[WP] You spend your days sneaking past mutants and raiders in a post apocalypse world. No one knows who you are, and you doubt anyone would care to know. You have spent your whole life roaming the wastes of the Fallout universe filling empty Nuka Cola vending machines with Nuka Cola.
It came faded and groggy, at the back of my mind. Rot had long taken that part of my skull anyway, and drearily and groggily it woke me up from the dusty bed I’d taken refuge in.
Fill the nearest machine, you lumpy sack of flesh.
Covers slipped up and bones fell onto the floor, the dead remnants of some pre-war tourist who had spent their last night far from home, quivering as the sirens screamed in defiance against the bombs dropping over head.
Which one died first? The Sirens or the Couple?
I plucked up the pistol that had laid between them and checked the condition, idly twirling it and disassembling it, then putting it back together with the small set of screw drivers I kept attached to a belt.
It was stupid that the gun had held up better to 200 years of decay than anything else had, but I’d gotten used to it.
Weapons were made to last. People weren’t. Took a long look at the iron sights, twirled the gun once, and blew out the light on the bedside table, plunging the room into darkness.
I could see perfectly fine in the darkness. Didn’t need a lamp to light this rad-zombie’s path. I chuckled, deep, growly, and waited to hear the response from the rest of the building.
Growly voices. Angry, distorted, insane, cannibalistic.
I’d been a psycho addict once, when I’d been in the war. Only been home a week or two before the bombs had fallen, but when I lay there, trapped in the rubble, an eternity of radiation cooking my skin and boiling my brains, I’d at least had the unique pleasure of withdrawal to keep my company.
I’d locked the door when I’d slipped inside; RobCo consoles weren’t hard to crack if you knew the password banks for the model number, and nobody ever bothered filing those off, so it was a matter of hard guessing and hard resetting from the alphabet soup of passwords.
I waited by the door until the thunder of foot steps and swears passed, then peeled out of the room, locking the door with a flick of my fingers across aging keys. I tugged my hand onto my head, and grinned at my dusty reflection in the room’s solitary window.
I looked nice as the last employee of Nuka-Cola.
Then I strolled down the hallway, whistling a jaunty theme song about buying the world a drink in the name of world piece, a pistol twirling in my hand and a bag full of soda crawling behind me.
Several floors beneath of me, there was a steady pattern of gunshots. Scavs versus raiders were never a pretty battle scene, but I’d have something special for whoever won.
My fingers rolled into my back and pulled out a glowing Nuka Cola victory, and I savored the feel of the cold glass against my skin, and bathed in the ambient radiation. It brought back better times and better memories, of years past, and I grinned, feeling the stiff stale air washing over faded teeth.
Then casually, I brought out the custom screw driver only given out to stockers, flicked open the machine, and started filling it with sodas.
It was a long process, because machines were set to deposit them one at a time, and the mechanisms that governed how payment was settled were rough to override.
Which was probably why I heard the click of a gun behind me.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” a voice, female asked. Breath came out in short little pants. Perhaps turbo, yet? Some unknown stim?
My fingers played across the rim of an orange bottle playfully, then turned to face her. Faded combat armor, symbols stamped across it. River Patrol girl, but disgraced. I gestured at the table next to me and sat down, not looking at the gun.
“I’m the Nuka-Cola man,” I said, cocking my hat jovially. “You want to share a drink for old times past?”
The woman paused, cocking her head to the side, then flicked her gaze down to her pip-boy. Clicked a few settings, then looked back at me. Could almost feel the antiquated targetting programs sizing me up to see if I were a threat.
I cracked off the top of a bottle of Nula-Cola and drank.
She wouldn’t kill me.
“Is that… Victory?” She asked, curiously.
“It is,” I said, pointing at her bottle. “Very rare vintage, hard to get the components for. Sit down and have a drink, and we can talk about stories.”
She sat down and put the pistol within easy reach.
I didn’t mind. I liked stories, even if they came from gun wielding armor.
“Well,” she said, pausing. “It all started when some jackass chinese remnant group stole our water chip…”
War never changes.
and as long as I’m around, neither will their drinks.