It was spoken in the manner that rubbed sandpaper of the brain of those hearing it. Pulling them out of the deepest of slumbers by put autonomic function. Something dangerous was there while you were sleeping, it jolted things awake.
As did the man known as Kronos, leader of the Sky Reaver raiders. In a moment he was up of his 200 year old bed and mattress. Hand flying to the pistol he had in a holster that hung from one of the bed posts. It was yanked free with impressive speed, aiming out into the darkness and the trigger was suddenly pressed rapidly. His heart sank as all he heard was the unsatisfying clicks of an empty weapon. In another blur of speed he dropped the pistol and rolled out of bed, snagging the shotgun leaning on the wall. Bringing it up to his shoulder, aiming, and pulling the trigger in one smooth motion.
He desperately pumped the slide. It locked up, looking for shells that were not there.
For a moment he was pinned there in motion, looking around quickly for any other sort of a weapon.
"Don't." The voice in the darkness of his bedroom said simply. "There is a pistol in the bedstand, I took that ammo too. There is also a rifle under your bed, that I think you have forgotten about. It was kind of dusty. It has no ammo either. It is just you and I here." Suddenly, the form was there, as light bloomed from an old kerosene lamp that Kronos had always kept near the door. At first thought, the Raider leader thought what had come into his room was not a man at all, but some sort of mutant being. The intruder was too large, too tall. Even as he bent to put down the lamp on the floor it was the motions of a bear rather than a person.
"No weapons between us." The man had said, as he slowly walked in the light, closer and closer to Kronos. "Except, for this knife of course..." One of the man's hands turned to show a wickedly sharp and ancient combat knife in his grip. The sudden grin on the intruder's lips was sharper and brighter than both knife and light.
Then the intruder was on Kronos. It was a blur of motion that made his own look childishly slow in comparison. The empty shotgun was brought up in defense rather than attack but it changed nothing. The intruder slammed into Kronos' form and picked him up like he weighed nothing. A few steps and he was slammed into the walls of the room with such force Kronos almost blacked out. The raider tried to say something, but found a hand tight on his throat blocking off words and air. As well as the point of that knife that was an inch away from his rapidly expanding pupil.
Then the hand loosened just enough for air to move, but not enough to drop him to his feet. Hanging in the air, Kronos thought of slabs of meat left out to dry. Was he one now?
"Call them." The intruder rumbled a growled out tone to the pinned Kronos. That damn grin still on his lips. Interrupting his thoughts of terror. "Call your people. Scream for them. Order them. Whatever you want."
A hiss of air, both out of need and terror as the blade moved away from his open eye and the intruder calmly sheathed it on a belt that had seen better days.
It took a moment, but Kronos soon had enough air and mind to yell. Not even a word, just a word. It was loud, driven by fear. It went on for a long time, echoing out from the room to the outside. The intruder cocked his head to the side like a dog who had heard a word it did not understand. But Kronos knew what was happening, he was waiting for a sound. None came.
"No people between us either, Kronos. Leader of the Sky Reavers. Raider. Murderer. Killer. Not raper though... You have standards. I can use standards." Hand loosened and came away. Kronos slipped down to fall to his feet, and then to his knees. Gasping for air. "No one between us for about, a mile, around where we stand. No living thing, no people, no scorpions, no monsters. All gone... Just me and you. You and I." The same hand that had pinned him to the wall reached down to grab the scruff of the back of his neck. Once again, lifting him like he weighed nothing. Feet dragged on the ground as the intruder began to move towards the door outside.
"Come, Kronos. You and I have words to speak to each other, outside. The stars out right now are beautiful, as they should, because our words will change the fate of our world. Both in the literal, actual planet, but also your world. As if you say no to the offer I will be making you Kronos..." The gripped form of the Raider was picked up so he hung eye to eye to the intruder. Kronos did his best to focus on the odd colored irises of his intruder. One blue eye. One green. Though perhaps from the fear and lack of oxygen and movement of blood, Kronos saw two people there. One large man with two blue eyes. One large man with two green ones. Then one of them spoke again, and his blood chilled. "...I will cut your fucking head off and leave your corpse for the animals."
A laugh from the intruder, then he moved his hand to continue dragging Kronos like he was a bag, rather than a person. Outside, there was nothing but a sea of sand interposed by a few buildings that seemed dug out more than tall enough to fight against the tide. And the man had been right, the black sky was filled with points of light. Without a ritual, the grip was released, and Kronos went to the ground.
The first thing the raider did notice, was not the sky though, it was the hundreds of bound and gagged people that were on their knees in the sand. His people. All of them, from at least the immediate area. Nice and ordered in ranks of ten, where single wheeled machines moved through them like packs of hungry beasts looking for something to eat. Not a single of those people moved, stuck in the same fear they saw their leader in. A complete understanding there. Kronos looked up to the intruder.
But the intruder did not look back. He was looking up to the night sky with such amusement it could be tasted. A pleased look on his face.
"What... what do you want?" After a long minute, Kronos finally asked the question.
"Get on your feet, Kronos. You should not speak to your boss on your knees." A simple response as those hetero chromatic eyes came down to focus on him. The smallest part of Kronos rebelled... but by the time it had thought, he noticed he was standing beside the intruder. Still looking up from the height.
"In the old world, before the bombs fell... way before the bombs fell, there were Kings and Queens. But also, dukes and duchesses. And understand, in those ancient days, dukes and duchesses were a lot of the time, criminals. Like you." A single finger came over and tapped Kronos on the nose.
"My new duke. I bless thee in my royalty. You will serve me, until death. And maybe beyond if need be... Boop." Another tap of the nose. The fear still clung so tightly to Kronos he did not feel disrespected by the motion, though he should.
"But, rejoice. For in my charge, there are rewards. Ask me Kronos, what is the reward for serving me?"
The raider leader was far too gone to know really what was happening, moving in pure reaction now. Words coming from his lips.
"What is the rewards for serving you?"
"Everything Kronos. Everything. I will make your life beautiful. You will become one of the most powerful people on my planet. Your name will be known by everyone, you will in opulence. We will create a world that makes you ashamed of how you live now. That is my offer Kronos. Serve me. Or I cut off your head." The last bit spoken out as the hand moved deliberately to the sheath on his belt. The combat knife was pulled out slowly once again. Then another flurry of motion Kronos couldn't even track, much less fight back against. Suddenly, he was on his knees again. And terribly, the intruder... his King... was behind him. One hand grabbed at his hair roughly, the other put the blade to the side of his throat.
"Say it." The intruder said as he leaned in from behind him, slowly.
"Not... much of a choice is it." A flaring of rebellion at the end of his life. Kronos went taut, waiting for the blade to begin sawing his head off. But it never came. In fact, what came was somehow worse. A laugh.
"Oh... I knew I made a good choice with you. What great fate, that you are my neighbor." But the blade tilted, even the small motion cutting flesh. A drip of blood ran down the side of Kronos' throat. "I appreciate the rebellion. Please, keep it up my Duke. Say. It."
"I serve." Immediately Kronos spoke the words. The binding. Suddenly his old life was gone and his new life began, he understood this perfectly.
"Wonderfullll." The intruder said as the knife came away once again. And the fingers winding through his long black hair loosened. "Come, stand again Kronos, Duke. Stand and embrace me, my new brother. Let us change the world, together." A hand on Kronos' shoulder lifted him up and spun him in one single motion. Without warning, arms embraced him in a deep hug. Which was weirdly the best and most honest hug he had ever received in the rare ones he had.
And between the pair of them, a whisper from the intruder right in his ear.
"If you betray me... I will fucking eat you. That's not a metaphor. I will cut you up, and eat you, right in front of you." So sweetly said in that embrace. It was something that would haunt Kronos for decades. Then the embrace was done and the intruder was walking away through the sand. Kronos knew, it was a path that would lead the intruder to another person like him.
"You will gather your armies. You will go through the desert to my city, New Vegas. There, you will be my defenders. You will guard the wall. You protect the people of that City, as they are your own now, Duke." Said over a shoulder without looking back. The large single wheeled robots began to move as well, filtering to the side or behind his King as he moved away and into the vast desert.
"What... what is your name?"
The pace stopped. It turned back. First to look at a growing cloud of sand, that Kronos looked at too. Coming from the deep direction of what he understood was where New Vegas would be, after a hundred or so miles. Then he found his King looking right at him.
"My name is Dillon Jones, Kronos. I am the Last King. And I will conquer this entire planet." And the grin came back before he turned to walk back over the sand sea that had once been called 'Area 51', in the days before the bombs fell.
And that was the unfairness about it. Dillon had come into this life, understanding. Knowing. Holding memories that were not his own, but knowing perfectly what they were. Those that were pulled into the whirlwind of his crusade found this out quickly. And found the humor of the crusade itself. For while the man was always at the tip of the spear, always speaking with leaders or fighting them, it was never about him. For when he spoke to them, he spoke to them of aeronautics. And mathematics. And construction and concrete.
Go, he would tell them, go take this knowledge and learn it. Then spread it among others like you, who thinklike you. Make me an empire. Not just of killer machines and power armor, but firstly of screws and bolts. Build me a foundation, and spread out from that. I will give you the tools and materials. I will take them from our enemies.
And how they moved. How it all spread. Like a disease. A disease of hope.
It was this monster that moved into the town of Arroyo. Down the main thoroughfare, shadowed at either side by strong wooden buildings, built to withstand the storms of both desert and ocean. He walked like a man who knew how to walk, as he had for much of his life. Still, it was impossible to tell who he really was, under all that clothing and armor. His chest was covered in molded metal plates, all the way up to a high collar designed to deflect ricochets from his chest from hitting his neck or face. A face that was covered in a protective layer of armor itself, two red lensed eyes looking out from under structured metal. All the way up to a helmet that covered the top of his head tightly. NCR Ranger armor. Though he bore no insignia of that renowned group. Which made it all that more suspect. Which ranger had that wanderer killed to take it off of them?
On his legs though, just jeans that needed a good wash. Down to boots that had been repaired with belts and patches for many many years. Over one shoulder hung a machine, a black sphere of a robot that looked as threadbare as his clothes. The hovering form covered with bits of metal to keep it going, even a few license plates taken from ancient wrecks. Over the other shoulder was a bag, filled and heavy. Parcels and mail.
The wanderer was a courier.
Blessed are the couriers in the world. The delivered. Most can not afford the incredibly high rates of the caravans that moved through the nuclear wasteland. Their prices too high for even letters. But couriers, one could always hire a courier. Their fees were small, and you would be surprised how easy it was for a single person to move through the deserts and stay alive. But tensions were high. A new power was rising in the east, The Kingdom of New Vegas. It had eaten it's way through the Sky Reavers. It had conquered the 80s and the White Legs in weeks, tearing down two feared raider clans in a single war. It had torn through the Riperults, stories had said that the leader of New Vegas had gone alone to Chemult Station, where the air killed, and come back. New Vegas had convinced the Yakuza territories to join them. As well as Vault City.
What had begun as a city, had become a nation in a years time. Moving from Rumors, until it was now the neighbor of Arroyo. People feared that they would wake up to find armies outside of their windows. Troops patrolled the streets in the tension, eyeing the Courier as he walked into town like nothing was wrong. Soldiers did not stop the courier though, there was a slight superstition against stopping a courier on their duty. And one that looked like that, was not one to annoy, no matter how many other soldiers were behind you.
The path of the courier only slowed when it came near the largest immediate building in the stretch of them. It was the only one filled with light and sound. Not music, but people conversing in the late night. Fueled by what alcohol could be brewed and sold. A tavern, with a sign that hung outside that said it was the Fire Gecko. The wanderer moved on in and pushed the small door open. Conversation stopped, and everyone saw the massive form of the armored person and wondered if it was time. If New Vegas had come. Then the courier moved fully in with his bag of mail, and they released their air. Some even kind of chuckled. If they only knew.
Walking to the bar, the tender gave the courier a look and understood immediately. This was something that he had seen a thousand times before.
"Evenin' Courier." The title spoken with respect.
"Evening Sir." As the reply had the same air. Though it was coming from a mic in the helmet, it had the static fill of old electronics that still worked. But soon enough, in the same air of respect, the helmet was being unclasped at the neck. Carefully pulled over the courier's head, until he could shake out hair. A long braid of snow white flicked out from being carefully coiled at the back of his head. Pinned there so the mask and helmet could be slipped on.
What surprised the bartender was how young the courier was. The job had a very high turnover, as was not a surprise when one was supposed to walk the deserts filled with mutated monsters. But this courier stood like he had done a dangerous job for decades. But the bartender saw a young man, who was barely perhaps 20. The surprise was immediate but moved away.
"Can I get you a drink?" The bartender asked, another step in this ritual of delivery.
The bag of parcels and mail was eased off the courier's shoulder, saw down in a stool beside where he leaned against the wood. The entire bar creaked from the weight of the large man, but he settled immediately. One eye always on that bag. Though no one would dare try to take it from here, it was just old habits. In a too young of a man. It still confused the bartender.
"I would love one. Please, whatever you want to give. I shall pay. Also, I have mail." The old words. The ones the courier to say.
"I see that." The bartender laughed, breaking the ritual. But he was already turning to find a clean glass so he could fill it up with what corn liquor he had made in the back. A tumbler filled up with the misty brown liquid, simply sat in front of the courier. A quick motion to satisfy a thirst. But greed rolled up in the bartender.
"That'll ten caps." The price was much more than it should of been. The price outsiders had to pay. The bartender kept up a perfect poker face, but found himself to begin to sweat as the Courier looked over at him.
"Is it?" The young asked with just a hint of a growl in his tone. The bartender went from cool to a droplet of sweat running down his face in just moments. A weak laugh came from him.
"For couriers, it's only five." Immediately relenting. The courier grinned, then reached in a pocket to drop five bottlecaps on the old wood of the bartop.
The alcohol burned, both nose and then throat. A terrible taste, a worse aftertaste. But it held heat and the promise of intoxication. The Courier drank it eagerly, both in thirst and show those around that he believed it tasted wonderfully. Only after he drank did the courier speak again, laying out another five bottlecaps that the bartender would swear he never saw pulled out from a pocket. The glass was refilled.
"I will need to deliver to your leader of course. If you can send word for them, I would be much appreciative."
"Yes, of course. I'll send someone right now to see if The Chosen One is awake..." And with a crook of his head, one of the nearby drinkers moved. Out the chair and out the door, fed by the promise of perhaps a free drink for this municipal duty. Plus, out of respect of a courier in town. Even the worst places respected couriers. Even those who ate people respected couriers. Couriers brought information, medicine, supplies. Many towns had been saved by couriers. Many towns had died because no couriers would go to them.
"The Chosen One." After the door had shut and people began to speak among themselves again, the courier would speak the title over to the bartender, eyebrow raised a bit.
"Our leader! He was Chosen. He passed the trials, he fought and defeated The Enclave. He brought our people together, from tribal to vault dweller. Now we live as one under his protection. Our nation has even expanded. He convinced The Hub to join us, now all our people live together in peace." The air of pride was evident in the bartenders words as he picked up a dirty rag and began to clean a glass, which really only made it worse.
"I have heard of him. He is famous out in the wastes. People even say he saved the world." The Courier remarked as he sipped at his refilled drink.
"He did! The Enclave was about to release a gas across the whole planet. Would of killed all mutants... which, is like most of us." The Bartender's pride rose up again, happy to speak on his leader. However weird the Chosen One was... he knew how to fight. He had already proved that. But something was off, something about the courier. The Bartender paused in the cleaning of his glass. It was the eyes. One Green. One blue.
"You're... from New Vegas." Rumors moved both ways. And there had only been one man who two colors of eyes that had been spoken of for the past year.
"I am." The courier spoke simply over to the bartender. Not at all surprised he had already figured it out. But still, it was better to put a pin in it. "Actually, I am their leader."
The bartender almost wanted to laugh, but he saw the look the courier was giving to him. Thankfully, outsides over wooden boards for a board walk, there was the sound of boots. More than a few boots. Help was coming. The Chosen One was coming. It was him who pushed the open the door. And the Bartender understood what had been really bothering him. It was how much alike the Chosen One and the Courier looked. It was amazing he did not see this before.
"We got a courier here I hear!" The Youth at the head of the three men walked forward. Hair white, eyes such a deep brown they might have been black. Looking even younger than the Courier sitting at the bar.
That courier turned his head over his shoulder just enough to take a look at The Chosen One. And the other man put it together immediately.
"Fuck!" The Chosen One blurted out and in a move of speed that would of made snakes jealous, went for his pistol on his hip. It had been the fastest move anyone in the bar had ever seen. They would told stories about it later. Except it ended with a pair of thunderous shots rang out from the bar. As the courier already had a hand up and under his arm, gripping one of the pistols there hanging at his ribs under his gecko leather longcoat. Already holding a gun before the Chose One went to draw his.
The shot hit true, splattering a pair of holes in both of the Chosen One's shoulders. The pair of men flanking him were slower on the draw, but had the mind to immediately go for their weapons. Two more shots ran out, putting two more holes in that longcoat. Both rounds hit the pistols that the men had drawn, shattering them and turning hands into balls of broken flesh, bones and pain. They screamed and went down, holding their hands. But the strike had been surgical in those quick moments. They would use their hands again one day.
The bar was suddenly in motion that immediately stopped when the courier turned from the bar and stood up, pulling the pistol from his holster it was aimed to the side without looking. Pinning a man who had stood and picked up a bottle in a reaction.
"Sit down." Came the calm tone of words over the groaning of wounded men. The man sat. "Bartender. If I see you go for that shotgun you have under the bar... I am going to shoot you in the dick. I swear I will..." The still smoking pistol came down to the courier's side, as he moved up to the Chosen One, sitting there on his knees in incredible pair. One hand trying to move to the other pistol on his hip. The boot from the courier hit him square in the chest and made him fly right out the door and into the street. Pain blossomed again from the two holes in his shoulders. Another long groan came from him. Sudden words spilled from him, pushed by agony.
"Not Fair!" It was all he could get out. The response from the Courier walking out the door was a harsh, and prideful laugh.
"There's no rules in this shit, brother. You of all people know that..." The laugh rolled out from him as the Chosen One used all of his strength to roll over, just to look up to the form looking down on him. Brother was appropriate. Even the most unperceptive person would look at the pair of them and say that they were such, brothers. The pistol was lifted just enough from the Courier to aim down into the Chosen ones' face.
"Say our name." A demand from the courier. And that damn grin. A pause from The Chosen One. An attempt to thing of something to do. Hips shifted quickly and he attempted to roll away, just to find a boot stamping on his chest and holding him to the ground.
A gasp of pain. Then the name came out.
"Dillon!" Sharply with a pained exhaled. It brought another laugh from the Courier.
"Now, say my name."
Another gasp before the words came out.
"The Last King! The Courier!"
"Exactly." Rumbled down to the wounded man. The pistol never moved, aimed perfectly so if a shot rang out, it would pierce right through the eye of The Chosen One. Time slowed then as silence fell, both men there for a reason. But the reason never came.
"What are you waiting for? Do it." The Chosen One said, eyes narrowing up at The Courier. No fear in them, or more importantly, enough discipline to hide the fear. Another long couple moments of silence, before the pistol moved and was slowly holstered back under his coat.
"There's always another choice, brother... I do not need to kill you. Hold still." Spoken as boot came away and The Courier knelt down. A long syringe filled with a red liquid was pulled from a spot on his belt, and unceremoniously, stabbed down into the chest of the wounded man. It was not a peaceful motion, but the red liquid pumped into his body and already the pain began to decrease.
There was nothing but confusion on The Chosen One's face then. Everything in his body told him he should be dead. That was what happened when two Dillon's met; They fought. To the death. The one who lived was better. And the one who died was not. This was not even a breaking of rules, this was a desecration of them.
"I will attack you the first chance I get." The Chosen One spoke in a harsh whisper as the drugs began to hit his system, stopped his bleeding, already moving stem cells into place to replace destroyed tissue. The Courier's response was a surprising laugh.
"I hope so, my brother. I will beat you then, as well. And every time after. You will keep my on my toes, which I need, more than I need you dead... Do you understand, Chosen One?"
A long moment, before the man on the ground nodded.
And so, brothers met up. And when the people of Arroyo woke up that morning, they did find armies outside their windows. But it was both their army, and the army of New Vegas. Now, one in the same.
And the Kingdom of New Vegas grew larger. The momentum, grew faster.
The words came from the massive man who sat there, in full metal power armor. Oddly enough, aimed at a young woman who was perhaps really, a quarter of his size. She was staring down at the grass in front of her, both of them sitting on an old log in front of a campfire in the middle of no where.
However, in sight was a complicated machine. A helicopter with a pair of rotors on extended arms. A dragonfly like thing with the agility of such an insect. Around it stood a dozen sets of power armor like the man wore. Silently standing still, except for the slow motions of their helmets looking this way and that. A pure juxtaposition that was as dangerous stark as the man and the young lady. Somewhere in the middle of thick nature and there was something of a thick technology that had born the man here, to the middle of no where. Somewhere the young lady thought no one would find her, so she could think this out.
"We don't have much of a chance, do we." The young lady spoke as she looked off to the helicopter and the power armored soldiers surrounding it. Her tone was so sad, it broke the Last Kings heart. But he knew the pain would be worse if he had to move through this land, this nation, clad in war.
"No, you do not." Dillon was honest with her, though. It was the least he could do. "I understand that such an answer is one that every one like me would give you... But please see what's going on here. What lies to the North of you is the problem. You can not win against them, either."
Silence followed his words. Dillon sat there patiently, idly poking the fire with a nice long stick he had found. Metal fingers curled gently around it. She noted he moved more fluidly in power armor than she did in flesh.
"The Enclave." She whispered finally.
"Mmmm." A sound of agreement from the large man. Form shifting, the hiss and whine of servos coming over the idle hum of fusion power in his suit. Turning to fully look at her. "First Ecologist Sea-Bastion of Yellowstone, they are monsters. They will sweep aside your defenses. Worse, they will do what I just did, and fly over them. You are trained for something that makes their offensive abilities... incredibly powerful." A slow explanation of things, Dillon's tone was as peaceful as it could get. Almost lulling, a simple ease of words that flowed out from him. The poor girl didn't even meet his gaze, just stared at the fire. Arms around her knees.
"I have to fight them. Their sins are great and many, I have seen them. And they have nuclear weapons. There is no question about what I need to do. I can not have you in my way. I need the Rocky Mountains. I need to set defenses to make sure no one gets their hands on what is there." And then the silence once again. Dillon felt this conversation growing one sided. He knew he could push it until he had exactly what he wanted, but this was when trust could begin.
"Let's not talk about that, Sea-Bastion. Let us talk about what I can do for you and your people." When the words came, the young lady finally looked up and met his gaze. Fear in those eyes, but also defiance. Dillon grinned.
"I will give you everything I have. In months, your people will not go hungry ever again. They will not go thirsty. I will build them homes, I will push back the night with artificial light. I will send my soldiers into your deeplands and kill the monster there. I will leave those that do not harm people. I will embrace every one of your people, never deny them because of creed, or sex, or age, or mutation-" Dillon found himself interrupted. It was a rare occurrence.
"And in return?" The young lady snapped out with the vigor of youth. But that face didn't turn like she was hoping, she just found the man grinning deeper.
"You become part of something greater."
"Yes." The word came down from Dillon's lips with the strength of a mountain. The earth shook in perfect timing. One of Yellowstones famous tremors, Sea-Bastion had felt them her entire life. This one time it was so drastically different then, when The Last King was looking unblinkingly at you.
"I am a tyrant Sea-Bastion, I am the first to admit this. I am a dictator and a King. You... have no idea how much this all turns my stomach and immediately you think I am bullshitting this fact. Playing the poor man who has to come to power. One day though, you'll see. I can only offer my promise. And with the other hand I offer the realism of all of this..." Eyes suddenly narrowed just the smallest of fractions.
"You do not have a choice in the matter. The only choice you have is if you believe the lie, or that you do not. The outcome doesn't change. I will take this entire world. Many people can stop me from doing this, but they will not. I will be the Last King. I am the Last King."
Silence then once again. Until the whine of servos as the power armor rose from the log, a moment of calibration of balance, then Dillon stretched a bit, oddly fluidly with all the metal around him.
A hand dipped down and unclipped one of the packs at his side. A small radio was pulled out, then tossed to the ground between the pair of them.
"Call your people. Tell them you are now part of my kingdom." It was not an order. But it absolutely was at the same time. Dillon didn't have the heart to look over to her. Sea-Bastion took it rudely, it was not supposed to be. "Or don't."
"My people don't have radios." A simple fact put out as a break in this new reality Dillon was building.
"Yes they do. My people have given every unit you command radios. My army is already in place, both in front of and behind all of you. Tens of thousands of my machines are already in your land, they landed about half way through our conversation." Finally, he looked down on over to her. Hiding the pure pain in his eyes, replacing it with the hardness he knew he needed to have right then.
"Call. Or don't. But you must decide, right here and now."
There was a long couple of minutes. Then Sea-Bastion slowly leaned over and picked up the radio, her choice having been made, Dillon was already walking away with the thump-thump of heavy armor on soft earth. Walking back to the vertibird unceremoniously.
"What happens next?" Sea-Bastion asked after a second to clear her throat, having little confidence in a voice from such a dry throat.
"I go to war. That's the difference, Sea-Bastion. Monsters with nuclear weapons don't get a choice. You did." Without even stopping. The machines in power armor turned and almost as one, began to move and march up the open maw of the waiting cargo bay of the vertibird. DIllon was the last up, as the turbines in the engines began to turn and whine, rotors beginning to spin. In a minute, the machine was gone and just a sound on the air.
For a moment, Sea-Bastion had to wonder if it all had been a dream. Or a hallucination. But then she looked down to the radio in her hands. A technology she had only had heard of, but now was in her grasp. Left by a King who had told her to become a subject. A thumb tested the bright button on the side, static stopped. She did it again and brought it to her mouth.
"Everyone, this is First Ecologist Sea-Bastion. I have to inform you to lay down your arms... We are now part of the Kingdom of New Vegas..."
And the kingdom grew. In peace and in war. The offer was made more often than it was not. But was it really an offer?
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