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โ war. war never changes. โž
collaboration with esbees esbees

 
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  • ๐‘บ.๐‘ท.๐‘ฌ.๐‘ช.๐‘ฐ.๐‘จ.๐‘ณ.
    STRENGTH - 5
    PERCEPTION - 6
    ENDURANCE - 5
    CHARISMA - 6
    INTELLIGENCE - 4
    AGILITY - 6
    LUCK - 8​
๐™๐™ƒ๐™€ ๐™‡๐™Š๐™‰๐™€ ๐™’๐˜ผ๐™‰๐˜ฟ๐™€๐™๐™€๐™.

IT HAD TAKEN MONTHS to get to this point, and for what? Months after her father had left her to the wolves in the vault just to make his escape, and she was hardly any closer to finding him than she had been that first day. Fast forward to the present moment and all Alexandria had to go off of was Three Dogโ€™s word. It wasnโ€™t that she didnโ€™t trust the man, just that every turn seemed to set her back just as far as it pushed her forward. Nothing felt as though it would go her way, no matter how much she tried.

Standing in the GNR Plaza while Brotherhood soldiers milled around her and cleaned up after their fight with mutants, Alexandria scrolled through her pip-boy once more to double and triple check she knew where she was going. Those still around paid her no mind, something she was grateful for. Ever since leaving the vault she had yet to find any clothing or armor that fit and treated her better than her vault suit. The bright blue and yellow material made her stand out in a world where the skies constantly painted everything around them in a sickly hue and dirt and rubble clung to every porous surface. Along with her bright suit, her nearly white blonde hair stood out like a beacon in a crowd. There was no hiding in this new world, and sheโ€™d had to adapt to the attention she garnered quickly.

More often than not with a pistol in hand.

With the general area of Rivet City selected, the blonde let out a huffy breath before setting off for one of the metro stations sheโ€™d passed through. Itโ€™d surprised her that upon entering the Chevy Chase metro instead of raiders, thereโ€™d been a makeshift bar of sorts. Itโ€™d been fairly quiet with the majority of its few patrons asleep and sheโ€™d gotten through and down the stalled escalators without incident. That had been hours ago, though.

Her return trip to the bar had been uneventful save for the occasional radroach skittering away from her oncoming footsteps. Better than a feral ghoul sheโ€™d accidentally missed her first trip through. Reaching the top of the escalators, Alexandria braced herself before returning to the makeshift bar. It wasnโ€™t as busy as Moriartyโ€™s had been, but it was enough to keep her on edge.

Despite the chill of nerves racing through her body, Alexandria pulled herself to her full height and made her way to the bartender. After a brief exchange the vaultie made her way to the table tucked the furthest in the corner, the only table that wasnโ€™t fully occupied. With only another traveler seated on the other side, she dropped herself down into the chair and sat her purchase upon it.

โ€œCome here often?โ€ she asks the man across the way, popping open her rather outrageously overpriced bottle of Nuka Cola before settling in. โ€œDidnโ€™t realize there could be more to the metros than just ghouls and radiation. Ainโ€™t seen nothing like this, though.โ€ She spoke to fill the air, willing to continue if her new acquaintance allowed it. It had taken learning the hard way that being loud and abrasive kept the wrong kind of company away from her. And with this stranger? As long as he wasnโ€™t a problem too, perhaps sheโ€™d be left alone in his company.
 


MOOD: contemplative. curious. annoyed.

LOCATION: the back table of the station 8 bar, chevy chase metro station.
basics
MENTIONS: esbees esbees
tags
TL ; DR: bodie finds himself face-to-face with a vault dweller who talks too much.
tl;dr
bodie calhoun
โ into each life, some rain must fall, but too much is falling in mine. โž
Bodie liked Station 8. Underground. Out of the way. Quiet. The bar established in the abandoned footbridge of the Chevy Chase subway station wasnโ€™t on any tourist map. The only folks who frequented were mercenaries and merchants looking for a break. They all kept to themselves and their own, and didn't ask unnecessary questions. You couldnโ€™t find many places like that in the wasteland these days.

He sat alone at one of the tables, nursing a bourbon and smoking an old cigarette. It was too early to be a couple of drinks in, but it wasnโ€™t like he had anywhere to be. He was between jobs at the momentโ€” and bound to be for a while.

The Talon Company was making travel across the city very unpleasant. Couldnโ€™t go a few blocks without the possibility of running into a squad of those fuckers. The last he heard from Reilly a couple of weeks back, they were all over Seward Square, pushing their way into The Mall. Between all the action at the Capitol Building and these high-paying hits on the Lone Wanderer kid, Talon had become a big problem; bad for the wasteland, but especially bad for him. Sure, it had been a while since he heard any mention of himself on those channels, but he wasnโ€™t about to push his luck. He wasnโ€™t giving Eulogy that chance.

The โ€˜popโ€™ of a bottlecap pulled him from his thoughts, and his eyes shifted towards the bartender; an old ghoul, who had set up shop inside a decrepit newspaper stand. Despite all the years and caps he had spent in the place, Bodie couldnโ€™t tell you his nameโ€” or anything about him. He didnโ€™t think the old man liked to give that out; vague old bastard. He made a business out of knowing his customers, not the other way around. Kept the bourbon flowing and cigarettes coming, so Bodie didnโ€™t ask unnecessary questions.

An old radio hummed with static on a high shelf behind the bar, filling the station with white noiseโ€” and the occasional tune, whenever the signal came through. Bodie didnโ€™t know why the old ghoul kept it on; the radio didnโ€™t work too well this far underground, and the GNR signal was going belly-up anyway. None of his business, though.

He was deep in another sip of bourbon when the conversations around him began to fade to whispersโ€” and the faint melody of โ€œCrazy He Calls Meโ€ echoed in their absence. Eyebrows furrowed in confusion, he lowered the glass and tried to follow the gaze of those around him. It didnโ€™t take him long to find the source of the interruption.

Newcomer.

She was standing at the top of the escalator, pausing for just a moment before making her way through the mess of patrons. His eyes followed her across the footbridge, watching curiously as she approached the old ghoul at the bar.

She seemed youngโ€” at least, younger than him. She sure stood out like a sore thumb; the bright blues and yellows of her clothing clashing against the dark grays and greens of the station. Not a regularโ€” or even a local, for that matter.

Vault Dweller. Bodie had never seen one before. Alive, at least. He knew enough about those pre-war bunkers, but figured most of them were ghost towns by now.

He watched as she bargained for a bottle of cola with the ghoulโ€” who seemed to vaguely point her in the direction of his table. Shit. Bodie averted his eyes, turning his attention back to his drink, trying to look as disinterested as ever. The effort was unsuccessful, however, and soon enough Bodie found himself face-to-face with the Vault Dweller.

She started talking as soon as she sat down, much to his annoyance. He frowned, watching her pop the cap off her nuka-cola nonchalantly, yapping away. He hadn't had nearly enough to drink to deal with this. Waving to the bartender for another round, Bodie took a long drag of his cigarette, the smoke dancing and curling around his lips. He took a few long seconds before answering, narrowing his eyes at her.

โ€œNot many people do.โ€ He mumbled, turning his head to blow the smoke away from the table. โ€œDonโ€™t expect anything else like it, though. Tunnels ain't nothing but trouble.โ€ He held the cigarette over the ashtray on the table, tapping it a few times before squashing it entirely.

โ€œYou always talk this much to strangers?โ€
He sighed, raising an unamused eyebrow towards her.
code by valen t.
 
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๐๐ˆ๐“ ๐Ž๐… ๐€ ๐’๐๐ˆ๐“๐…๐ˆ๐‘๐„, ๐“๐‡๐€๐“ ๐Ž๐๐„ !!
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข In all her time outside of the vault, sheโ€™d yet to come across anything that soothed her quite the way cigarette smoke did. Theyโ€™d been everywhere in 101, easily accessible and yet rarely used. Growing up sheโ€™d often find Jonas smoking down in the reactor and while heโ€™d joked about ever being caught, she understood that this was something kept between them. Something about the overseer overreacting once upon a time, if she remembered correctly. Outside of the vault the smell was far less stifling, but still just as
comforting. It made sitting with this stranger a bit easier for her, for what she planned on asking of him.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€œYou donโ€™t?โ€ She asks with a laugh, taking one last sip before setting her drink down to fidget with her Pipboy. โ€œI think itโ€™s a great way to judge someoneโ€™s character. Itโ€™s not like Iโ€™m trying to talk your ear off, but people just donโ€™t like to listen to ladies so Iโ€™m making sure that you hear me loud and clear.โ€ Finally satisfied with what sheโ€™d read, piercing blue eyes finally properly settled on the man in front of her. She saw a man who had seen quite a bit of the wastes, and from his attire and obvious weaponry alone someone she could trust to have her back. And hopefully, like the ghoul bartender said, was worth every cap.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ With one last glance around the bar and her focus split between the other patrons and the merc in front of her, the blonde finally lowered her volume and splayed her hands flat on the table. โ€œListen, I think itโ€™s pretty clear who I am,โ€ she starts, drumming her fingers for a moment before stopping herself, a bad habit sheโ€™d been trying to cut. โ€œAnd Iโ€™m sure youโ€™ve noticed but Iโ€™ve got a lot going on. Enough so that Iโ€™d like to see about hiring you, bartender says you could use the work anyhow.โ€ Throwing an impish grin onto the last sentence the vaultie settles back in her seat, rather pleased with herself. While nerves thrum through every bit of her, hopefully heโ€™d take the bait. Men hated having their egos bruised, sheโ€™d come to learn. Especially wastelanders with a rep to protect.

โ€œI say I'll care forever
And I mean forever
If I have to hold up the sky
Crazy he calls me
Sure, I'm crazy
Crazy in love am I."


โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ In the background of the chatter and thrum of life from the bar, Alexandria could hear the voice of GNRโ€™s host seep through the little radio. She did her best to pay him no mind, knowing undoubtedly that the man was recounting her visit with him. In her few months topside that voice had followed her, recounting her and her fatherโ€™s adventures. A part of her loved it, hearing how the world saw her. Other times it terrified her; who was watching her? Who was feeding him information, and what if people started following her because of him?! All of these thoughts crashed down on the blonde, a look of panic flashing across her eyes.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€œ-but James, if youโ€™re listeningโ€ฆ your kidโ€™s out there, man. And She misses you. So you might want to find her before she gets swallowed up and spit out. And for all you other cats out there listening, if you see the kid from Vault 101 out there, give her a pat on the back and wish her luck.โ€

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€œI could use the help finding him.โ€

 
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MOOD: anxious. avoidant. uninterested.

LOCATION: the back table of the station 8 bar, chevy chase metro station
basics
MENTIONS: esbees esbees
tags
TL ; DR: bodie attempts to refuse the lone wanderer's job offerโ€” though his conscience tries to convince him otherwise.
tl;dr
bodie calhoun
โ into each life, some rain must fall, but too much is falling in mine. โž
โ€œListen, I think itโ€™s pretty clear who I amโ€”โ€

Bodie groaned softly, turning his gaze away from the young woman with a shake of his head. If this was supposed to be her โ€œnot tryingโ€ to talk his ear off, she didn't have him convinced. She continued to babble away as he began to pat his pockets, anxiously looking for his zippo. With the way this was going, it looked like heโ€™d be needing another cigarette.

Unfortunately, though, she was right; it hadn't taken him too long to assume he was sitting face-to-face with the Lone Wanderer. As if the faded '101' on the collar of her vault jumpsuit wasn't a dead giveaway. He'd just been hoping she happened to be some other Vault Dweller from Vault 101.

Come on, come on; where the hell was that damn lighter?

"โ€”bartender says you could use the work anyhow.โ€

Bodie paused in his search, slowly raising his eyes to look back at her. He met her mischievous grin with a strained one, his eyes betraying only the faintest glimpse of irritation.

โ€œThat so?โ€ That damned ghoul needed to mind his own business. Bodie shifted his gaze from her to where the bar sat above her shoulder, glaring daggers at the old man. The bartender seemed to pay him no mind.

โ€œStupid old man.โ€ Bodie rolled his eyes, muttering to himself as he continued his rummaging. Reaching down and digging his hand through the inside of his satchel, his fingers wrapped around the cold metal of the cigarette lighter. He breathed a sigh of relief as he pulled it out, running his thumb over the scratched surface. Satisfied, he settled back into his chair, reaching into his back pocket to grab another cigarette.

โ€œSure, kid; I know who you are.โ€ He admitted in a low tone, pulling a cigarette out of a crushed package before tossing it across the table toward her. Raising his eyebrows, he gave her a small nod, as if to offer her one, before placing his between his lips.

It took him a few tries, but soon enough he was able to produce a steady flame from that old lighter. As he raised the fire to his lips, the murmurs around him seemed to die down, allowing him to catch the tail end of a GNR news broadcast coming from the radio:

โ€œโ€”if you see the kid from Vault 101 out there, give her a pat on the back and wish her luck.โ€

Snapping the lighter shut, he glanced at her quickly, attempting to gauge her reaction to Three Dogโ€™s words. He watched as something flashed across her face: something that was all too familiar to him. Choosing to ignore the knot forming in his stomach, he stared down at the beat-up lighter in his hand. His reflection peered back at him, warped and distorted; in this light, it almost seemed like it was regarding him withโ€” disappointment? He frowned, furrowing his eyebrows in aggravation as he stuffed the lighter back into his satchel.

Turning his attention back toward the Lone Wanderer, Bodie cleared his throat, attempting to break the tension. โ€œListen, Iโ€™d like to help you; I really would.โ€ He started, and the cigarette left a trail of smoke in the air as he waved his hand around in emphasis of his words. โ€œBut itโ€™s simple, you seeโ€” I just donโ€™t you could afford me.โ€ He shrugged, giving her a small, insincere smile.

Of course, it was more than that. He didnโ€™t care about caps unless you were a real piece of shit. Half his jobs ended up being pro bono anyway, what with his work with the Temple of the Union.

No, it wasnโ€™t about the money. It was about her.

Everyone knew the Lone Wanderer was being hunted; hunted by the same bastards that had been hunting him for the last few years. The Talon Company was after this kid, and he didnโ€™t need that type of heat on him.

Not again.
code by valen t.
 
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๐๐ˆ๐“ ๐Ž๐… ๐€ ๐’๐๐ˆ๐“๐…๐ˆ๐‘๐„, ๐“๐‡๐€๐“ ๐Ž๐๐„ !!
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Sharp blue eyes bore into the man across the table, her gaze unfaltering with him in her line of sight. As she plucked a cigarette from the box, her eyes took a brief glance around the room before settling on him again, watching intently as he lit up. With the pungent smell filtering between them, the noise and thrum of the station around them finally died down to the background of her attention. Music filtered through the bartenderโ€™s crappy little radio, the other customers returned to their conversations, and Alexandria felt herself melt into the background of this little spot, despite the bright blue of her suit sticking out in the dreary colours of the metro station.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Idly tapping her unlit cig against the table top, the blonde rolls her eyes at what was possibly the lamest excuse sheโ€™d heard in a while. โ€˜I just donโ€™t think you could afford me.โ€™ It sounded an awful lot like what sheโ€™d once overheard Nova saying to a rather scummy customer. If memory served her right, heโ€™d wound up with a beer splashed in his face and after being kicked out, Nova had had a scolding of a lifetime in Moriartyโ€™s office about scaring off new clients.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข It wasnโ€™t long after that that sheโ€™d learned of Tenpenny Tower and started a rather raucous adventure for her. An oddly opportunistic one, too.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข โ€œI donโ€™t believe you.โ€ There, right out in the open she was hoping to catch him in what she hoped was a lie. โ€˜I donโ€™t think you could afford me.โ€™ It took quite a bit to keep back a sneer at his words cycling through her thoughts again. โ€œGive me your price, then. Caps arenโ€™t an issue. I may have just walked out of the vault, but I wasnโ€™t born yesterday so man up and treat me like a business partner,โ€ she huffs out, doing her best to keep her volume in control. While it was tempting to throw in his face that she could offer her caps to anyone else in the room, out of all of them the merc across from her had given her the least amount of heebie jeebies.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข โ€œI need to get to Rivet City. Surely youโ€™re not gonna turn down caps to walk me over, right?โ€ Throwing in a pout for good measure, the blonde slumps back in her chair before pulling out a half empty match box, each stick in worse condition than the last. โ€œIโ€™m gonna have to buy some more soon,โ€ she mutters in thought, striking one and lighting her cigarette up.
 


MOOD: surprised. aggravated. done with the situation.

LOCATION: the back table of the station 8 bar, chevy chase metro station
basics
MENTIONS: esbees esbees
tags
TL ; DR: caught in his own lie, bodie comes somewhat clean about why heโ€™s turning her down.
tl;dr
bodie calhoun
โ into each life, some rain must fall, but too much is falling in mine. โž
Did she justโ€” call his bluff?

Bodie froze, his cigarette floating only a few inches from his lips. His eyebrows furrowed in irritation as the incredulity of the situation slowly washed over his face. He didnโ€™t break eye contact with her as he took another long drag, inhaling deeply. The acrid smoke filled the space between them as it escaped from behind his lips and noseโ€” although this time, he didnโ€™t attempt to wave it away. It lingered in the air, separating the two in a bleary, toxic haze.

He was staring her down. Sizing her up. She sure was something, wasnโ€™t she? Not exactly the wide-eyed, naive vault-dweller he expected her to be; she seemed to be somewhat aware of the state of the world around her. Still, brash and straightforward was a lovely combination if you were trying to get yourself killed. Not everyone in the wasteland had his patienceโ€” and his was dwindling by the second.

Even if she was attempting to keep her voice lowered, the tables around them were already shifting eyes in their direction. Trying to keep the peaceโ€” and keep her quiet, Bodie frowned sullenly, lifting both of his hands in the air in front of him. โ€œAlright, alright, listen. Itโ€™s notโ€”โ€

However, he was interrupted as the bartender abruptly appeared, looming over the side of the table. The ghoul took a moment to perceive the two silently before sliding a new glass of bourbon in front of Bodie.

The mercenary raised his eyes slowly, frowning at the old man with aggravation. Rifling through his pockets, he tossed a few caps in his direction and muttered a few words in acknowledgment. The ghoul grinned, almost as he knew something they both did not, pocketing the change and tossing a wink at the Lone Wanderer before departing.

Once alone again, Bodie cleared his throat and leaned forward against the table, throwing glances toward the tables that surrounded them. There didnโ€™t seem to be a point in walking on eggshells around her anymore, so he didnโ€™t bother to. โ€œItโ€™s not about your caps.โ€ He sighed in exasperation, running his hand across the bottom of his face.

โ€œYou want it straight? Thereโ€™s a lot of open air between us and Rivet City.โ€ He muttered, his voice low. โ€œYou know how much trouble it is to get just a couple of blocks into the city these days? Itโ€™s just not worth it.โ€ He shook his head as he leaned back against his chair, pressing his lips together in a firm line.

โ€œKeep your caps and get lost, kid.โ€ Bodie ignored the guilt-tripping pout on her face as he picked up the glass of bourbon with his free hand. Throwing back his head quickly, he finished the half-full glass with ease, only worsening the burn in his throat with another drag of his cigarette.

All the luck to her, but he wasnโ€™t going to be her man.
code by valen t.
 

๐๐ˆ๐“ ๐Ž๐… ๐€ ๐’๐๐ˆ๐“๐…๐ˆ๐‘๐„, ๐“๐‡๐€๐“ ๐Ž๐๐„ !!

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Growing up in the vault had been a test of patience in of itself. Having been born in a box of metal with nothing natural (outside of the occasional radroach) surrounding her, unsurprisingly Alexandria had turned towards acting out, mischief, and all around causing problems to pass her time. She couldnโ€™t even count how many times sheโ€™d gotten into trouble with members of the vault for this or that, but despite it all she stood out against the likes of Butch or Wally. While her father had been somewhat absent due to his work at times, manners and a brain for the academics had come swiftly and naturally for her. Manners that she often twisted to manipulate and annoy those around her. Smarts that often left her an outcast even amongst the worst of them.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Outside of the vault sheโ€™d learned that manners didnโ€™t mean much, as most people didnโ€™t have any. Well, except for Gob. Gob, who was her first true lesson in just how cruel the topside was. He had been horrific to look at with flesh and cartilage exposed, and she had done her best to keep her eyes from wandering and her expression neutral. In turn heโ€™d be surprised by her kindness and manners and had given her a discount despite the risk to himself.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข With Gob as her first interaction with ghouls, the innate curiosity of how radiation affected others had overriden the natural instinct for disgust that most showed. Despite having only been in the wastes for a couple weeks, ghouls felt like another fact of life at this point.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Despite the nicotine rushing through her system and helping to calm her down, the bartenderโ€™s interruption had been more than welcome and given her time to think. Catching his wink, she quirks a smile his way, bolstered by the ghoulโ€™s silent encouragement. Taking another swig from her Nuka Cola, Alexandria squared her shoulders and settled in, doing her best to push aside the frustration swimming below the surface. The merc in front of her was doing a great job of getting under her skin, but right now she felt as though he was her only ticket to surviving the world around her without having to worry about his intentions too.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข โ€œFine.โ€ Douche. Her pout dissipated and brows fell into a cross expression. Scooting her chair back and standing up, the blonde took one last large swig of her cola before nearly slamming the empty glass bottle onto the table. โ€œI was hoping I wouldnโ€™t have to brave it the whole way on my own and risk getting lost, but not even caps could get you to cross it?โ€ Shameful, really.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Knowing that she had the general attention of the barโ€™s patrons on her, Alexandria made her way to the bar, pulling out a hefty handful of caps and leaving them on the counter.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข โ€œLast roundโ€™s on me. For everyone,โ€ she says, turning to the group with a wild glint in her eye and a terrible smile on her lips. Facing the merc once more, she hoped her words met their mark. โ€œI hope that the next time you hear about how your favourite vaultie was found torn to shreds by the cruelty of the wastes, lost and looking for her daddy, youโ€™ll pour one out for me.โ€ With her peace spoken, Alexandria gave the room one last look over. Satisfied with the general reaction of haughty murmurs and looks over in the manโ€™s direction, Alexandria blew a kiss to the bartender before readjusting her pack and heading for last stretch to exit the metro, not bothering to look back.
 


MOOD: shocked. pissed. defeated.

LOCATION: leaving the chevy chase metro station
basics
MENTIONS: esbees esbees
tags
TL ; DR: the lone wanderer teaches the coonhound to heel.
tl;dr
bodie calhoun
โ into each life, some rain must fall, but too much is falling in mine. โž
Bodie breathed a silent sigh of relief when the young woman muttered in agreementโ€” albeit ever so begrudgingly. With one last dig at his ego, the Lone Wanderer stood, slamming her bottle of nuka-cola onto the table. The urge to engage with her obvious attempt to provoke him tempted him, but he swallowed the retort before it could leave his throat. His eyes narrowed at her, but they didnโ€™t follow as she walked away.

He found himself staring into the void her absence had created, another drag of the cigarette adding to the noxious haze surrounding him. Something was gnawing at himโ€” his conscience. He knew exactly what would be waiting for her on the road to Rivet City. Heโ€™d let her walk right into that. She was just a kid, on her own, in a cruel and unforgiving world. Just like he had been. The knot in his stomach churned with unease. His mouth felt suddenly dry. He shook his head in discomfort, trying to rid himself of the thoughtsโ€” but they persisted, as thick as the murk that encompassed him.

No. No. He made the right choice. It wasnโ€™t his business. He didnโ€™t have time for a charity case. He had more pressing issues. Whatever he needed to tell himself.

A loud voice pulled him out of his rumination; a familiar voice. Bodie shifted around his seat, looking towards the direction of the commotion and inadvertently locking eyes with the Lone Wanderer. He frowned as she stared him down from across the room. Her smile seemed almost ghoulish in the eerie light of the metro stationโ€” as she proceeded to denounce him in front of everyone.

Bodie stared after her in shock, his eyes wide, his mouth slightly agape, as she marched out and towards the exit.

Oh, that little shโ€”

It took him a second to process the situation, though the commotion in the bar was quick to bring him back to his senses. He could feel his cheeks start to flush. He could feel his teeth grinding against each other. He could feel himself wanting to shrink under all of the stares.

Oh, she was brash and straightforward, alrightโ€” but she knew how to use those faults to her advantage. Smart. Heโ€™d underestimated her; a mistake he would not be making again.

He supposed he had two options: stay and take the hit to his reputation, or leave and take her all the way to Rivet City. Both were terrible. On one hand, heโ€™d lose quite a bit of credibility. There was a reason the people of the wasteland had learned not to mess with himโ€” and he refused to let her undermine him. On the other hand, Rivet City was at least two days' travel from here, and given what he'd seen of her, he wasnโ€™t even certain he'd be able to make it that far without wanting to blow his brains out.

Damned if he did, damned if he didnโ€™t.

Either way, time to go.

The commotion began to fade as Bodie stood up, throwing his eyes around the room and casting a glare of contempt at everyone he could see. Throwing his cigarette butt on the ground, he squashed it under his boot, twisting his shoe to grind it into the crumbling concrete. โ€œThis is none of your business.โ€ He barked, his voice low and gruff, tilting his head to the side. The patrons of the bar quickly turned back to their own business, desperate to avoid his withering gaze. He knew all too well what they were all thinking. Despite the laughter and the gossipโ€” he was still the one they called the Coonhound. He could tear them all to shreds if he wanted.

He slung the satchel across his shoulder and the shotgun across his back. His hand hovered above the pistol strapped to his thigh as he stalked towards the bar, his fingers twitching. Those in his way were smart enough to get out of it.

He slammed a few caps down on the bar, offering nothing else but a glare for the ghoul. Whether the bartender had anything to say for his unappreciated intrusion into Bodieโ€™s life, he wouldnโ€™t know; he didnโ€™t bother waiting for a response. He was more than eager to leave Station 8 behind.

With the din of the bar fading behind him, he jogged down the ramp that led towards the exterior gate. He could feel a faint breeze against his face, carrying the stench of the wasteland down to the station below. It had been a few days since he was up on the surface; he always forgot how much he enjoyed the warmth of the sun against his skin. It almost made him excited for the impending trek. Almost.

He caught a glimpse of her bright blue vault suit as he turned the corner. "Hold onโ€”" He muttered, making quick work to reach her, lengthening his stride until he was a couple of feet away. He just stood there, staring at her. He said nothing for a long while, arms crossed against his chest, face furrowed in an irritated frown.

However, something inside him seemed to give way, and he heaved a defeated sigh, rubbing his hand across his face.

โ€œFine, kid. You win.โ€ He grumbled, though it seemed more to himself than to her. โ€œIโ€™ll take you as far as Rivet City." He repositioned his shotgun on his back as he made up the distance between them. Butโ€”โ€ He continued, quick to point a finger at her in emphasis. โ€œWeโ€™re going to do this my way. My rules. Iโ€™m in charge. Got it?โ€
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โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข With the high of adrenaline rushing through her and the raucous laughter and cries from the bar goading her on, Alexandria couldnโ€™t help the smile still plastered onto her cracked lips. Even if he didnโ€™t follow her, at the very least she could relive this moment where she felt on top of her world even for just a moment. Sheโ€™d held the roomโ€™s attention and thrown it all into the strange manโ€™s face. If he didnโ€™t come running after her, she knew she had at least struck a chord in him. Men like that were few and far in between, men who looked as though they had seen the wastes and decided to survive out of spite. Men whose egos were proving to be too large to leave her challenge unanswered, if the quiet echoing ting of approaching footsteps was anything to go off of.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Finding the little bar had been pure luck, for who would want to set up shop in a feral ghoul infested shithole like this? The idea of having help reaching Rivet City hadnโ€™t even crossed her mind until sheโ€™d seen him, sticking out like a sore thumb amongst the other patrons. Most wastelanders she came across had this haunted look, were dirty, starving, or just straight barbaric. There were several things about him that she decided it was worth looking to try and hire him. Anything to make this last leg of her journey safer - simpler. A few months had been enough time for the Capital Wasteland to give her a proper, deadly welcome from the vault. She was done wandering alone.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Most of Alexandriaโ€™s encounters had been against groups. Sheโ€™d give it to the Wastelanders who had discovered there was safety in numbers. Anyone sheโ€™d encountered alone were either outcasts, inexperienced, or the rare few who could handle what cruelty the world dished out to them each day. Sheโ€™d done okay on her own up until this point, and presumably - given that his table was empty - so had he.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข As the man neared her in the tunnels, that wolfish smile tugged back on her features, a wild sort of look to her eyes in accomplishment. She wouldnโ€™t gloat though, not yet. If he was here to accept her offer then she could find the patience to bring it up another time. There was no way that she was letting this go, though. For a moment her baser, animalistic instincts begged her to run at the predator sauntering her way, she could recognize the danger this stranger presented. Alexandria had seen the survivor in him, the way he kept himself clean and his weapons well cared for. The sense of determination, the will to survive and not that deep seated, enveloping resentment and acceptance that this was as good as it got sheโ€™d seen in most others. No, sheโ€™d picked well. From one monster to another, she mused.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Staring right back at him, her grin started to fade as she held onto the eye contact, refusing to be the first to break away. Let him make the first move. The adrenaline was fading fast as they stood in silence, her cheery and obnoxious demeanor slipping for the briefest moment. For only a moment that weary girl who had been through too much slipped through, lips faltering into a near frown before heโ€™d finally conceded. As if nothing had happened her giddy facade was back in place, holding back her tongue of all the things she wanted to say to him, to hold over him for following after her like a lost pup.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข At least she had the pick of the litter following her now.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข โ€œI knew I could count on you!โ€ A merry tone was layered thickly onto her voice, but she held her hand out to him to shake. โ€œTo Rivet City will do,โ€ she agreed, although she was pointedly ignoring his directions for her to listen to him. As if. โ€œIf weโ€™re going to work together though, I need your name. โ€˜Tall, dark, and handsomeโ€™ just isnโ€™t gonna cut it in an emergency.โ€

 


MOOD: flustered. jealous. too many emotions.

LOCATION: leaving the chevy chase metro station.
basics
MENTIONS: esbees esbees
tags
TL ; DR: bodie wades through a wasteland of inner dialogue.
tl;dr
bodie calhoun
โ into each life, some rain must fall, but too much is falling in mine. โž
Oh boy.

Bodie felt his cheeks flush. His eyes fluttered and softened only a bit as they dropped from her gaze towards the ground. The teasing tone of her words was not lost on him. He knew what she was doing, he could see it from a mile away, and yetโ€” she was already getting to him. He hadnโ€™t even spent two damn minutes on the job.

To think, heโ€™d spent nearly a decade roaming the wilderness, working for and helping out all sorts of people. Heโ€™d seen his fair share of weirdos and whackjobs and plenty of others across the floating spectrum of karma. The thing about them thoughโ€” they were all born and baptized in the ash of nuclear fallout. They were obvious and predictableโ€” he could read them all like a copy of Guns and Bullets. They were all the same.

Not her. No, she wasnโ€™t from his world, and she hadnโ€™t been broken by it. She wasnโ€™t bound by the same code or rules like the rest of them were. She was a wildcard, and that felt like trouble. Given the events that had already transpired today, heโ€™d need to be on his guard around herโ€” for both their sakes.

โ€œItโ€™s Calhoun.โ€ He muttered, grabbing her hand and giving it a quick, but firm, shake.

Her hand felt small against his; worn down, but still soft. It made him realize just how rough and coarse his own had become. He couldnโ€™t even remember if his hands had ever felt like hers.

A twinge of jealousy washed over him. Sheโ€™d had it easy. Living her whole life in one of those vaults. Safe and tucked away from the horrors of the wasteland. Not having to worry about the world eating her alive. Being her age and having hands that felt like that.

He would have done anything. He would have killed for that chance, and she left it all behind.

Annoyed and flustered at the overwhelming amount of feelings he had been forced to experience in such a short amount of time, Bodie dropped her hand almost as if it burned him. He gave her a mirthless smirk and a short nod of his head in acknowledgment, before leaning up against the fence that barred them from the wasteland outside.

Get it out, Bodie. Don't dwell. You've got a job to do.

They needed to get moving.

He couldnโ€™t see much from this vantage point, but the sun was getting high in the sky. Squinting his eyes as he cast them upward, he heaved a sigh. Theyโ€™d have to cut across Chevy Chase and reach Metro Junction by sundownโ€” he was in no mood to be potentially mauled by feral ghouls.

โ€œSo, you got a name, or do you expect me to call you Lone Wanderer?โ€

The moniker rolled off his tongue with a bit more distaste than he intended. He wasnโ€™t the biggest fan of Three Dog and his need to stick his nose in everyone elseโ€™s business. If he had to guess, what little Bodie had heard about the girl from GNR probably didn't come from her.

Either way, he wasnโ€™t calling her that.
code by valen t.
 
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โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข After her escape from the vault, Alexandria had been dealt a pretty shit hand; the Wasteland was a fucking nightmare. While the vault had been a blanket of security, out here there was nothing but crumbling walls and the ever present threat that everything carried around them. Oh, she hated it. It had taken some time to adjust to the cruelty that knelt in every corner and preyed in every shadow, to learn that every smile hid another meaning. So in the first few months, she had adapted, had learned to become like them. Every soft edge had been turned sharp, her smile was now a wolfโ€™s grin, her words laced with barbs. Gone was the girl from the vaults, here was a woman born out of hellfire and desperation.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข And before her? A man who bore similar thorns to her own that at first sheโ€™d only seen them, and not the familiarity of it. He was worn and weathered by the world, but behind it all was someone willing to get โ€˜daddyโ€™s little girlโ€™ back to him. It delighted her, knowing that she could get by on this opportunity.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข As he dropped his hand from hers, Alexandria took the time to really look at his face, to try and see beneath the grime and dust the world had caked into his very being. Before her, undoubtedly, stood a man whose whole life had been nothing but survival. She pitied him, if only for a moment. If he was smart heโ€™d try and steal her caps. Smarter yet, and he might gut her in the process, just as she had done to Tenpenny to get it in the first place. There was something about him though that she couldnโ€™t place her finger on, something that settled her paranoid worry, that whispered โ€˜you can trust himโ€™ in her ear.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Bright blue eyes slowly followed Calhounโ€™s line of sight, looking past the fence and to the crumbling city around them. God above, she was ready to get out of this smelly tunnel, any day now Calhoun. The sun stood just past noon overhead, and if her couple of months outside of Megaton had showed her anything, it was that when the sun dropped, so did your chance of survival. Sheโ€™d become adept to the dark, to being quiet and slow, but one look at her new companion and she knew enough to know that he wasnโ€™t going to be able to do the same. If anything, based on weapons alone, he seemed more inclined to charge in and ask questions later. She didnโ€™t mind; whatever got them closer to finding her father.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข โ€œI was finally starting to think it was catching on,โ€ she crooned, bright eyes alight with that playful, bordering on wild energy to them. โ€œLone Wanderer treks the wastes.Lone Wanderer liberates Tenpenny Tower! Lone Wanderer reinstates the GNR radio all by herself. Sounds pretty good to me.โ€ In all honesty the name had felt like a bright red target on her back begging for a knife in the middle of it. While she was proud of her accomplishments and everything sheโ€™d been achieving on her own, she was barely getting by in a way that mattered. Everyone wanted something of her, but no one wanted to offer help in return.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข โ€œItโ€™s Alexandria. Just Alexandria.โ€ With that said, she was tired of waiting on this dog of a man and swaggered up to the fence, taking a deep breath once the fresh breeze of the world above welcomed her from the metroโ€™s gloom. โ€œLetโ€™s get going before any muties show up, Iโ€™m sure whoeverโ€™s left is still pissed about yesterday.โ€


 


MOOD: the opposite of curious. perceptive. unease. slight hatred.

LOCATION: chevy chase metro station, street level.
basics
MENTIONS: esbees esbees
tags
TL ; DR: so, apparently bodie's not a city guy.
tl;dr
bodie calhoun
โ into each life, some rain must fall, but too much is falling in mine. โž
โ€œRiiight.โ€ Bodie replied, carrying out the word a bit longer than normal. She wasnโ€™t wrong thoughโ€” the name had caught on like wildfire. Thanks to Three Dogโ€™s round-the-clock harping, everyone was talking about this Lone Wanderer kid. Sheโ€™d become the star of the wastelandโ€™s newest serial drama; folks were tuning in to hear more about the vault dweller and her missing dadโ€” and while not directly paying attention, heโ€™d heard enough about her exploits. He just didnโ€™t care so much; as long as it didnโ€™t directly affect him, he didnโ€™t give a shit.

Business was business, and besides, heโ€™d worked for much worse.

Alexandria. So, she did have a name. Good to know, he supposed, but he probably wasnโ€™t going to call her that, either. He wasn't a big first-name-basis type of person.

Bodie narrowed his eyes at the girl as she pushed up against the metal gate. Overeager, huh? That certainly wasnโ€™t going to be a problem in the long run. Still, she had a point. Theyโ€™d already burned enough precious daylight, and he knew better than to be caught in the middle of the city once the sun went down.

Her mention of super mutants was troubling, though. While it wasnโ€™t unusual to see them in this area, heโ€™d been hoping with the news of the Brotherhood moving in, theyโ€™d have been pushed out by now. Seems like that was no dice. The Brotherhood being useless? What else was new.

Bodie lifted the shotgun up and over his head. Holding the weapon lowered in one hand, he used his other to flip up the metal latch that held the gate closed. It swung open with a groan, joints rusted away; he grimaced at the noise.

โ€œGreat. Justโ€” stay low. You stick out like a deathclaw in a sundress with that vault suit.โ€

He started to climb up the stairs, taking two at a time. Damn, it was bright. Spending any amount of time in the tunnels was always shit for his vision, and it had already been a few days since he was up on the surface. It took more than a second for his eyes to adjust. Reaching the street level, he paused instinctively, keeping low to the ground, eyes squinted as he quickly surveyed the area.

The ruins of the city always made Bodie feel small. The charred remains of former skyscrapers surrounded them, and the skeleton of the Monument loomed in the distance. He raised his eyes in uneasy towards the Guardians, a trio of imposing statues high above them. Silent and still, their vigilant gaze unending. Unnerving.

Only another reminder of how heโ€™d take the emptiness of the wasteland to the graveyard of the city any day.

He sighed softly. Well, Chase seemed deserted enough. The Galaxy News Radio building leered at him from across the rubble. Been quite a while since he set foot in that place. Even at this distance, he could see figures patrolling the areaโ€” the Brotherhood, strutting around in their shiny power armor. His eyes flashed with hatred for only a moment; he knew they had made some sort of protection deal with Three Dog, but seeing them in person was always enough to make his blood boil. Bodie spat in the direction of the building in disgust before turning his attention back towards the girl.

โ€œAlright, Metro Junctionโ€™s at the next intersection.โ€ He said, rising to his feet and motioning down Chase Avenue with his shotgun. โ€œNext stopโ€™ll depend on the ghouls. Keep an eye out.โ€ With that, he pushed forward, making his way towards the abandoned street.
code by valen t.
 
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โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Following Calhoun made it easier to fall back on what instincts sheโ€™d already honed, her energy focused on double and triple checking she had everything and was ready to face the topside again. She cringed as the gate opened, her fingers flying over the pistol on her thigh, the hunting knife on her hip, and finally the rifle on her back. As Alexandriaโ€™s fingers brushed against the cool metal of the long barrel, her eyes gazed upward to the statues hovering ahead of them. They might once have been beautiful but here and now? It felt as though they could see through her with those fathomless eyes, see what memories plagued her through her own.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข The gun on her back had been taken from the man in the minefield sheโ€™d scouted out for Moira all those months ago, her prize for surviving his relentless attack. Arkansas, if she remembered right. After escaping his gunfire and the vehicles he set off she had snuck up behind the man and taken him out with a knife to the back. Guilt had set in right after, coward ringing through her head. He hadnโ€™t been her first kill by any means, but they hadnโ€™t talked, hadnโ€™t even looked each other in the eyes and sheโ€™d taken him out. The weight of the gun on her back served as a reminder, both punishment and reward for taking the manโ€™s life.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Knowing that it wouldnโ€™t be her last mistake had settled heavily on her, as heavy as the unrelenting gaze of the statues.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Trailing him up the stairs, Alexandria had nearly missed Bodieโ€™s comment but the words settled in and pulled her out of her murky thoughts. The words lingered for a moment before the meaning settled in and she couldnโ€™t help but eye him with a hungry gaze. The comparison didnโ€™t go unnoticed, whether or not his intentions to feed her ego were purposeful. Alexandria had been through a lot since leaving the vault, each day a trial of her will to survive and endure. Sheโ€™d made herself into a monster, determined to be resilient against it all. To be compared to one of the most terrifying beasts that roamed the topside, so rare and yet so deadly they were well known.. it struck a chord in her, something deep and primal stirring within.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข โ€œI donโ€™t think Iโ€™d be alive if I didnโ€™t know how to stay hidden,โ€ she retorted, taking the stairs quickly to keep pace. โ€œIโ€™d pay to see that, though. I bet the deathclaw would feel real pretty in a dress, โ€˜aught to give her some flowers to go with it. Some nice red lipstick, really bring it all together.โ€ Laughter coated her words, perhaps a bit loud in the stairwell.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข As her new companion crouched, Alexandria followed suit. The fall was quick and graceful, her feet adjusting to the sudden change in weight distribution. The wastes had created the perfect thief out of her, quiet and light on her toes, her fingers adept at precise movements and feeling out nearly every lock she encountered. Sheโ€™d learned to master moving silently, sticking to shadows that would swallow up the blue of her suit.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Up here the statues felt far more intimidating, no longer a distant presence from the gate, but now it felt as though they took up her space, even from fifteen feet away. There was something about the topside architecture that made her feel both claustrophobic and like she was freefalling in the open space. The statues sheโ€™d encountered though? Their presence even from a distance felt like an omen. She just couldnโ€™t quite place why.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Alex trailed after without thought, pointedly stepping around the glob of spit heโ€™d hurled to the ground with disgust. Men. With Calhoun to lead them, she opened her pipboy up to mark down where theyโ€™d come from and where they were going, blue eyes darting up every now and then to scan their surroundings. As they passed the group of Brotherhood soldiers from a distance, she gave them little of her attention. They had been a blessing to come across fighting through the muties to get to GNR, but had become a nuisance the moment the fighting was done. As far as she was concerned they were a nuisance that kept getting in her way, but beyond that knew so little she couldnโ€™t find it in herself to care for them.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข โ€œI usually try and make ghouls someone elseโ€™s problem, if I can help it,โ€ she murmured, doing her best to keep her voice low while still audible to her new companion. The word felt off, even though she hadnโ€™t voiced it. Companion. A partner in this hellhole. It felt kind of nice, after some consideration. โ€œThrow a frag, watch em scurry. Usually whoever comes to over to investigate is so busy dealing with them they donโ€™t even think to ask โ€˜where did that come from?โ€™โ€ Amusement clung to her features, pleased with the plan sheโ€™d used a handful of times to escape awkward situations. She barely gave Calhoun any time to respond before plowing on.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข โ€œNow, before you say itโ€™s โ€œtoo dangerousโ€ or โ€œtoo recklessโ€ just know that itโ€™s a very successful plan. Three times out of four is pretty great odds, if you ask me.โ€

 


MOOD: observant. perturbed. self-reflective.

LOCATION: chase avenue, downtown dc.
basics
MENTIONS: esbees esbees
tags
TL ; DR: three dog wasnโ€™t exaggerating about the lone wandererโ€™s reputation, thatโ€™s for sure.
tl;dr
bodie calhoun
โ into each life, some rain must fall, but too much is falling in mine. โž
Taking the lead, Bodie navigated the debris-strewn street, his grip tightening on his weapon.

It wasnโ€™t hard to recognize that someone had gotten themselves into a firefight not too long ago. An ugly one too, by the looks of itโ€” bullets were scattered and blood was splattered upon the pavement. He squinted his eyes against the sunlight as they crossed the intersection, his gaze drawn to the carnage like a moth to the flame. Yet, he couldnโ€™t help but feel a twinge of relief at the sight.

Whatever sucker got themselves into this mess; better them than him.

There were quite a number of fires between them and Galaxy News Radio; hell, it looked like someone damn near razed the entire block. His gaze dropped briefly towards the ground as he felt himself step on one of the empty casings. 5mm casings. 5mm casings meant minigunsโ€” and miniguns meant Super Mutants. He found himself quickening his pace, keen to put distance between them and any lingering threat.

She wasnโ€™t lying about the Mutants.

Chewing on the inside of his cheek, he glanced back at her quickly. She had known about this already, hadnโ€™t she? That only raised more questions than answers, but he wasnโ€™t particularly interested in asking her any. He had never been very passionate about getting to know his โ€œclientsโ€; in his profession, the less he knew, the better. A rule born from necessity, a shield against any unexpected fallout.

She didnโ€™t seem to have the same ideology, however. She trailed behind him, eager to strike up a conversation, her voice laced with a nonchalance that only slightly irked him.

โ€œ...I usually try and make ghouls someone elseโ€™s problem, if I can help it.โ€

Bodie frowned at her words, his eyebrows furrowed. Huh. Well, at least her reputation accurately preceded her. He supposed one didnโ€™t lead a massacre of a building full of defenseless rich snobs without having at least one screw loose.

Then againโ€” who was he to pass judgment? His expression darkened in thought; try as he might, he couldnโ€™t just forget what he had done to get where he was, what he had been forced to do to stay aliveโ€” to be free.

She may have done some questionable things since leaving her vault, but she was nothing compared to him.

He shook his head, trying to clear his mind of persisting memories. โ€œWe do what we need to do to survive.โ€ He admittedโ€” but offered very little else by way of meaning. It was but a cynical truth, a product of their harsh reality.

โ€œJust warn me if you ever try to pull some shit like that.โ€ He turned around to look at her, quick to give her a pointed stare. If there was anything he understood by now, it was that she was highly unpredictable. If they were going to make it to Rivet City alive, he needed to be sure that they were on the same page. He refused to be thrown under the bus after all of this. Not by someone like her.

Instead, he caught her fiddling with that strange device on her wrist. Heโ€™d never seen anything like it; he could only assume it was some form of vault dweller tech. Curiosity, a flicker of something unexpected, sparked within him.

โ€œThatโ€” thing on your wrist. Whatโ€™s it do?โ€ He inquired, though he attempted to sound as disinterested as ever. Perhaps, despite himself, he was starting to chip away at his self-imposed isolation.

code by valen t.
 
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๐๐ˆ๐“ ๐Ž๐… ๐€ ๐’๐๐ˆ๐“๐…๐ˆ๐‘๐„, ๐“๐‡๐€๐“ ๐Ž๐๐„ !!


โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Alexandria kept pace with Calhoun without issue, even when her attention was diverted to the device strapped to her left forearm. Every step felt like a choreographed dance, toeing around debris and rubble like it was nothing, relying on her peripherals and proximity to her guide to keep upright. Even then, sheโ€™d become accustomed to multitasking out of the vault as quickly as she had within. Bright blue eyes shot up as Calhoun spoke, distracting her just enough that her careful footing faltered, a rock slipping from beneath her foot and causing a twinge of paint to lance through her ankle and calf. A hissed passed her lips, brows furrowing as she tucked away the pain, walking on as though it hadnโ€™t happened. Idly she noted the flicker on the Pip-Boyโ€™s screen where the little vault figure showed her status, the meter next to its left foot flashing in warning as it docked a notch.

Great, half a dayโ€™s worth of healing gone. I canโ€™t afford to keep resting it

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข The blonde watched Calhoun carefully, trying to decide if showing him the tech on her arm was worth her time or if it put her at risk. There had been plenty in the wastes who eyed her Pip-Boy with an unhinged sort of interest, and sheโ€™d learned the hard way that it truly was not coming off without her input, the key locked to her prints.

No, no, not your pointer finger, darling. Here,
let me show you. These devices are not just a
toy, theyโ€™re very useful and someday it might
be your best tool to succeed. I want you to pick
a random finger to use to unlock it, that way
should anyone want to take it away, they wonโ€™t
get it on the first try. Gives you a chance to get
away and find some help.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Just as soon as the memory of her father and Jonas going over the Pip-Boy flitted in, it was gone. Theyโ€™d spent an entire afternoon going over the device with her, making her practice with it. Taking it off, putting it on, testing her memory on how to find each tab until she could do it on muscle memory alone. It was a bittersweet memory, especially as she mulled over her fatherโ€™s words. He must have known full well back then, both of them had to have, of what awaited her years later. Had planned it, knowing sheโ€™d need this information to survive. It had always surprised her that her father had been ok with her having a bb gun, especially at ten years old. Everything they had done for her had been leading up to this inevitability.
โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข A life she hadnโ€™t asked for, didnโ€™t have a choice in. The hand had been dealt against her favor, and when it came time, she would bite the hand that had dealt it. This was no life for a girl, even if sheโ€™d been set up to this her whole life.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข Deciding she needed to put some trust into her new companion one day or another, Alexandria upped her pace until she was walking at his side and in time with him, her left arm arced across her torso to show it off to him. The screen wasnโ€™t bright by any means but in the consistent gloom that hung over the wastes it showed just fine. On the screen was a map of the Capital Wasteland, little white and gray marks dotting the screen. It was clear she had spent a bit of time west of the Potomac River, although not much farther than Tenpenny Towers. A couple of dots were sprinkled along the northern half east of the river, but most were clustered right along the riverโ€™s edge.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข โ€œThey gave each of us a Pip-Boy in the vault, to get us used to relying on it and to integrate into the vault and become a โ€˜productive member.โ€™โ€ She slowly clicked through the tabs before changing from DATA to STATS. On the screen a little vault boy appeared, meters assigned to each limb. Everything seemed fine upon first glance, but the meter next to her left ankle was down two notches from fully healed.

โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€ โ€ข โ€œI slipped a couple days ago, stepped on some debris and went down with it. It still aches at times, and the Pip-Boy reflects it.โ€ If he was going to protect her, perhaps this information would be helpful. Alexandria couldnโ€™t even begin to fathom how many times it had come to her own rescue. โ€œItโ€™s been really handy to have,โ€ she muses, turning a small dial just enough that music began to fill the empty space between them, the Ink Spotโ€™s voices coming through the speaker.



into each life some rain must fall
but too much is falling in mine


sophocles sophocles



 

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