Author’s Note: I… finally done it. I got TOG chapter 10 out. In this one, Lost finally meets some people. Just… read and enjoy. Oh yeah, Live Stream tomorrow if all goes as planned.
And a miner note, it’s spelled “Caesar”, but pronounced “Kaiser”.
T.O.G! Chapter 10 – War… War Never Changes?
I can’t believe the creature I just killed. It was a dog, but not a dog at the same time. Other than it seeming to have an extra mouth right under the main one… there were two heads. Just… what the hell is it?
“I really need to find someone.”
I do. I mean, I know nothing about this about this wreckage that used to be Caesar City. I can recognize it, but I can’t at the same time. The landscape looks like hell itself threw up on it. When I look at the burned out cars, I see skeletons in some of them. Just… was this what the world looked like when the Deity took over? In that case, I understand why it “refreshed” the world. Though it could be an alternate timeline, there’s still a chance that I was only brought to the past instead. And as I tried to figure things out, someone called out to me.
“Did you just kill that Hell Hound with an ax?” (??)
I look over to my left to see a woman wearing blue jeans, a closed black leather vest with a red flannel-like short-sleeved shirt under, and some brown leather pieces of armor over it. She had her black hair in a ponytail, dark green eyes, and features of a woman from Yamato. But I could tell she wasn’t a purely Yamato maiden. On her wrist… a Bunk-Man? Unlike the one I’m wearing, the design seemed a little older. I could see some wire mesh showing tubs through part of it. And the design seemed a little boxier than mine. It might be a Type-II model, mine’s a Type-III after all. Though the Type-II’s always went to the non-experiment Bunkers. The Administrative Bunkers had the Type-III’s like the one I got from Cain, the same as some of the Experimental Bunkers. Then again, Bunk-Co only got what Host Industries would give out. Though they have similar software, the hardware on the Type-III was a cheaper upgrade from what was on the Type-II models. That’s why the Type-II model was phased out, though many were already sent out. And in case you’re wondering, the “Bunk” part’s an acronym. It stands for “Bound Universal Nexus Komputer” because of the hammer space feature. They spelled “computer” with a “k” because it was the only way they could make it an acronym.
“Yeah, I did. So what?”
It’s better to fake knowing what that thing was.
“You don’t look like a Marauder, or with the Conglomerate. And I have doubts about you being with the Sisterhood of Iron. So, who are you?” (??)
“Ain’t it supposed to be good manners to introduce yer-self before asking someone else’s name? Or as the old saying goes, ladies first?”
I couldn’t resist.
“My name is of no importance. Though, most people know me as the Drifter. Now, what’s your name?” (Drifter)
“My name’s of no importance either. Most People call me Lost Justice, though Lost for short is that’s basically what I am.”
And I see her fighting her laughter. Great… that’s been a while.
“Pfft, That name sounds so chuuni. Is there a story about it?” (Drifter)
“Yeah, there is. But it’s long, so I’ll give ya the short version. I got it when I told someone that I was the lost justice in the world. So it kinda stuck.”
“In this world that hasn’t seen justice in the last twenty five years, it makes you sound like some kind of vigilante. But you don’t seem like the type to kill without a reason. You seem tough as well… we could use someone like you at Haven.” (Drifter)
What is she talking about. The only place that I know with that name is…
“You must not be from around here then. It used to be a mall back in the old world. But before I even think about taking you there, are you interested in helping us out?” (Drifter)
Knew it, she’s talking about the Neon Haven Mall. It had it’s name from the fact that all the shop signs were in neon lights and it even had it’s name on the side of the building in the same fashion. I used to take Mizuki there on our little dates because there so much to do. And it was a good place for the press to get a shot of us. Hey, we had to let people know that we’re in a good relationship back in the day.
“I’m a wandering mercenary. As long as you will pay, I’ll work.”
“I can offer you about fifty caps a day for your services.” (Drifter)
Wait… does that mean the dumb prediction that Billy Bob made in the notes that Cain left me is correct? I mean, bottle caps as currency does seem a little… forget it. I still need to figure out if this is the actual past or an alternate timeline. And can’t do much without money. Right now, I’m just a broke mercenary on a strange adventure.
“I’ll take it.”
“Alright Lost, follow me.” (Drifter)
Before she left, she cut some meat from the Hell Hound. Turns out she was hunting for food when she came across a pack of them. The one I killed was one that got away. Even though she offered it to me as it was my kill, I told her she could keep it. Besides, I was more distracted by the weapon she was carrying. It looked like a mess of pipes with three barrels and a trigger.
“What the hell is that thing anyway?”
“It’s a shotgun.” (Drifter)
“Ya gotta be kidding me?”
A shotgun? There’s no freaking way…
“It’s a pipe shotgun to be exact. With most of the actual guns here in the Caesar Wasteland being in the possession of the factions, we had to make do. My father came from a line of gunsmiths, so I learned the trade from him when I was a little girl. And in turn when I started my journey, I taught others how to make them. It was a good use for all this scrap anyway.” (Drifter)
In a way, it makes too much sense. With most of the actual guns gone, you have to improvise if you want to defend yourself. Besides, there’s so much scrap metal laying around that you have endless possibilities. It does beg the question, who’s her father? I can’t think of too many gunsmiths outside the Mechana family. Meh, it could be some sap I’ve never heard of?
Even though we had that bit of chit chat, it was still a ways to Haven. When we arrive, I can’t believe my eyes. The building was half-collapsed from the war, with most of the debris moved to make barricades. I could recognize where the remaining stores were, but it’s still a shocker. I remember when this mall was always bustling with customers looking for a good deal or to have fun. I know it was long gone when I got out of Bunker Five Thirty, but seeing the Neon Haven Mall like this hurt.
We walk to the front gate where we’re greeted by a guard. I couldn’t see his face as it was covered with a goggles and a bandanna warn under a batter’s helmet. The rest was kind of a baseball uniform and the only other protection he was wearing looked like the padding warn by a catcher. I remember, there was a sporting goods store here in the past. Apparently the Drifter knows them, so he let us through. And after some walking… she leads me to what was once the help center.
“Before we can hire you, we have to talk to the mayor. And yes, we treat Haven as our own little village. But before you meet him… please don’t be alarmed?” (Drifter)
I didn’t know why she would ask that, but I found out soon after. She walks into the office after knocking and walks out with a… Demon-folk? The pale skin, the pure black eyes and tattoo-like markings, the white hair and the small horns on the forehead… yeah, he checks out. So the theory of them being irradiated humans is true? But I’ll admit… this is the first time I’ve ever seen a Demon-folk wearing brown shoes with a tattered blue suit. Or even in a suit.
“Hello there, I’m Mayor Silas Cobalt of Haven. Our mutual acquaintance the Drifter thinks you may fit in around here. Is she correct?” (Silas)
“Hey, I’m mainly passing through. But if ya wanna eat, ya work. Not sure how long I can stay here, but I’ll help out how I can while I’m here.”
“That’s good. Other than the lack of hunters, what little bit of a fighting force we have are the security. It’s bad enough that the Marauders take away most of our food each month.” (Silas)
I had just remembered that I know nothing of society.
“You must not be from around here, Mr. Justice. Marauders are vagabonds who normally just take what they want and don’t give a second thought about pulling the trigger. Normally they just form small gangs and pillage whatever they can take their hands on. Unlike in the Old World, we live in fear every day of getting attacked by them. However, one day an individual calling himself the Captain managed to gather a few of the Marauder gangs under his banner. A syndicate if you will? Since then, he’s been taking out the smaller Marauder gangs if they refuse to join. And he’s started a protection racket in place of just taking everything we own.” (Silas)
What is this… Captain’s goal?
“To be honest, we prefer paying for protection. Those who join his racket get the benefit of not being harassed by the other Marauder gangs as well. Most Marauders not affiliated with the Captain are just as afraid of his wrath as everyone else. Even those who serve him fear crossing him. Besides, I think his syndicate of Marauders are the least evil of the factions.” (Silas)
“How can that be the least evil?”
I had to ask…
“Mayor, let me take it from here?” (Drifter)
“As you wish, Drifter.” (Silas)
“Lost, it’s true that Marauders are evil. However, the Captain’s somehow started controlling them. Thus giving us less stress. However… there’s the other factions to worry about as well. The Conglomerate are a group comprised of Old World business owners and minor politicians. They talk about bringing Libertonia back to it’s glory, the country of baseball and cherry pies. But they are as corrupt as they were in the Old World, only wanting to be in control. They hate anything that’s not or no longer human. Hence why they want to wipe out Silas’ people and anyone else that’s different. Heck, they want to kill all wastelanders under the assumption of them being mutated by the fallout. And their leader is the worst of them all.” (Drifter)
“Who’s their leader?”
“William Robert Host.” (Drifter)
I have to take a moment to take that last bit in. Billy Bob’s their leader? I knew he was an ambitious man, but really? Wait… it’s too believable. He did manage to gain power almost two thousand years after the bombs dropped, though he has plenty of opposition from the Church. But still… this has to be an alternate timeline if he’s around this soon after the bombs dropped.
“You’re talking about the same guy who took over Host Industries before graduating high school, right?”
“Well… looks like you’re not totally clueless? But yeah, that’s the guy. After leaving Bunker Four Seventy Five, he managed to raid one of the Kaizaki Zaibatsu’s Mech Armor plants for Libertonian Military Mech Armor molds. He then converted one of his old robotics factories to make new Mech Armor. Most of his troops are recruited from the Bunkers, he manipulated them with his promises to restore Libertonia.” (Drifter)
Wait… we came out of Bunker Five Thirty. Does this mean that we didn’t go to that Bunker and got ice naps in this timeline? But yeah… that sounds like Billy Bob all right. Knowing him, he wouldn’t use anyone else’s facilities because he’s more comfortable using robots instead. I’m sure hiring humans in my timeline probably hurt him, even if he pays them slave wages.
“Are their any other factions?”
“The Sisterhood of Iron. Their leader is called the Matron, a woman originally from Yamato who decided to clean up the Caesar Wasteland using Mech Armor and uses the Yamato concept of idols to gain the people’s affection. All the soldiers are women known as “Iron Maidens” because of their Mech Armor. Men can only join as support, like being mechanics and other miscellaneous jobs. Like the Conglomerate, the Sisterhood doesn’t see Silas’ people as humans. But they do accept all humans and even recruit new members. Though they seem better than the Marauders, in reality they’re no different. They take things with the claim of “needing it to protect everyone” or “needing it to save the Caesar Wasteland from the Conglomerate’s tyranny”. The only true difference is that the Marauders don’t deny what they’re doing.” (Drifter)
Wow… it seems that the Sisterhood is a sore spot for the Drifter. But… why? Meh, she’ll talk about it when she’s ready.
“Let me guess, that’s it?”
“Yeah, those are the three factions that dwell in the Caesar Wasteland. The war is mainly between the Conglomerate and the Sisterhood of Iron. Though the Marauder syndicate can be considered a third power, they’re still just Marauders. Depending on who wins the Conglomerate-Sisterhood war, the one left standing will go after the Marauders next. But I fear what will happen if the Captain dies.” (Drifter)
“What will happen if he dies?”
“Then the Marauder syndicate will disperse, causing them to attack everyone. The Captain keeps them in line. He’s a necessary evil, so to speak. Even though all those Marauder bastards should die, he needs to die last.” (Drifter)
There’s an old saying, “Better the devil you know”. However, that doesn’t seem to apply here. That Captain guy has to be as tough as they come in order to rule over the Marauders. Unless there’s some other bastard as strong as him, no one else can keep the Marauders in line. But if I know tough bastards like that, they’re hard to kill.
“I have a feeling that we don’t have to worry about that Captain dying anytime soon. However, I have a feeling that the winner of the pissing contest between the Conglomerate and the Sisterhood will have to stabilize before taking on the Marauders. In my trade, we know not to underestimate the enemy. Even if they seem to be nothing more than mere punks, even a punk can have something up their sleeve.”
“You’re definitely no greenhorn if you consider all the possibilities. However, you’re still too green if you didn’t know about the factions of the Caesar Wasteland.” (Drifter)
This little… shit.
“Whatever. If I do work here, then what do I gotta do?”
“I guess I’ll be taking back over. Mr. Justice, we mainly need another hunter aside from the Drifter. Personally, I’d rather keep Haven out of the war between the factions. This place was meant to be safe haven for those who want nothing to do with the war. That’s why we pay the Marauder syndicate for protection. Though it mainly applies for protection from them and other Marauder gangs, we still have to deal with the mutated wildlife and other dangers of the wasteland.” (Silas)
Well… that ain’t too hard to understand.
“Okay, but I can’t guarantee that my trigger finger won’t slip if anyone harasses the people of Haven.”
“As much as I wish you would guarantee that, beggars can’t be choosers. Welcome to Haven, Mr. Justice.” (Silas)
The Mayor then offers his hand.
“Just call me Lost, it’s basically what I am.”
I then take it and we shake. Looks like I got a job… for now. This is only until I can somehow find the Oracle. However… one of the guards then came running.
“Mayor, there’s trouble!” (Guard)
“What is it?” (Silas)
“What? Didn’t we just pay protection?” (Silas)
“We did, but they’re demanding more.” (Guard)
“Let me talk to them. Lost, Drifter, follow me.” (Silas)
““Alright.”” (Me and Drifter)
We follow the Mayor to the gate that the Drifter and I passed through earlier. Before doing that, the Drifter pulled a gas mask with a green hood out of her Bunk-Man’s hammer space and puts it on. Apparently she doesn’t let outsiders see her face for a reason. What I see when we get to the gate… looked like something from a mainstream post apocalypse film. Guys wearing pieces of metal as armor with spikes at some places. Some of them looking like they’re wearing long johns under it while others looking like they’re wearing leather. Not to mention tacky haircuts and all of them looking like they haven’t bathed in months. One guy with a purple Mohawk and a wax mustache came forward, looking like he was the leader.
“Cyrus, what is this about?” (Silas)
So his name is Cyrus…
“We’re here because the tribute’s not enough. So we need more.” (Cyrus)
“But the Captain himself collected it. If he had an issue, he would have told us himself.” (Silas)
“Yeah, but the Captain’s not here. Now pay up or else?” (Cyrus)
Yeah… this guy’s one of those idiots who go over his boss’s head to try and get results. He’s either the type trying to either impress their boss with revolutionary ideas or overthrow them. I can’t stand either.
“Or else, what?”
“Oh, a tough guy? Well, we’re make an example outta you and then take our tribute. Or we’ll still make an example out of you and put shock collars on everyone else’s necks and put them to work? Either way, you just made a mistake.” (Cyrus)
Yeah… I hate him already.
“Or how about I kill ya and yer buddies before ya do anything? How many did ya bring, like twelve?”
After saying that, I let off a little killing intent. A few of them fainted from it while the rest looked spooked. Even Cyrus was shivering.
“Y-you… you don’t scare me! You’re only one man, we can take you!” (Cyrus)
“Ya can try… but I’m warning ya now, I’ve killed bigger and tougher than you for less than a threat. And I don’t make threats, I make promises.”
And with a little more killing intent, half of his cronies fainted. And Cyrus’s shivers were getting worse. And… something awful assaults my nose. It causes me to look down and see a puddle under Cyrus and a yellow spot at the groin area of his long johns.
“We’ll be back!” (Cyrus)
He then starts running away. The cronies who didn’t pass out followed him. It was hard not to laugh, though the Drifter was rolling on the ground laughing.
“Lost… what have you done!” (Silas)
Well, it looks like it’s time to explain myself.
“I just arranged an appointment with the Captain.”
“Wait… what!?” (Drifter)
The Drifter stops laughing and steals my catchphrase.
“Think about it, would the Captain not show up himself if something was wrong?”
“Well… he is more of the hands on-type.” (Silas)
“That’s what I thought, Mayor. That also means Cyrus was going over his head. Now, how will Cyrus explain what happened?”
“He… he won’t be able to.” (Silas)
“That’s right. You see, he and half of the others ran off in a panic. They forgot the guys who fainted from my killing intent. Therefore, he’ll have come up with an excuse on why he’s missing some of his cronies. And if that Captain guy’s the kind of guy I think he is, then he’s gonna come here himself.”
“Wait… you did that just to meet the Captain?” (Drifter)
And now she speaks?
“Yeah, that’s why I did it. I personally wanna meet the Captain. However, this stunt that Cyrus pulled will also cause him to keep a tighter leash on his dogs.”
If the Captain is the kind of guy I think he is, then he’s not gonna put up with Cyrus’s bullshit. It was easy to put it together from what the Mayor and the Drifter told me. Whether it’s out of pride or not, he won’t let his men walk all over him. So he’ll deal with Cyrus for us.
“Lost, please remind me to not make you an enemy?” (Drifter)
“Don’t worry, ya haven’t done anything to cause alarm yet.”
I can’t see her face, but I can tell that she was starting to realize that she was getting in over her head by associating with me. She’s not the first client to have those thoughts. Then again… I’ll pretty much do anything to get the job done. That is… as long as it’s not going against my beliefs.
About an hour later, the Marauders return. There is about enough for a small army. But there is one who sticks out the most. I could see him wearing an old white sea captain’s hat and some aviators. But the rest his attire… is as green as possible. In some sort of an off-olive drab, he was wearing a jumpsuit without sleeves that was torn in the stomach and the front inner right thigh. And he was wearing what looked similar to football pads that kinda made him look like he had huge man-breasts in the same color. He even painted his Bunk-Man to match! At least his gloves and boots were black? But that face… I’ve seen it before. It looks somewhat older, but I’d recognize that face anywhere. And he walks right up to me.
“So, are ya the guy who harassed my men?” (Captain)
“If you’re talking about the assholes who were harassing the people here first, then ya found him.”
I give off killing intent again, and most of the Marauders waver. But the Captain… he stands his ground.
“Heh, ya got some killing intent. And don’t seem to be the type to lie either. So I can only assume that my hunch is correct and those six guys ain’t dead?” (Captain)
“They just fainted from less killing intent than I just let off.”
The Captain then orders some of the Marauders to check. After some slaps, the fainted regain their consciousness. But… I don’t like the look that the Captain has on his face. He’s smiling.
“What yer name?” (Captain)
He’s asking my name? Well… better answer.
“What are ya, some kind of vigilante or something? Meh, who cares? Ya seem to be very able. It’s surprising that I ain’t heard of ya? Nothing much goes on with the Caesar Wasteland that I don’t know about. So that means ya ain’t from around here, right?” (Captain)
“I am and I’m not. Just a wandering mercenary who gave up his past.”
“You’re confusing as well, a mysterious stranger so to speak. Wanna work for me? I can give ya a hundred caps a day and all the junk ya want.” (Captain)
Junk, huh? That’s what the cool crowd called illegal substances back in the Old World. The term came from “junkie”, because that’s what you were when you get addicted.
“Sorry, but no thanks. I live by a set of rules. The first states that I stick with the contract I already have. And I don’t work for anyone else until it’s up. Besides, I prefer not to use junk. It messes with the senses too much.”
Both Mayor Cobalt and the Drifter were shaking when the Captain more than doubled their current offer by adding junk to it. So I had to state one of the rules that we didn’t even get to before. Besides, I felt somewhat appalled when the Captain added the junk to the offer.
“Heh, I don’t take junk either. But it helps keep these idiots under control. Hopefully, there won’t be any conflict between us in the future. Boys, bring Cyrus out!” (Captain)
At the Captain’s command, some other Marauders bring out Cyrus at gun point. He has a black eye and a swollen jaw that weren’t there an hour ago.
“Now in front of everyone, why did ya try to get more tribute out of these people?” (Captain)
“B-because we lost some… tribute when the… Sisterhood brought that last place… under their control.” (Cyrus)
“I see… but that was stupid as well. I know that the Sisterhood took over Little Yamato, those stupid Conglomerate news bots are everywhere condemning them for it. But ya can’t just demand more tribute without my permission. I’m the Captain, I run these streets like a ship! And ya just tried to commit a mutiny!” (Captain)
“M-mutiny? Please… you’re too soft. These people… they’re nothing but sheep for us to slaughter. Nothing more than food, we should just kill everyone and take everything!” (Cyrus)
“Oh Cyrus… poor pitiful Cyrus. Ya just don’t get it. If we do that, then where will our food, booze, and junk come from? This is why I’m in charge… other than the fact that I wiped out a few Marauder gangs by myself to show my strength? I know that if we just kill everyone and take everything, then eventually we’ll run out. And then what? We’ll have to move to another area and fight other Marauders over resources. Yer problem is that you’re too greedy and short-sighted. Me on the other hand… I see beyond what’s in front of me. That’s why I was able to force yer gang into submission in the first place.” (Captain)
“You… bastard…” (Cyrus)
“That’s not nice, Cyrus. Besides, ya already failed yer mission of finding the girl. What, did ya think that all yer former cronies were absolutely loyal to ya? One of them spilled everything after you were taken away. Just like how they said that you were trying to make up for the tribute we’re losing because the Sisterhood took over Little Yamato as a means to make up for yer failure. It would’ve been wiser to just return empty handed.” (Captain)
Cyrus is speechless over everything the Captain was saying. But… what girl? What are they talking about? And why is the Drifter seeming on edge?
“Screw you!” (Cyrus)
Cyrus tried to jump the Captain, but the Captain drew his sidearm faster. The sidearm… looked offensive as a firearm. It looked like a revolver, but it was a semi-automatic pistol that was designed to look like a revolver. I could easily tell by the extended magazine protruding from the grip. And the Captain Fired it, a hole was between Cyrus’s eyes.
“Alright ya louts, listen up! I don’t mind initiative, but I do mind ya trying to go over my head! Take Cyrus here for an example of what happens when ya try it!” (Captain)
He then removed his aviators and confirmed my suspicions. I lied earlier, there are actually two people I know with that face. The only difference between them was the eye color. And these eyes, were green. That face… was an older version of the one I see in the mirror. The Captain’s true identity… is Abel Mechana.
After Note: And that friends was chapter 10 of TOG. Yeah… it was tough to not make this seem like a Fallout fan fiction. But… I did have some resources to work with. Like the Demon-folk. They were mutated by the radiation from the nuclear fallout. So I didn’t have to come up with a replacement for Ghouls. But… I do need to come up with a replacement for the Feral Ghouls that’s not the Demon-folk.
There are three factions in the Caesar Wasteland. The Conglomerate are nothing more than a watered down Enclave. Very small-time, just business owners and minor politicians who want to be in charge. But they do have the most resources. And yes, I made Mr. Host the bad guy who leads them as he was very influential back in the Old World.
Next is the Sisterhood of Iron, the Brotherhood of Steal parody. I tried to make them different. I was originally going to call the armored females “Valkyries”, but I like “Iron Maidens” better. It fits with the name. I’ll try to get into more detail about them next chapter.
As for the Marauders… the syndicate run by the Captain is based on the Nuka-World Raiders from Fallout 4’s Nuka-World DLC. The main difference is that the Captain didn’t need Porter Gage’s help to rule over them. I made the syndicate as a group that’s different from the other Marauder gangs. They are bigger and more unified… though it’s out of fear and respect for the Captain. And yes, I made the Captain that timeline’s Abel Mechana. Lost wondered what would’ve happened if he wasn’t in Bunker Five Thirty, this is the answer. As for how things ended up this way, it will be explained later.
Now I’ll be working on Chapter 11 soon. But as I said earlier, there will be a live stream tomorrow if things go as planned.