Fallout: Ronto Chapter 1


A Collaboration Between TheLostLegionnaire and Sun_ThatAntGuy:

War. War never changes.

 

Ever since nuclear armament became a reality on July 16, 1945, Canada knew its fate would be inextricably tied with that of the United States. In the 21st Century, a global energy crisis and war over the planet’s finite resources had inevitably emerged. Gradually many nations descended into ruin, America returned to its isolationist ways, and the Chinese would go on to invade Alaska for its oil reserves.

 

To support its war effort against Chinese invaders in Anchorage the United States increasingly drew upon the natural resources of neighboring Canada, destroying entire stretches of timberland and stretching other resources to the breaking point; protests and riots against the Americans go unheard. In 2074, a sabotage attempt supposedly made on the newly-reclaimed Trans-Alaskan Pipeline by Canadian forces was all the provocation the U.S. needed to declare annexation. Within two years the annexation of Canada was complete, all opposition was met with brutality by the superior technology and numbers of America’s armed forces, but this time of retribution would pale to what was to come.

 

In the year 2077, countless decades of warfare culminated in a great cleansing wind of nuclear fire blanketing the earth and plunging large swathes of Canada into an endless winter. Human life was immeasurably ravaged, yet against all odds some would arise from the fallout. In Eastern Canada the first to emerge were the First Nations people. Seemingly immune to the effects of radiation, they persevered over the course of decades of famine and progressively unified into large chiefdoms, bringing a semblance of civilization back to the wastes. In time new diverse groups would arise from underground shelters and seek to carve out their own footholds of power, with none greater than the nationalist Canadian Resurgence Front.

 

Today everyone is driven to reclaim these boreal wastes for their own reasons – heritage, spirituality, nostalgic patriotism. For decades this state of affairs has remained stable, but in the frozen carcass of the Great War there remains sparks of life and it is only a matter of time before they awaken to reclaim the land for their themselves.



The sun was at its highest point in the sky above, glistening light reflecting off the snow as a six man Caravan trekked along the broken and weathered asphalt road headed east; in the time before the bombs this stretch of road was part of the Trans-Canada Highway, but today all know it as the TC Leaf Route.

Five guards, each armed with a Varmint Rifle, kept a constant defensive position around the Trader and his pack Musk-Ox. Two men in position on each side, all garbed in similar insulated leather armor and pre-war snow goggles, except for the man guarding the rear. He wore a patchwork of black leather padding and metal plates for armor over his thick grey coveralls with a Lee Enfield strapped across his back.

“Guelph was the last stop before we hit Ronto territory, right?” Asked one of the right flank guards. “Of course, you’re not drunk again are you Flynn?” A left flank guard asked. “What? No, no, I swear-” Flynn had started before abruptly hiccuping. This started a bout of laughter among the Caravan, one even shared by the rear guard.

“Hey Felix,” The Trader called back to him, “How you liking the circuit?” “Nice and quiet Sir, just how I like it.” He had answered. The Trader laughed, “Sir? I may pay you, but I’m no ‘Sir’. Call me Jess, like the rest of these bums!” The guards all chuckled at this jovial act. “Yes si- Jess.”

Felix was in his mid-twenties and had the appearance of someone almost half a decade younger, due to the fact he could never grow any facial hair. Many of his mother’s tribe suffered the same problem, but he had always hoped he might inherit his father’s gruff beard – sadly his hopes were fruitless.

“Look at that!” Yelled the other left flank guard, pointing forward. Following the man’s finger Felix saw a large pre-war sign hanging above highway, though fairly worn one could still make out the words “Highway 401: Milton – Halton” and they were accompanied by “CRF” written in red paint. “We’re in the safe zone now boys! The home stretch!”

“How long now, Jess?” Asked Felix. “We should be there by nightfall. Don’t worry, raiders haven’t been active in the safe zone since before I was born.”

“Come on boys, First round at Dicking Ann’s is on me!” Yelled Flynn, filling each man’s step with considerable pep. But only a half mile down the road, all pep died at the sight before them.

The sight before them was in all senses of the word a massacre. Twelve guardsmen of Ronto’s Canadian Resurgence Front were ripped apart into pieces and chunks, and scattered all over the road in front of the Caravan.

“God above..” murmured Jess, who drew his revolver in response to the sight. “We need to get out of here,” started Flynn, “Whatever did this could still be arou-” The screech that cut Flynn off was almost loud enough to burst ear drums, and was disturbingly close.

“Defensive positions!” Yelled another guard. The Six men formed a circle around the Musk-Ox, whose two heads were letting out shrill cries of fear, and aimed their guns at the surrounding roadside wilderness. Movement seemed to bounce from one bush to another, one could say something was obviously trying to make its presence known. “I don’t like this” remarked Jess. Another roar sounded out as a large creature emerged from the wilderness.

 

The beast stood chest high, but was reared back in pouncing position. It had the same Ox head as the pack animal, but instead of upswept horns the Creature’s were pointed forward and noticeably stained red with blood. Whether it be out of fear or curiosity, not a single shot was fired at the strange beast as it circled around their caravan. Its body was that of an overly large Lynx, paws webbed like an amphibian, covered with a mixture of black fur and brown scales. Along its back was a set of upright spinal scales that led to a long prehensile tail ending in bloodied spikes.

Unable to hold his peace any longer, the man known as Flynn carelessly shrieked, “Wha- What da’ fuck is that thang!?”

 

The strange beast reared back and bellowed like thunder in return, before charging at the group. As his comrades opened fire, Felix dove to the side before picking off shots. The first to go down was one of the right flank guards, swiftly impaled by the beast’s horns and flung into Jess, who was thus pinned under the bleeding man. Teeming with cowardice, Flynn saw fit to abandon his comrades to the beast and hightail it towards Ronto. He might have gotten farther had his fellow guards not kept firing, for one of their missed rounds hit Flynn square in the knee. As he went down the beast pounced, fitting his head in its jaw and snapping his neck. While the two guards kept shooting, Felix continued crawling backwards in hopes of getting a clear bead on its head. As more shots bounced off the beast’s thick scales, it turned its attention upon the last three guards, the two standing men in particular.

 

“I’m out of ammo!” Screamed one, proceeding to frantically search his pouches for more as the other fired his remaining rounds into the now charging abomination. As it leapt towards the shooting guard the beast swung its prehensile tail at the panicked guard, digging its spikes into his grey matter, before ripping into the flesh of the man as he screamed with his last breath. Felix dug Into his boot and pulled out a 22.86 centimeters long bayonet, swiftly attaching it to his Enfield.

“Hey ya’ Snapperhead! Fresh Meat right here!” Felix screamed before putting a round through its neck, causing a considerable burst of blood to explode from the wound. The beast immediately locked eyes with his and charged, the man’s skull still attached to the spikes on its tail.

 

As the abomination lurched forward while its jaws opened, Felix thrust his bayonet forward, piercing its brain through the roof of the beast’s mouth. Following through with its own momentum, Felix flung the creature over him, pulling the bayonet out as it flew overhead. Still screaming, Felix stood and fired his last remaining round at the beast, which bled like a stuck pig only 3.05 meters away from him. Letting his scream die down Felix breathed deeply in an attempt to calm himself and catch his breath.

“F-Felix, that you boy?!” Screamed Jess. “Yeah! It.. I think it’s dead!” Felix replied, moving over to move the dead man off of him. Extending his hand, Felix helped Jess up as he grasped it. “We need to go. Now.” Ordered Jess.

 

The two walked the rest of the way to central Ronto in dead silence, stopping only at the Maplehearst Trading Post Complex to sell what was left of Jess’s caravan. As far as the two of them saw it, there were no words to say. No “See you at Ann’s?” or “They were good men,” could possibly bring any hope of a joyful conversation between them. There was only a knowing silence between the two as the journey neared its end and Ronto’s outer walls grew closer. Upon reaching the gate the two parted.

 

“You know…the CRF is gonna want to know ’bout that patrol we found. Anyways, I’ll see you over at Ann’s, alright kid?” Felix needn’t be a psychic to see his friend was utterly and completely destroyed. “Yeah, ‘Course, I ain’t gonna toast to them alone.” Felix cracked a shallow smile, seeing a similar smile crest Jess’ face. With a swift pat on the back, the two parted; One headed to drink and forget, the other to see to the powers that be.  Little did the former guess that those powers would come calling.

 

Felix shuffled through the cold, windswept streets, a slight snow picking up and stinging his face. Beggars and merchants littered the streets of Wellesley, the area alight thanks to the hydropower plants; CRF constables in reinforced combat armor patrolled the neighbourhood, noticeably more heavily armed than when Felix had last departed over a month ago. More or Less Ronto was the same, but the only place he cared about right now was the closest thing he regarded as a home these last couple of years, and it’s bright neon sign was just coming into view. The sign bore the image of a very shapely woman, a large hamburger in each hand, flashing a wink with the words ‘Dicking Ann’s Hamburgers’ surrounding it. Felix spared no time entering.

 

“Whoever decided that a Brothel and a Burger joint were a match made in heaven was a sure fire genius.” Felix remarked as he entered. The “restaurant” was split in two almost down the middle, on the left was a bar and grill of sorts, while on the right one would find a high class parlor filled with all manner of scantily clad lasses meandering about. “You know me Felix, a Prickler for details~” Cooed an aged but subtle Iroquoian voice from the parlor. With nary a doubt in his mind he knew that it had to belong to the brothel’s eponymous madame, Ann; some folks may think that this establishment is named after her, but in actuality it’s the other way around. She was well into her 40’s, but still as shapely and beautiful as any lass in her employ, with long bleach blonde locks billowing over her exposed chocolate hued shoulders. Her attire was, as always, a crimson pencil dress befitting any pre-war mistress of a red light district.

“Oh mistress Ann, your beauty still blinds my heart.” Felix quaintly replied back.

“Hmm, flattery will get you everywhere and nowhere all at once, you big flirt. I swear, you’re just like your father.” Felix grimaced at the mention of the man. “Oh don’t sully me with that look, come now, tell me of your journey.” She called, beckoning him to join her in the parlor, of which he happily obliged.

 

Sitting back in a silk armchair, Felix leaned his head back and stared idly at the ceiling. “The whole caravan was going fine till we got back to the Ronto safe zone, seemed as soon we crossed the boundary we were attacked.” Felix began, only to be promptly interrupted by Ann imploring, “Oh Great Spirit – tell me it wasn’t one of those horrid creatures!”

“You know of them?” Felix shot up, locking eyes with her.

“Mhmm, sort of began sometime after you went down south with that caravan to Motor City. Those things have been killing anyone or anything in the outskirts for about two weeks now.” Felix shifted in his seat. “All of them died, all but Me and Jess.” Ann’s face found a frown upon hearing the words. “I’m sorry sweetie.” She offered her condolences.

“It’s okay, really.” Felix replied, shifting in his still attached armor. “But how did you manage to get away?”

“I killed it.” Ann shook her head. “Now don’t go exaggerating your tale just to impress me – even the best of the guards have only managed to frighten them beasts away.”

“Precisely!” Called out a hoarse but load voice. Almost every patron’s spine ran a chill at the sound of the voice. “Master Constable. To what do I owe the pleasure?” Asked Ann.

“Him, the half-breed, he is to come with me.”

“But I haven’t even had an Ox burger yet.” Protested Felix.

“And I’m sure you haven’t fucked a whore neither, I don’t care. You’re coming with me.” Commanded the Constable, now brandishing a riot prod.

“Okay! Okay!” Shouted Felix, now leaping from his seat.

“Good, as for la Madame, I’m sure to return, my dear.” The Man called as he left, Felix in tow.

 

Felix stuck close to the man escorting him, mostly due to the off thought of him using his riot prod to coerce him into following closer. Though he wore the common blue uniform of the other officers, he wore noticeably more armor than any other Felix had seen. “You got a specific charge you’re bringing me in for?” Felix asked.

“Y’see this here electrified stick, half breed?”

“Yes..?” Felix replied, confused.

“The more you speak, the more I want to use it.” With nothing more to say, Felix followed the man in silence as he was brought into what the CRF referred to as “The Castle”. Pre-war it was mostly used as a tourist mark, when the annexation occured the Americans used it as a detention camp. After the bombs a few factions have called it home, but for the last few decades the CRF have made their base here. Two CRF soldiers decked in T-45 power armor armor stood guard at the gate, snapping to attention and saluting as the Constable approached. “The Minister is waiting, sir.” Called out one, opening the gate.

“Thanks son.” Answered the Constable as he led Felix through the gate.

 

Felix kept close as he was led through what seemed a maze of hallways, junctions, and doorways – eventually brought before a large oak door, bearing a plaque that read ‘Prime Minister Gabel’. Suddenly, The Constable grabbed Felix by the scruff of his collar and pushed him through the door. Inside was a very elegantly decorated room, and behind a large wooden desk sat a portly man in a pre-war suit. His hair was grey, making the man look admittedly older than he probably was, with a thick beard. In a chair in front of the desk sat Jess, who seemed to be in mid-sentence when the door burst open.

“Ah, at last arriving Leon, you’re nearly late!” Gabel’s voice was medium pitched, but his words carried an authoritative tone. “Sorry about that Sir, picking him up took longer than expected.” Leon answered as he dropped Felix to the ground.

“You must be Felix, come and take a seat.” Ordered Gabel, pointing to the empty seat next to Jess. Nodding, Felix took the seat offered to him. “Now,” began Gabel, “Your employer here informed me that the two of you found a squad of my men disemboweled at the Milton border, then went on to claim that you killed the abomination responsible. Mister Felix, is his story factual or merely a tall tale?” “Yes, it is sir.” Felix replied.

 

Gabel leaned back in his seat and let out a big huff of air before responding, “Now, I do hope you’ll understand why I’m skeptical. Those creatures have killed more than 50 of my men and to the CRF’s knowledge none have ever been killed, yet here you are claiming to have done just that. So if you’ll so please, indulge me as to how you came about such a feat?”

Shifting in his seat, Felix tried to find a comfortable position before speaking, “Well, nearly its whole body was armored with scales, and everyone’s shots either bounced off them or were stopped altogether. As it went from one man to another I noticed its throat didn’t have many scales at all, so I shot clear through the beast’s throat easy enough. It was bleeding heavily but still pounced at me, so I used my bayonet to impale its head as it jumped over me.” Gabel sat back in his seat once more at this, seemingly deep in thought.

“Sounds like bullshit to me.” Leon added.

“Well then, go find the body.” Shot back Felix. Suddenly, Gabel began swiveling in his chair and chuckling, “Why that’s a splendid idea! Constable Leon, go gather a team and find me its body. Oh, an’ be sure to take this Felix fellow with you, them Iroquoi boys are great trackers so I hear,” Ordered Gabel.

Caught off guard, Leon jumped slightly. “Yes sir! Come on on Mongrel.”

“Don’t I get a choice in this?” Asked an irritated Felix, but halfway out the door he could hear Gabel jovially shouting behind them “Did I say you did?!”

 

Felix sat silent in what he could only assume was a waiting room of sort. Leon ordered he stay put while he ‘gathered a team,’ whatever that entailed. Not wanting to be introduced to the man’s riot prod, Felix agreed. After what seemed like an hour, Leon returned with three men and one woman, all dressed in standard CRF armor. “Troops, this is the mongrel that claims to have killed one of those beasts that have been giving us all so much trouble.” Leon introduced.

“I did kill one, prick.” Felix retorted. “That remains to be seen.” The two very quickly shared flamed glares, Felix’s hand tightening into a fist and Leon’s liberally grabbing his riot prod.

 

“Enough you two!” Shouted the lone female soldier, attracting Felix’s eye. She stood roughly 180.34 centimeters and seemed built like a Musk Ox. She continued, “Leon, the boss obviously believed his story, so let’s see if he was right to.” Leon only grunted in agreement. The tall woman proceeded to walk over and introduced herself as Hailey, her voice far more pleasant than her interjection had led Felix to assume.

“Name’s Felix, it’s nice to meet you too.” Felix smiled and extended his hand, which Hailey accepted and shook. “I’m Jacob, by the way. And those two are the Maverick brothers, Eddie and Dwight.” The taller man behind her added, pointing out the two short men who clung to Leon’s shadow.

 

“So, did you really do it? You killed one of them?” Asked Hailey. “Yes, but not before it killed every other guard in my Caravan.” Felix explained.

“How did you do it? My friend said every shot he made bounced off its scales.” Jacob asked in an excited rush.

“Aim for its neck, that’s a weak point.” As Felix explained, Hailey and Jacob nodded in understanding. “Alright!” Leon raised his voice in order to gather the three’s attention, “Enough dilly-dallying you lot, we weren’t granted vehicle clearance so we will have start moving out now if we wanna get there before sundown!”


As the group drew closer to the ambush site, a tense atmosphere overtook them. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this..” Mumbled Eddie, looking to his brother. “Don’t be a coward Ed.” spat Dwight, brushing his concern off. Leon shot his left hand up in a fist, signaling the group to stop. “What the fuck…?” Was all Leon uttered as he observed the area before him. ‘Utterly Destroyed’ is the only description that could do justice to the scene before the group. All the grass beside the road was stomped and crushed, while the asphalt of the road itself was almost completely destroyed and torn from the ground. Body parts and gore decorated the area, and the trail of a large body being dragged led from the road to the tree line due North, where a large swath of trees had been knocked down.

 

Felix rushed forward – Hailey tried to stop him by putting her hand on his shoulder but he only brushed her off. “Something dragged the body away, see?” Felix pointed out the trail.

“Whatever you killed, Kid, something didn’t take it very well..” Jacob announced.

“What we gonna do now?” Asked Eddie, who was visibly shaken by the sight.

 

“Isn’t it fucking obvious you doughheads? We go and follow that trail, see where it leads,” hollered Leon. “What the fuck for?!” Dwight retorted, shocked by the order. “It’s our mission, or would you like to run home and be tried for desertion?” Asked Leon in retaliation, proceeding to walk away from the group and down the trail. Dwight only looked to his brother and nodded nervously; knowing the consequences, the group followed suite.

The trail of destruction was roughly 3.66 meters across, but led through the woods for what seemed twenty or thirty miles or more, leading all the way through Silver Creek and into Brimstone Forest. Whatever had created such a path seemed more than angry at the loss of the beast. “Ten to One, ambush.” Stated Jacob as he walked side by side with Hailey, leading her to remark, “One of its kind gets killed, it wants revenge, and we’re following the breadcrumbs like an unsuspecting Giant Beaver.” They had been on this trail for most of the day now, with Leon still adamant to see the mission through. Felix hung towards the rear of the party, as he always tended to do, just behind Hailey and Jacob. “Slackers, the lotta’ya! Come on and catch up already!” Leon ordered, only to suddenly come to a complete halt.

 

“What is it?” Ed asked, his voice tainted with the same skittishness as when they had found the attack site hours ago. “I’d say it’s some sorta pre-war bunker by the looks of it.” Dwight observed. Before them stood a great concrete fissure in the shape of a tube leading down, twenty yards away tucked within the trees seemed to be the structure’s metal seal ripped away from its hinges.

 

“How do you figure that there bunker’s door ended up all the way over there?” Jacob asked.

“Could be something huge tore it away.” Hailey answered. Leon whistled, gathering everyone’s attention as he stepped to the front.

“Alright. We’re going in. Squad, we’re on sweep and clear. Nothing survives. Felix, try your best not to get us all killed down there, got it?” Everyone nodded in agreement, save Felix, who was still getting over the fact that this was the first instance Leon had actually referred to him by name. Weapons at the ready, the group began their descent into the tunnel.

 

Leon led the way down the passage, the flashlight on his shotgun his only light source. As always, the two brothers clung to his shadow, with Hailey and Jacob not far behind. Felix stuck to the very rear, intent on not getting in the way of his party. 91.440 meters down the tubular metal passage was the entrance to the bunker itself. The first room looked to be a garage, lined with a few pre-war military vehicles that beared on their side the American flag. Once upon a time, the garage might have been in good condition, but now it seemed to be in the worst shape possible. In the center of the room stood the only support column left, solely keeping the roof from caving in. “Look at this place, I’ve never seen anything like-” Dwight began before a shrill cry cut him off, effectively causing the hair on everyone’s neck to stand on end.

 

Leon began scanning the area before ordering, “Positions.” As the group formed a circle, multiple pairs of eyes appeared in the surrounding darkness. “Five… Ten… at least Fifteen hostiles, Sir.” Jacob called out. As the eyes began to circle, Felix eyes lit up and he pointed at the far wall, “Leon, look!” Following Felix’s finger, Leon’s eyes quickly noticed it among the darkness – a wide arched steel door with a neon blue ring in the center faintly glowing. “Door, three’o’clock, move on my signal. Ready, set, Move!”


On Leon’s signal, the group began running to the door, with the barely visible creatures giving chase. Leon, despite his age and being heavily armored, out ran most of his squad. Out of all of them it was Eddie who was having trouble keeping up gasping for breath as he attempted to slacked behind. A loud roar called out, and the sound of something flying through the air caused him to turn around momentarily. THUD A chunk of concrete, roughly the size of a football, slammed into Eddies back, forcing the out of shape man to cry out in pain as he collapsed onto the ground.

 

Leon and Felix rammed their bodies into the bunker door, activating sensory mechanisms that told it to pull itself back into the wall in a triangular formation. Hailey and Jacob fought to drag Dwight away from the grisly scene of his brother, being mutilated by three of the creatures, but their efforts were lingering. “God damn it, get in here!” Leon’s voice boomed as he drew his revolver and began firing upon some of the creatures who were still advancing towards them. “We have to go Dwight!” Hailey pleaded with him. “No! He’s my brother! Let me go!” Dwight grunted out as he struggled against the pair. Hailey looked up at Jacob with questioning eyes, who simply shook his head as he released his grip. “You want to die with him? Fine.” Jacob said, bluntly. Hailey sighed as she let Dwight go.

 

Dwight quickly shot back up, running at the beasts head on. Dwight only managed to shoot one of them through their skull before being pounced on. Just as quickly as his brother, the impetuous man’s life was ripped away by the force of the beast’s razor sharp teeth. Jacob and Hailey ran to regroup with the rest of their squad in the next room, while the monsters were seemingly too distracted by their food to continue pursuit.

 

Upon the Pair entering, the wide mechanical door finally withdrew itself shut; over to the side Felix could be seen using a wall-mounted computer terminal to activate its lockdown mechanism. Her body trembling, Hailey couldn’t refrain from blurting out, “I doubt that door will hold them for long,” only for Jacob to interject, “I think they’re too focused on the brothers to care about us for a while dollface.” As the group scanned the room, Felix was attempting to give his surroundings a more thorough examination. To him this section of the facility looked to be in a far better condition than the area that preceded it, almost as if someone had been keeping it livable. Turning towards the rest of his group, Felix felt confident in his assessment of the situation. “That garage had to be their nest – just look around,” Felix asserted as he gestured to their surroundings and the floor in particular, “There ain’t any signs that those strange things have ever been in this part of the facility; no tracks, no dirt, and especially no blood.” Looking as exasperated as before, Leon could only huff before roaring his commands, “Alright everyone, as frightening as this may sound the squad is going to be split up. Jacob and Hailey, you two will stay here and guard this door, me and Felix will each take a hallway to see what we can find – now let’s move!”

 

His government issued R91 Assault Rifle at the ready, Felix wandered around the base’s dank monotone halls; barely lit by yellow light emanating from below the grated floors and the occasional neon blue tube on the wall, the silence was deadened only by the ceaseless churning of an old ventilation system. So far he had come across a mess hall full of half-eaten meals, a barracks filled with half-made beds, and a shooting range with strange spears lying on the ground. It appeared as though all of these areas had been abandoned right in the middle of activity, but it was difficult to say for certain. While the absence of any evidence that the beasts had been through these areas was troubling to Felix, the lack of skeletons or even rats only served to cement the facility’s eerie atmosphere. Eventually, Felix came to a closed door most auspicious, the sign above it reading, “Commander’s Quarters”. Upon entering a foul pungent stench assaulted Felix’s nostrils, seeming as though pork and eggs were left to ferment for months.

 

Inside one might find the quarters to be rather spacious, a recreational area doubling as the foyer with a kitchen off to the side, while straight ahead one could see behind an open door a large metal desk with a corpse dressed in a white hazmat suit strewn across it. At the body’s feet laid an orange lensed helmet, while in front of it an exquisite collage of dried blood and grey matter painted the wall. Before hunching down and emptying that morning’s meal, Felix noticed a stack of holotapes and a rectangular device that looked like it looked like it had seen intensive use. After stepping over the aforementioned breakfast, Felix took a closer look at the corpse before going through with snatching the device and tapes.

 

The corpse before him couldn’t be any older than a few weeks at most, Felix surmised, and the upper-right breast of this hazmat suit had an insignia emblazoned across it – a black E surrounded by thirteen black stars. His curiosity sated, Felix couldn’t bare to stand so close to the corpse any longer and thus swiftly exited the room, taking care to close the door on his way out. Resting in the kitchen area, he examined the device laying in his hands, finding the words Pip-Boy 2000 MK I etched into upper left-hand corner of the device’s metal housing with the date and time listed above it; something about this Pip-Boy felt familiar to Felix, but whatever he had seen long ago was wrist-mounted rather than hand-held. Along the back of the device he found a black slot with a door hanging open, roughly the same size of those holotapes. Hopeful that they may disclose the secrets of this facility and its sole dead inhabitant, Felix inserted the holotape labeled 1 into the slot and was greeted by the hoarse voice of an elderly man.

 

 

“Bastards, those overzealous self-righteous steel soldiers! We were on a research patrol a few miles outside Adams Air Force Base when we saw the missiles coming down. Our two Guards forced us back into the vertibird and flew back, but there was nothing for us to return to – it was the Oil Rig all over again! Over two hundred years of technological advancement and the last true hope for America’s resurgence, all wiped away. We have since picked up a signal, saying that we are to pull out of D.C. and make for our outpost over in Chicago. I’m not a soldier, but that doesn’t stop these bolts for brains from ordering me around. This is Advance Science Officer Cameron, and God help us.”

The tape made a whirring noise momentarily before the slot popped up and the tape shot out. Felix looked for 2 in the stack, but could only find number 4. Seeing no other choice, he inserted the Holotape.

“While there are luckily still no signs of the rumored Midwestern Brotherhood, Chicago continues to be hodgepodge of disappointment. So far our ranks are bolstered primarily by half-scared survivors, young scientists, and paranoid officers who have never seen combat; they say we are to be expecting more arrivals soon, but I am doubtful. Though I’m one of the few senior scientists on base, the top brass are in opposition to my transhumanist research, and thus I’ve been reassigned to working on the vertibirds like some lowly grease monkey. In my spare time, I’ve taken to listening to the often neglected long-range receiver and came across a faint signal from the far north – roughly beyond the frozen wastes of Canada. A synthetic feminine voice is attempting to contact anyone who has a high aptitude for bioengineering. My temptation must be conceded; America is dead, so to perhaps is my allegiance.”

With tapes 5 and 7 also coming up empty, Felix was left to insert tape 6 and prepare himself ahead of time.

“After many difficult days dealing with the locals and the Mucks she has sent to work for me, we finally found the Brimstone Facility. While it may be old, it’s certainly in good shape and long since abandoned by the Enclave. I found the science lab not far from the Commander’s Quarters, which I’ve taken to living in. The equipment here is mostly on par with my old laboratory; whatever I can’t find in terms of equipment or specimens, those dull Mucks work strenuously to acquire. At the time of this recording, great progress has been made on the project she’s tasked me with. While this genetic recombination work is far more advanced than anything I could have dreamed of, I have become well-versed within the last few months.”

With the seventh tape missing, the one labeled 8 was next to be inserted.

“How dare that narcissistic harpy do this to me!? I’ve spent years designing the perfect predators and she applauds them as nothing more than a useful distraction for those who would oppose her. Beyond that – they were nothing but a waste of time and resources! I feel betrayed, yet I only have myself to blame. She has transmitted me a genetic blueprint and instructed that I start working towards the next step in her “Reclamation of Kanata Stratagem,” the formation of a new species. The sort of trans-human lifeform that my former colleagues so feared after the catastrophic failure that was FEV. But I still feel weak-kneed when it comes to the aquatic lynox, there are currently sixteen of them and I don’t have the heart to put them all down, they’re like my children.”

Lastly, Tape 9 was inserted into the Pip-Boy.

“This is . . . my last recording and broadcast. They’ve all escaped. I can’t tell if it was my fault, the Mucks, or some kind of mechanical error. Regardless, my mongrel assistants have managed to lure the aquatic lynox into the garage and seal the main doors. They have likely died in the process or fled the facility, with either scenario leaving me trapped here. Hope does not all lay dim, however, for after twenty failed attempts the perfect genetic map has been found. She has grown up splendidly, nary a defect in sight. The pod she has formed in will teach her everything she needs, imprinting the knowledge directly into her brain. Miss S, if your lackeys somehow manage to surpass my children, the lab password they’ll require is AAF2277. I only hope that you will take good care of my creation, for she is the pinnacle of all my scientific endeavors. Au revoir et excuses.”

 

With a final whirring noise, the last holotape shot out of the device, landing among the others on the dining table. Grabbing his R91 Assault Rifle, Felix’s curiosity drove him further, meandering tentatively towards the nearby bioengineering laboratory. Walking the hallways for half an hour or more brought him before another arch doorway, on one side of it was an intercom and on the other was a wall-mounted terminal to access the area. As Felix moved leisurely toward the terminal, his footsteps echoing throughout the metall hall, the neighboring intercom abruptly crackled to life. “Hello, hello is anyone out there?” Two things about the voice coming from the intercom stood out to Felix – it sounded rather sweet and overtly feminine. Clearing the distance between him and intercom, Felix hurriedly pressed down on the receiver and responded, “Hello – who are you? Have you been kidnapped Ma’am?”


“I… I don’t know my name. Do you have a name? I woke up not long ago, and I’m trapped in this room. I’m so hungry.” Though he was without complete certainty, Felix felt that this voice had to belong to the specimen that scientist mentioned in his logs. Now he was left with a quandary, surely the creature had to be some kind of ghoul or one of those big mutants that occasionally come up from the south, but it didn’t sound violent at all and the tapes he listened to seem to suggest otherwise. At last, he pressed his finger to the intercom once more and spoke, “”My name is Felix ma’am. I think I can get you out of there, I have what should be the door’s password on me.” “Please, oh please let me out! Please Felix…” Removing his finger from the receiver, Felix swung back around towards the terminal. Entering the password, he saw the only command available on the screen was to open the door. After one final deliberation, Felix overridden the door’s lockdown. What stepped through to greet him was neither a ghoul nor mutant, but something out of a legend; many a traveler from the south spoke has been known to speak tales of a horrific beast absent from the wastelands of Canada, creature they call Deathclaws, occasionally described as being covered in coarse fur. But what stood before him was nothing like those stories, for Its face and entire core-body was that of a human, though its long robust limbs and viciously sharp claws were still every bit as terrifying as he had imagined. The bizarre fusion of man & beast slowly turned its head to Felix and sniffed the air before smiling. “Oh thank you, thank you so much!” it cried, proceeding to picked him up in her large arms. Felix expected it to kill him right there, rip him limb from limb, but instead it simply brought him into a tight embrace. “Hey Felix! You around here? Leon found something!” shouted a far off voice – he recognized it as belonging to Hailey, and it seemed to be growing closer. Whatever was about to happen, Felix knew his life would never be the same.

12 votes, average: 4.58 out of 512 votes, average: 4.58 out of 512 votes, average: 4.58 out of 512 votes, average: 4.58 out of 512 votes, average: 4.58 out of 5 (12 votes, average: 4.58 out of 5)
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4 thoughts on “Fallout: Ronto Chapter 1

  1. Not bad. Your language is kind of clunky, but it works.
    Have to say, I would think a Deathclaw would be a little more ferocious. You can’t just phase out genetic instinct

  2. I must say that is one efficient Teaching-Pod for Miss S. It not only taught her speech, but manners in a way that altered her nature.

    The story has me interested for the future, and I hope to see more.
    Just a teensy quibble, when it comes to estimating distances in metric try to go for the standard used- 3 meters, instead of 3.05. Or 180 centimeters instead of 180.34. The reason being, is that such preciseness knocks me out of the story. Why? If someone is 3 meters away, you’ll be unlikely to be able to estimate all the way down to centimeters (.05 = 5 cm). The same with 180.34, the .3 = 3 mm. Going down to the 4, means that he could estimate Hailey’s height all the way down to nearly half a millimeter. A millimeter being the rough thickness of an American dime. That’s a keen eye. I apologize for the nit picking.

    1. No need to apologize, that was indeed a very useful critique. As the one who implemented the metric units into the story, I am the one at fault for overlooking the fact that the main character shouldn’t be able to estimate things extremely precisely. As for the issue of the Deathclaw Girl’s nature – well let’s just say “stay tuned” for now.

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