Very brave. Very drunk. And possibly very lonely. Hats off to you, good sir. Hats off to YOU.
Hey! Keep it down smoothskin! I don’t want the whole place to know I sell—Oh wait!
Yeah. I do. Usually I charge out the ass for this shit. But since I like your pink hat I’ll give you a discount.
Hm. Let me think about it.
No. Go to hell. This is my suit.
if that mirror looked in on some alternate universe where everything was ten times more attractive.
Then I will.
So you’re just gonna act all weird and shit then pretend nothin’ happened cause OH YOU DON’T WANNA TALK ABOUT IT ALL OF A SUDDEN.
I never wanted to. You’re the one who keeps bringing this subject up.
I didn’t bring anything up!
Yes. You did.
-Bangs on ceiling with broom-
HEY! YOU TWO! EITHER SHUT UP OR FUCK BECAUSE IT’S LATE AND IF I’M GONNA STAY UP I WANT SOMETHING INTERESTING TO LISTEN TO!
Wanted to talk to you
Uggh, aright what did I do now?
Just wanted to bring your attention to something important.
And most importantly.
Oh well, now that you mention it….I’m still fairly certain I told you that I
PISSED IN YOUR FUCKING DRINK!
Thanks shugs’—I think you should buy me another round—this one’s getting low~
Go talk to my employer.
I heard about a ghoul with a one-dimensional attitude, that must be you.
Listen, cookie, your employer is a bit sleazy.
Shut up Baby. I know it.
To the west, out in the dreary grey of the wastes, a jutting obelisk stood proud. It towered over the Capital Wasteland, a silent homage to the old world and yet it couldn’t have looked more than twenty years of age. If it were not for the crumbled cement walls that made a perimeter around…
Mal let out a drawn out, graveled groan from the depths of her throat, being lifted from the ground probably wasn’t the best of ideas for her. She tried her best to pry her eyes open, but everything was just horrid blurs of dark colour on bright white, and it hurt like Hell. The only feeling of calm was the sudden change in temperature from the cold ground to something warm, it was definitely nice.
Trying her best to stay coherent, she continued to attempt to talk, though all sound that came out was slurred nonsense from her exhaustion that not her own brain could even understand. She was tired, hungry, possibly even dehydrated, and her body craved and lashed out for the drugs she had been neglecting it as of late.
“Yeah, yeah. Take it easy”
Maverick was as gentle as he could be, making sure to shift her in his arms so the majority of her torso and head were cradled. He didn’t want to make anything worse if she was injured. His long legs made quick work of the distance between where Mal had fallen and the lingering group of ghouls who were still speaking to Roy Phillips about their daily routine. Maverick had work to do, but there were so many ghouls working at Tenpenny now, maybe he could get a day off. But that was unlikely, as it would be a fight just to get Roy to agree to let the smoothskin live.
Ahead, Maverick noticed a well-dressed figure leaning on a cane, talking to Roy who looked pretty interested in what the yellow toned ghoul had to say.
Maverick did not care for Ahzrukhal, he had enough sense to know when he was being screwed over and when someone was lying. Ahzrukhal lied too often to not be suspicious to the large, green watchman. The bastard had wandered out of the wastes one day, wearing some blood stained, shredded clothes and totting a walking stick. Not to mention the nice pistol he’d had tucked in his pants pocket. He looked like he’d been through hell, fresh cuts and huge surgical scars littered his body. Maverick hadn’t liked that Ahzrukhal had chosen to omit how he’d ended up the way he was, but Roy was all too willing to simply believe that the sleazy ghoul was just another victim of human prejudice.
Suddenly, Maverick wasn’t so sure he wanted to bring the delirious Mal to Tenpenny, between Roy and Ahzrukhal the poor thing didn’t have much of a chance. But the blue gang leader of the Tenpenny ghouls had seen him and had waved him over. The other members of Maverick’s patrol noticed as well though were less keen to investigate. Ahzrukhal on the other hand, was happy to limp after Roy as he approached the weary Maverick.
Despite the long, thick fabric coat, the chest armour and only God knows what other clothes lie beneath it, the thin frame of her person shook like crazy and her teeth clicked behind her lips like an urgent telegram. What was probably nothing to anyone else akin to the area, Mal felt like she was stuck in the Arctic. This was definitely no Mojave, as obvious as that was.
Her red-dirt caked boots clicked together as her body kept close to itself, keeping whatever wasn’t being touched my Maverick warm to the best of it’s own abilities. She kept her eyes closed, not like she could open them properly at the time. Even if she had managed, everything would be distorted blurs and swirls.
Roy’s expression went cold as he finally got close enough to see what Maverick was holding. His blood shot blue eyes narrowing as a silent snarl contorted his weathered features.
“What the fuck is that?”
Maverick flinched a bit but did not step back from the leering gang leader. As a matter of fact, he stepped up, clutching the shivering Mal closer to his chest as he looked down the bridge of what was left of his nose at Roy.
“She needs help”
“Oh, I’ll give her help”
Roy sneered as he drew a pistol out from a holster at his waist, Maverick recoiled then, his yellowed teeth bearing at his ‘boss’ as a sign of warning. He may not have wanted to fight or disobey Roy, especially not over someone he’d just met; but he’d be damned if he just let the other ghoul blast her brains out for the sake of some demented racism.
“Now Roy. Hold on a minute”
The wheezed, sleazy voice sounded off before Roy had time to bitch at his tall minion for trying to protect a smoothskin. Ahzrukhal had not been fast enough to make it to Maverick at the same time as Roy, he hobbled on his cane slowly, though not looking at all like the obvious weakness bothered him. His scarred mouth was turned in a slight smile, it made Maverick uneasy.
Roy turned an annoyed glare to Ahzrukhal and ground out a very guttural ‘what the fuck is it?’. To which the bartender stopped a mere foot from Maverick and Mal, putting support on his cane as he studied the delirious, shivering human.
“Roy, as much as we all enjoy being a shining example of ghoul independence, we do need outsiders for the sake of trade and you know…news”
“The fuck we need news for?”
Maverick stepped back, watching in concerned silence. Why would Ahzrukhal try to protect some smoothskin he didn’t know? Maverick at least had his weakness of being a reluctant good Samaritan as an excuse, but Ahzrukahl? No; something was amiss.
“Roy, Roy, Roy. If we shoot every human that comes around Tenpenny eventually they’ll stop coming—“
“Let me finish…”
Roy and Ahzrukhal glared at each other for a moment, before the blue skinned ghoul grunted and put his pistol back in its holster. Pleased, Ahzrukhal smirked and nodded over to Mal and Maverick, getting Roy to look over for a minute before they made eye contact again.
“They will stop coming, we will run out of supplies. We’ll have to risk our people in sending them out into the wastes on needless scavenging missions. Why risk our own when foolish merchants can come here?”
Roy frowned, thinking on this and reluctantly admitting to himself that it made sense. He crossed his arms and growled, before jerking a thumb over his shoulder to Maverick, who was glaring at the two of him with his singular eye.
“And why should I spare this one? She doesn’t look like a merchant to me? Looks like some chem’d up waster”
“You have to start somewhere Roy. You catch flies better with honey than with vinegar and all that jazz. Helping this smoothskin might get word out about Tenpenny being safe.”
They stared at each other for a long time, Ahzrukhal leaning on his cane and smirking while Roy huffed and hunched into himself. Eventually Roy waved a hand at the lot of them, storming towards the waiting group of smoking ghouls before shouting back over his shoulder at Maverick. He was eager to get the days patrol underway.
“Give the bitch to Ahzrukhal and come on”
“…I’ll need him to help me with her. I can’t carry her in”
Roy gave a howl of frustration and just stomped onwards, Maverick made to follow, nervous and not thinking very clearly. Ahzrukhal made a loud ‘ah’ noise and the massive ghoul stopped mid step, looking back to Ahrzukhal with an expression of confusion before he realized what he was doing and trudged back towards the yellow skinned bartender.
“Let’s get her inside…I’m sure Betsy will approve of the female company”