. Down a steep hill she slid carefully but as she reached the bottom she paused. Something moved out of the corner of her eye. Turning her head quickly she stood up and placed her hand on the 9mm Pistol that was holstered on her side. Remaining quiet she let her eyes scan back and forth but she didn't see anything nor did she hear any noise besides the usual ambience of the Mojave. Carefully she treaded forward her head still on a swivel. Maybe it was her own fear? After all this is the furthest she had been from home. Certainly the furthest she had been alone. What could she do though? There was nothing left for her there. Not after what happened. Even if she wanted to stay she couldn't. It was too dangerous. Stuck in her thoughts of home she allowed herself to enter a sort of Auto pilot mode walking with only her end objective in mind and her surroundings fading into an almost non existent state. Ducking under a dead tree she did not notice the figures running towards her...
"Gaaah!" The Shout startled her and forced her out of her thoughts abruptly. Adrenaline pulsed through her veins and she could feel her body tighten. Spinning to the left she looked for the source of the noise. Nothing. She spun to the right. Nothing. Panic began to fill her as she unholstered her Pistol and readied it. "Gaaah!" This time the direction of the shout was unmistakable. Turning around she was hit with the immediate feeling of dread. From the Direction she had just come from around thirty yards out was the source of her current fear. Feral Ghouls. These however weren't like other ferals she had encountered. Though granted her knowledge of them was rather sparse. Charging towards her were five ferals wearing the tattered and beaten remains of what appeared to be NCR body armor. Bracing herself she raised her 9mm and took a deep breath. BANG The shot caught the first ghoul in the center of its body armor and though it caused it to stagger for a brief moment it did nothing towards stopping the ravenous creature. BANG The next shot caught the ghoul to left in the neck. A surprisingly good shot which almost instantly dropped it. BANG The third shot was once again an unlucky shot and caught it's target in the left arm just below the elbow. At this point in three shots she had only managed to kill one of the Ghouls. Even with ten shots left in the magazine there was little hope of taking them all down. They were fast. Unnaturally so. The First of four remaining had already reached the dead tree and began climbing beneath it eager to pounce on her. Perhaps this was the end of the line? Perhaps this whole journey and the events that proceeded it were merely catalysts to lead her to this very fate. It was a thought that both drew a response of regret and anger from her. To die so far away from home. A home which she could not return to. At least not for now. If this was truly to be her fate she would not make it easy on her attackers. She would not simply lay down and await the moment. Shouting she swung the pistol down at the crawling feral below the dead tree and open fired. The first round embedded in its shoulder but the second made contact with the top of its skull spraying green blood across the ground as the dead ghoul dropped its face into the sand. As she turned her focus to the other two ferals she was surprised to see one had already closed the gap as it went around the tree to avoid the fate of its pack mate. Charging towards her it gave an even louder shout as she unloaded bullet after bullet into the creature dropping it a mere four feet from where she stood. Finally the last ghoul of the pack had managed to squeeze past its fallen pack mate beneath the dead tree and charged at Vanessa with intense ferocity. Aiming at the final attacker she squeezed the trigger..
Howard sat beneath the shade of Verde tree that offered him some relief from the scorching sun of the Mojave. The tree just so happened to be perfectly positioned to allow him to keep tabs on the area he had been ordered to just a ways west of Searchlight. With the Legion driven out of Cottonwood Cove it allowed a rather nasty gang of Raiders known as the Fallen Angels to take up residence there. They hadn't grown the balls to attack the Airport and Howard supposed they never would but the Commander didn't want to risk the chance either. Why they simply did not march down to the cove and handle the threat was beyond him but he assumed the Commander had a reason. Though to be honest he absolutely hated this post. It was a complete waste of his talents as a Marksmen. Ten years with the NCR Army and Another ten doing various security jobs in New Reno mostly for the families and all of that to be placed under a tree overlooking a great barren expanse. It was Irony if ever he knew it. Lowering his Binoculars he reached in his pack and grabbed a bottle of Sunset Sarsaparilla popping the cap off and taking a drink. Sugary Pre-war drinks were a weakness of his. One of his very few. You would be hard pressed to find him without one or two in his go bag and thankfully the company payed him more than enough to fuel this addiction through wandering merchants or the company store. None of that "Freshly Bottled" crap or those "New World" varieties that pop up every once in awhile. They just didn't have the same taste or feeling. Nope. Nothing but good old world preservative filled Cola for him. To think one day the world may run out of its supply of two hundred year old fizzy drinks...Thankfully or at least he hoped he would be long dead by then. Lifting the bottleneck to his mouth he paused just as the glass touched his lips. BANG The unmistakable pop of a gunshot echoed across the expanse. It sounded relatively close. Putting the bottle down he grabbed his Binoculars and scanned the area. Off in the distance a few yards away his eyes stumbled upon the source of the noise. It appeared that someone had attracted the attention of Searchlight's prior inhabitants that still roamed the region. They didn't nearly have the numbers they did before but they were in short supply either. During his posting at this Lookout he saw groups of them occasionally wander aimlessly across the desert sands. Studying the young woman through his Binoculars he wondered. She certainly didn't dress like a raider, her clothes were not ragged enough. The aim of her shots were also a dead giveaway. Whoever she was he could tell she hadn't had much experience. The situation was pretty grim. Off a ways from the scene he could identify two other such Feral packs that had taken a notice of the noise and were descending on her location. Lowering his binoculars he exhaled and shrugged reaching for the bottle of soda beside him. It wasn't his problem. He wasn't going to be paid to rescue her. She wasn't a raider and she somehow managed to attract the attention of every pack in the area and by the looks of it chances of her shooting her way out were slim. Closing his eyes he leaned back against the tree and took a sip. Did he really want that on his conscience though? It wasn't like his conscience wasn't marred enough. Just an occupational hazard he supposed. BANG
The 9mm round fired off from Vanessa's pistol and managed to embed itself in the tattered body armor of the ghoul once again staggering it but not stopping its collision course with her. With as much raw hostility as it could summon the feral ghoul smashed into her sending her toppling over and losing grip on her Pistol. As she landed on the ground back first she raised her arms as the creature landed on top of her its decaying mouth and teeth going for her neck. Holding it back with her left arm she frantically used her right to search for anything she could use. A rock, A Stick even broken glass. Nothing. Growing tired her arm began to weaken its restraint against the Feral but to her surprise the creature was lifted off of her. A Combat knife cutting the creatures throat spilling green blood all over her and the sand below.
Howard tossed the corpse to the side and offered his hand out to the fallen woman. Helping her to her feet he grabbed the 9mm Pistol laying on the ground and tossed it to her. "We need to move." He ordered abruptly as she held the pistol in her left hand. "Who are.." The sentence was cut off. "We need to move NOW!" Behind the Middle aged man Vanessa finally spotted the cause of his abrupt statement. On the slope that she had descended from were at least ten more ghouls all wearing armor. "Follow me. If you fall behind you're on your own." Howard ran ahead jumping to slide between two rocks before reaching another small hilltop. Quickly and with grace he descended down it and turned around to be faced with an old wooden door. Throwing it open he waved for her to hurry up and once she was inside he closed it.
Vanessa stared at the man in a state of shock for a moment before looking at her surroundings. It appeared to be an old mine of some sort. They were located in a central earthen room with numerous paths that branched off from it. As she looked around Howard grabbed an old shovel and barred the door before piling some rocks in front of it. Should be enough to keep them out or at least he hoped so. "How did you manage to grab the attention of every ghoul pack in the area?" The question brought Vanessa back to her senses as she turned to face the man who was now staring at her intently. "I..I don't know. I thought I saw something moving a ways back but then nothing." Was the movement she saw out of the corner of her eye earlier really more than just her fear? Perhaps but if it was a feral she didn't know they could be so stealthy. "Jesus kid. Never came up close with ferals? Where are you from where they don't have ferals?" Howard studied the young woman but he couldn't get a good sense of her. "My name is Vanessa. Not kid. I'm from the New Sector. We didn't have too many worries about Ferals. They did a good job keeping them at bay. When I was younger we use to sneak out to an old warehouse just outside of the sector and watch them from one of the large windows but it's nothing like seeing one up close." As she spoke of home the tone in her voice changed. Very briefly but it did change. "You're from the New Sector? What are you doing so far from home? Don't you have a family back there?" Vanessa's face sank. "I had a mother. She's gone now. I never knew my father. He left before I was born. My mother said he was a wanderer never staying in one place for too long." She replied back before following up with a question of her own. "What about you? Do you have any family? What about name?" The last bit was asked in sarcasm. "The name is Howard. The rest is none of your business." Vanessa lowered her eyebrows at the reply. "I told you my story. It's only fair that you tell me yours." Howard shook his head and set to work making a small campfire in the central chamber they stood in. "Life's not fair kid. Didn't anyone teach you that? You still didn't tell me what you are doing all the way out here." With the Campfire now going he took a seat in front of it and placed his hands slightly above the flickering flames. Vanessa followed suit taking a seat opposite of the man. "I am traveling to Searchlight Airport to join the Deathsong Company." She stated matter of factly. The man chuckled at the comment and opened his bag taking out a can of Cram which he pried open with his knife. "You? Join the Company? What do you know of being a Merc? From what I just saw you barely know how to handle a gun." Cutting the loaf of preserved meat in half he handed her a piece. With the shock of what had happened wearing off and in the light of the fire she finally noticed the white wolf's head emblazoned on the chest piece of his black combat armor. "Your one of them? A Deathsong Merc?" Howard nodded swallowing a piece of Cram he was chewing on. "Been with them for five years now. That grants me the grounds to say the life of a Merc is not for you. Go home kid." Finishing his slice of Cram he wiped his hands. The comment agitated her as she stared him down. "Who are you to tell me what to do!? I can learn to shoot a gun! Anyone can learn to! I have no home! I am not returning to the New Sector!" She quipped back crossing her arms over her chest defensively. Howard opened his pack and grabbed another bottle of Sunset Sarsaparilla out popping the cap. "You have a certain spirit of heart. I'll give you that but it takes more than spirit to be a Merc. I'll tell you what kid. We stay here tonight and in the morning I'll bring you to the Airport. Whether you Succeed or fail at that point is up to you." Vanessa nodded in agreement. "Thank you. I won't let you down." "It doesn't matter to me either way." Finishing her portion of Cram Vanessa looked at the Soda he was drinking and the look caught Howard's eye. "Oh no you don't. There is NO way I am sharing my Sunset Sarsaparilla with you. Here have some water." He tossed his Canteen of water to her before laying down before the fire. "Get some sleep kid. You're gonna need it." Closing his eyes he took a deep breathe and tried to relax. "Good night. Thank you again for everything." Vanessa didn't want to lay down right now. The Adrenaline from before had not fully worn off and her thoughts were now preoccupied with childhood memories. As she thought about that warehouse she used to sneak off to with her friends and the shouting her mother did when she found out her eyelids grew heavy. "Hey kid, you awake?" "Yeah." She replied opening her eyes. "If you want a Sarsaparilla there's one left in the bag."
Climb Aboard the Republican Wagon Part 2: Price Second In Dock Junction rumors had hit them about the decision of the Mobile Government to be annexed into the New American Republic and more importantly that the New American Government has kept their promise to Mobile. This had a big impact in Dock Junction witch had a ruler over the people their know only as the Benefactor a prewar Ghoul who had through various means had gotten many human servants forced to work the old machines producing highly sophisticated turrets and other defenses like land mines there the only reason this was only tolerated by the surrounding Human Settlements due to security defenses provided by the Benefactor to the other settlements in exchange of one human a year to be sent for the Benefactor's forced maintenance work. The New American Republic had seeing the clear cut oppression and more importunately the powder keg that will happen if that one Ghoul died to the rest of the immediate region. Orders were made to send spies disguised as servants to start an armed uprising and given a large supply of weaponry. While this had caused them to be in situations that almost caused them to be caught Republican spies had infiltrated their way into Dock Junction with their supplies and armed the Human servants leading a successful if costly uprising and most notably the Ghoul was dead and the oppressed were free however the towns in the region were now defenseless. The New American Republic offered to annex the settlements and provide a ghoul technician to maintain the security systems and that the former servants would be freed and paid for their continue work. The settlements accepted this offer and so did workers who were recently freed. As for their replacement tech leader the Republic had thought back to long ago and remembered about the Ghoul prisoners it had. So while a Ghoul technician was sent to do the work done by the clearly dead Benefactor had been in fact a rather skilled with electronics h was in fact raider ghoul prisoner on the condition that he will be put on probation and allowed rehabilitation so long as he works for the republic but he will have guarded humans near him at all times. Which given the Republic's track record with raiders was a generous offer that was taken without much else changing in the Dock Junction region. The Republic had also after this agreement had sent in a proper territory known as the Dixie Territory as there are plans on integrating into a Commonwealth once a more centralized local goverment is formed. Following this annexation the New American Republic gained 1600 people.
A week has passed since the establishment of Nolan's Dawn just outside the Vault; providing the first permanent aboveground 'settlement' in the Republic of Texas. Brave individuals from Dawn have rapidly taken to scavenging the homes outside the Fort proper for furniture, allowing for a true sense of home within the former military office building. In conjunction with Representative Bell from the Vault's Hydroponics division, Representative Stefek and President Graves have drafted plans for a two hundred acre farm directly west of Nolan's Dawn. This farmstead will allow for the Republic to lay down further roots as they stake their claim to Texas, providing more than enough food for the entire population - and, should benevolent wastelanders be found, trade opportunities.
While Nolan's Dawn begins to prosper, President Graves has given Bravo Team of the Texas Rangers a new assignment; scout out the Killeen Industrial Park and identify anything that may prove useful to the Republic. After setting out, Bravo discovered several buildings of note - Zekelman Industries, Central Transportation Industries, and Kyrish Government Group. Preliminary scouting revels that Zekelman was a company that specialized in modular buildings utilizing steel frames, with many 'sample' buildings already in place within their warehouse; with effort, they could be brought back towards Nolan's Dawn and used for a variety of purposes such as new housing for dwellers wishing to leave the Vault, ready-made fortifications for the Armed Forces, and even broken apart to be used as rudimentary walls around the area for defense. Central Transportation provides a wealth of auto parts and 18-wheelers, though many of their vehicles have long since rusted into uselessness - however, the Republic can surely find some use for the husks.
Kyrish, however, is the crown jewel of the mission. Using diesel engine repair as their primary service, Bravo Team discovered that Kyrish also offered services to the Department of Defense such as tactical vehicle upgrades, light manufacturing, and a separate storeroom of replacement parts for Army vehicles. Should the Republic wish to become motorized, Kyrish will be the key to creating and repairing vehicles of their own.
Two weeks after Alpha Team of the Texas Rangers discovered evidence of survivors - or more accurately, corpses of survivors - President Graves has given the go-ahead to Sergeant Major Howard Patell for two more teams of Rangers to be deployed in order to track down whatever, or whoever, may have left the bodies behind. Alpha Team and Charlie Team have each been assigned to a particular area, with Alpha being sent eastward towards Temple and Charlie running north along I-35 to Waco. No other teams have discovered survivors in the vicinity of Killeen, which is what led the Sergeant Major and the President to believe that whatever happened to the skeletons would have kept moving on and away from Fort Hood.
Alpha Team Corporal Hays, expert in tracking and short to medium range combat. Specialist Lopez, squad marksman and reconnaissance expert. Specialist Trevino, squad medic and rifleman.
Charlie Team Corporal Fletcher, expert marksman. Specialist Decker, squad medic. Specialist McCoy, demolitions expert and rifleman.
I-14 East. Belton, TX.
Although the teams were now nearly twenty miles out from Vault 257, few other signs of survivors have been seen. Alpha Team broke off from Charlie some hours before, continuing to head north towards Waco after discovering tire tracks of some kind in the dust, leaving Charlie to follow a handful of blood spatters leading down Highway 93. As Charlie follows the blood, it becomes clear that whatever left it grew more and more injured as it moved east towards the Leon River. Crossing the river brings the team close to what looks to have been a prewar dance hall - however, muffled shouts can be heard inside. Corporal Fletcher issues orders, sending Decker and McCoy to take a position in the ditch across from the hall while he takes a sniper spot atop a neighboring storage unit. Now, the trio waits for night to fall - if whoever is inside the building is hostile, nighttime will be the best opportunity to neutralize them with minimal risk to the Rangers.
As night falls, Decker and McCoy move in on the hall's main entrance. Decker takes a position on the side, allowing McCoy to quietly prime and roll a smoke grenade into the building; coughing and cursing begin emanating from within, and the doors are shoved open by two dirty men wearing patchwork armor. Decker and McCoy raise their lasrifles, ready to fire if need be - as the two men catch their breath, their eyes fall upon the strangers in camouflage aiming weapons at them. One of them immediately drops to the ground, while the other reaches for a shoddy pipe pistol on his belt. A single shot rings out, punching through the back of the man's head and vaporizing his brain; Decker waves a hand in the air to signal her thanks to Fletcher for the support.
The man who surrendered, eyes wide and beginning to hyperventilate, throws himself to the side and cowers behind a rusted barrel in a futile attempt to get away. McCoy grabs him roughly by the back of his shirt, lifting him up and threatening to put a laser bolt through his knees unless he states his business in the area. The bandit immediately does so, practically spilling his life story to the two Rangers as Fletcher walks up from the storage unit. As it turns out, Darryl - the bandit being questioned - was here with his brother Rowan to take slaves back to their camp at Hector Garcia Elementary in Temple. Sixteen people are chained up inside the dance hall, though Rowan had already 'had his way' with one of them after she tried to stick a knife in his stomach when they picked her up. He goes on to tell about how Rowan had cut off three of the woman's fingers as punishment, leading to the scattered blood trail Charlie Team had followed down the highway and to the dance hall. Darryl begs for mercy, pleading that he'll give up everything he knows about his bandit clan - numbers, hidden storehouses, and rivals.
Corporal Fletcher takes Decker aside, discussing the ramifications of this information; the Republic cannot simply stand by and allow innocents to be put into a life of slavery, or worse, yet neither can it allow such scum as Darryl to go unpunished. Decker concurs, suggesting they knock the bandit unconscious and chain him up so that they may rescue the civilians inside the building and tend to their wounds. Pleased with the resolution for the moment, the Corporal viciously punches the bandit in the head, bloodying his knuckles and leaving the scum out cold, as Decker and McCoy enter the building to help the hostages.
By this point, the remaining Silverhawks were fanatics, having either completely bought into the idea that Simon Gray was attempting to build a new America through this new empire or who were simply too devoted to him personally to leave. These were the fanatics that held the town of Stamford, the final stronghold before the heart of the Silverhawks could be reached. The standard Vertibird attacks went ahead without issue, cutting down the Raiders who could only do so much to fire back. Then, the soldiers advanced, broken into small squads and moving between small sections of cover on the outskirts of the town that hadn't been encompassed by the settlement's walls. Snipers aimed at Raiders who seemed to be organizing the defense and took them out, making the Raiders an even easier target. Then, in break with tactics that had been used in past assaults on Raider strongholds, the Sentinels were not deployed via vertibirds into the center of the town to disrupt the Raiders, but rather, they directly assaulted the gates after snipers and other soldiers had eliminated the majority of the soldiers on the wall. Using a combination of punches, shoulder rams, and laser fire at the locks on the other side of the gate, they smashed through the metal and wooden structure. Now through the walls, they acted as a spearhead for the rest of the attack force, cutting down Raiders with Gatling lasers, miniguns, and normal laser rifles. The Raiders attempted to establish a single line to contain the attack, but found the center of the line destroyed, and the two halves of the city cut off from one another as more Enclave soldiers rushed in. The battle went on for a few more hours, as Enclave soldiers cleared individual buildings where Raiders were hiding out, fighting which resulted in very few casualties for the Enclave or civilians. The fighting itself was intense though, as each hallway became a trench, each doorway and room a bunker. After the battle, the civilians were brought to medical centers established in safe zones during the fighting and treated for the injuries they had received under the Raiders. As for the Raiders themselves, only a handful surrendered, and were sent off to training camps for the military to prove their loyalty towards the Enclave. With this victory, the final push was at hand, New York City, the home of the Silverhawks, was within reach.
Simon Gray was panicking. His empire collapsing around him, small groups breaking away in New Jersey, and now the loss of Stamford? He knew it was only a matter of time before the end came, but he would not simply surrender. Instead, he ordered the city fortified, the remaining tunnels and bridges fortified, and he himself now spoke on the city wide radio; Attention Silverhawks. I know in the past few month we have been receiving a series of defeats at the hands of an enemy we have discovered is called the Enclave. He looked over at a man, sitting, tied to a chair. He had been known as John, alias Nightwatch, but truly named Nicholas Connelly. A group of Simon's bodyguards had discovered the truth during a routine inspection, when they discovered Nicholas using a radio he had gained access to and was using to communicate back to his superiors. He had claimed there were no others and that he was alone, but time would tell. Simon continued; They claim to be the remnants of the old government of these lands, and have promised a return to the old world. But I ask you this? Was the old world better? When men and women fought one another over reasons they had long forgotten? Was the old world better when it set itself alight? I say no. I say that the best thing the old world did was give birth to the new. We are the Silverhawks. We will defeat these pretenders and build a new America! With that, he turned off the radio, turned to his bodyguards and said, "We're heading east to the Hamptons Radiation Fields. I'll make the final stand there if and when New York falls." With that, he began to walk off, followed by his train of bodyguards, before turning back and saying, "Oh, and kill the spy." One guard stayed behind and walked over to Nicholas once the others had gone and held his rifle up to Nicolas's head. A gunshot, the Raider fell to the floor. Behind him stood the other two Operatives, Sarah and Julian. "Come on," Sarah said, untying Nicholas, "Let's get out of here, we've done our job. We need to get back and alert the Director." Nicolas nodded and said, "Alright. Pass me that gun." Julian tossed him the Raider's rifle, and they headed for the exit, sneaking past the Raider patrols and into the night.
President Lee stood on the podium, in front of him the people of the NCS, and around them the ruins of Nashville, at least what had remained after that. By his side, Colonel Terry, silent for now. "Our own capital has been almost razed to the ground by the vile attack of the traitors, only the heroic acts of many, including the Vice President and the here present Colonel, have saved it from complete destruction. I reflected carefully, and I have come to realize that, to ensure that disasters like this never happen again, we'll need someone to individuate and eliminate the future traitors before they can stike. This is why I've decided to introduce a new Corp in the Army, the Counter-Insurgence, with this very precise duty. While our other proud soldiers will keep us safe from those that seek to harm us from the outside, they'll protect us from any new internal threat. I couldn't give such a duty to someone I couldn't be sure of the loyalty and skill, so I've decided that the Corps will be led by Colonel Terry, a man who for sure showed what he's worth." After some claps and cheers, the Colonel made a step forward and spoke: "I'm grateful to the President for the honor he has bestowed me, and I'll make my very best to not disappoint him. I'll find and crush any traitor that still hides within our land, as well as any one that will try to do it later!" The crowd cheered and sang what has already become a common battlecry: "Death to the traitors! Death to the traitors! Death to the traitors! Death to the traitors!". The President smiled has the people continued their yelling, and left the podium, followed by the Colonel.
Commissar Victoria Volkov rarely bothered to follow Commander Holly Brown on her trips to the makeshift boxing ring set up for the 1st Unit, often occupied with enough paperwork to make her scavenged desk creak and her hands cramp from all the writing, but tonight she had the misfortune to both complete her paperwork and have Holly come around to almost physically drag her to the latest match. Apparently, some of the new replacements had taken a shine to the sport and were very active participants, going by Holly's ramblings and the increasing volume of the shouting and cheering off-duty protectors inside the building housing the ring. Victoria had resigned herself to watching a few of the matches with Holly and then turning in for the night, but as she walked in, unseen by the baying crowd, her eyes blinked first in bemusement, then rapidly mounting shock, and her feet froze. Holly continued trying to pull her along and turned back with a look of confusion, only to blink at the look of shock on the normally stoic ex-raider's face and ask hesitantly, "Hey, Vicky, you alright?". Victoria looked back to her and mumbled incomprehensibly, "...son", to which Holly shook her head and asked, "What?", and Victoria's reply was drowned out by the roar of the crowd as the man in the ring slammed a bare knuckled fist into the hastily thrown elbow of the smaller woman inside the ring. The woman danced back and the man followed, blocking the sloppy jabs thrown his way and made to land a right hook, only for the woman to juke it and land a jab in his side and then landing a right hook of her own into his brow.
The crowd roared as the man fell to his knees and the informal referee ran in to separate the two, but by then a voice called out, "Officer on deck!", and the entire room fell silent in a second as every man and woman came to attention. Holly stared at Victoria as she coldly walked through the crowd, which remained statuesque and silent even as she passed through them and climbed into the ring. The woman in the ring was in a picture perfect at attention pose, despite her non-picture perfect attire consisting of just uniform trousers and a tank top with heavy strips of gauze beneath to flatten her chest, and the man rose to attention even with his eye closed and quickly blackening though the blood hid it a little. Victoria eyed the two, before simply stating, "At ease. You two, with me.", and turning about without a glance back, the two boxers following quickly behind and Holly fell in with a worrying glance at Victoria. Once the four had gotten far enough away, Victoria abruptly stopped and wheeled about with a snarl on her face, advancing quickly on the frozen male boxer and Holly briefly thought for a moment that Vicky might actually hit him, before her brain stuttered to a halt as she neither lambasted the man nor assaulted him, but hugged him. The bewildered expression of the female boxer was joined by Holly's gaping, before the two choked as Victoria pulled back and started yelling, "Timur, I told you to call me when you got your posting! Why did I just find out you were assigned to me through a visit to a boxing match and not over the phone?! You may be a soldier and it may break some rules, but by God, I am your mother and I will bend you over my knee!". As Vicky's son hastily stuttered out an explanation and the female boxer kept getting paler and paler as the rant went on, Holly began to laugh until she cried.
Climb Aboard the Republican Wagon Part 3: Nationalism Third Following the New American Republic's annexation of Dock Junction and the creation of the Dixie territory many more in the more southern an conservative area of Southern Georgia specifically in the City State of Savannah that the idea of a united south Georgian region would be a strong defense unfortunately their were many disagreements on this some called for attempting an invasion of the New American Republic to claim Dock Junction as their own and to form a Dixon Republic, however, others saw the idea of perhaps Dixie becoming a Commonwealth within the New American Republic to be a grander nationalist cause as while the New American Republic has in its name America and thus a claim to America it appears to be a more southern populist movement based out of its policies. Leading to arguments from within the City State that Savannah has a claim to Dock Junction and to be the start of Dixie but the Republic has a theoretical claim to the south as a whole and the best way to unite the Dixie is under the New America Republic but with their Dixon claim recognized within the Republic. Thus, this consent dispute has almost led to a small Civil War however, when it became evident that was going to happen the New American Republic sent a diplomat to the city stating the New American Republic would be willing to make Savannah the capital of a Dixon Commonwealth and to elevate Dixie to a Commonwealth. However, the diplomat also stated that if this offer is refused another city would get the honor of being the capital and more Savannah impotently lose out on taxable income from its administration and would be conquered by the New American army rather then be given this offer. This made it very clear that the City State had to choice less freedom now and more money or even less freedom and death. They had opted for the former as a good amount of the City State's populace would see the New American Republic as liberators regardless. However, at home this was criticized as to much strong arming of the city state and the New American republic should have let the civil war play out while disagree saying the New American Republic did the right thing in preventing bloodshed. Regardless though both sides do believe that the New American Republic had a duty to intervene just disagreed on when. Following this annexation the New American Republic gained 2000 people.
A day after the rescue of the sixteen hostages from the Belton Dance Hall, the survivors have arrived in Nolan's Dawn with a message from Corporal Fletcher. Vault Police quickly rush to their aid, bringing the wounded into Vault 257 for proper medical care, while the remainder stay in Nolan's Dawn for debriefing and to determine their future. Sergeant Major Patell comes out of the Vault himself in order to hear the story of the survivors, and to receive the message from Charlie Team.
As the survivors tell it, they were part of a larger community on the run from Georgetown, just outside of Austin, after roving bands of slavers, cannibals, and ferals began increasing in size and number. The biggest slaver clan in the area had set it's eyes on the Georgetown settlement half a year prior, slowly chipping away at them before breaking through their defenses and forcing the wastelanders to scatter into the hills. Over a dozen groups managed to escape the slaughter, ranging in size from seventy to as little as six people. The Belton group had at one point consisted of thirty people itself, but festering wounds cut them down by half, leaving the remaining sixteen to keep forging northeast towards Waco before being ambushed in Yowell Ranch, a former neighborhood on the outskirts of Killeen and Harker Heights.
The message from Corporal Fletcher and Charlie Team details the information they were given by the bandit Darryl, telling of their scattered safehouses, main camp, and numbers.
Missive Charlie-01 Sergeant Major Patell's Eyes Only Sgt. Major, Charlie Team has identified and rescued a band of wastelanders from the clutches of a slaver gang. After taking one of the slavers hostage, we were able to successfully interrogate him and gain access to his knowledge of their crew - dubbed the Fire Boars. Our informant relayed the location of their main camp, situated in the ruins of Hector Garcia Elementary, in Temple; twenty eight men make up their numbers. He also gave up the location of several caches of equipment and safehouses scattered throughout the countryside; an ammunition cache in Heidenheimer, a medical supply cache in Morgan's Point, and a safehouse containing stolen trade goods from wandering caravans. It appears that they have a rival gang situated in Waco, going by the name of the Knuckle Company. The informant did not know the location of their camp, but believes it to be in the vicinity of Baylor University. In order to effectively eliminate the Fire Boars, Charlie Team requests the assistance of thirty infantrymen from the Vault. The team will be able to pick off any guards and infiltrate their defenses, allowing the riflemen to move in and take the brunt of the enemy forces unawares.