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| ||This page is a part of the Fallout: The Apprentice contest. It should not be confused with in-game content.|
It's a well-established fact that raiders have a preferred method method of opening doors, and Reyla wasn't one to rebel against this impression.
"Hold this," she said, shoving her Flamer into Argus' arms. Reyla positioned herself in front of the door, raised her right foot, and delivered a punishing combat-boot kick. The door swung inward: if doors could look defeated, then this door certainly looked defeated. Reyla grinned and took back her flamethrower.
"I bet it wasn't even locked," Argus said, unholstering his double-barreled shotgun.
"You're no fun," Reyla responded.
The duo entered, with the kind of confidence that comes of holding enough firepower to decimate a small town's population. They found themselves in a spacious lobby, where a banner hung over the reception desk, declaring, "Welcome to the General Atomics International Production Facility: Western United States Division."
Argus looked around, then slightly lowered his shotgun. "Reyla, do you hear anything?"
"Me neither. That's never a good sign. Watch my back, will ya?"
With Reyla at the rear, he made a circuit of the room, paying particular attention to the floor.
"You lookin' for anythin'?" Reyla asked.
"Sorta," Argus replied. He straightened up. "So, where to?"
Reyla surveyed the various doorways, mouthing out their labels. "Over there, how about the shipping department? Maybe we can find some finished products to lift."
"Alright, just stick close, and don't let your guard down." They set off, Reyla in the lead, Argus covering their flank.
"What's got you so worked up?" asked Reyla, over the unnerving sound of their footsteps.
"Look at this place," Argus began.
"It's kinda hard not to, bein' inside it and all."
"Shut up, smart ass. This place looks abandoned. It's covered in dust, completely silent, and I haven't seen a single drop of blood."
"That's a bad thing?" she responded, glancing around the claustrophobic halls.
"Yeah, and it's disturbing, too. When've you heard of a structure that wasn't occupied by something horrible, like giant bugs, or ghouls, or–"
"Argus, we're raiders. We are one of those horrible things that occupy these places. Hell, who knows, maybe we've found a new home."
Argus sighed, and kept quiet until they reached Shipping. Once there, all he could say was–
"I've never seen so many crates."
Indeed, Shipping was filled, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, with industrial shelving, covered by well-preserved pine crates.
"You reckon they're all full of robots?" Reyla asked.
"Who cares? This amount of wood could be worth a fortune!"
They stood together in silence.
Reyla broke the silence. "So, what here can we actually carry?"
"Dammit!" exclaimed Argus. "I hadn't gotten that far. You're right, we can't carry any of this. We'd need a whole team just to get a crate down from the shelves." He chewed thoughtfully on his lip.
"Tell ya what," Reyla started. "Let's keep on going to the assembly line. With all the Mister Handy and Mister Gutsy models this company made, we're bound to find some spare flamethrower parts, or missiles or something."
Argus nodded. "Better than leaving here empty-handed. Let's go."
They darted out of Shipping, displaying a lack of caution that would've gotten them killed anywhere else. They reached Assembly in no time at all, and there they found–
"Nothing?" Reyla shouted. "Five conveyor belts, and not a single spare part? Ugh. Well, what do we do now, Argus?"
There was no response.
She turned around, and found Argus typing furiously at a computer terminal. She sighed. "What are you doing?"
He smiled. "Seeing if any parts are holding out on us." With a dramatic flourish, Argus pressed a key, and the belts cranked arthritically to life.
But no robot components appeared. Instead, the far end of the middle belt creaked, roared, and opened like a sliding door. They stared.
"Is… is that normal?" Reyla asked.
"Only if you have something worth hiding," said Argus, a glint in his eye. He ran to the opening, with Reyla close behind. They discovered a door, and in their haste to open it, failed to notice the symbol it carried:
As suddenly as they'd started their sprint, they stopped. They stood on a metal catwalk, a catwalk that felt terribly flimsy since, many feet below, there sat six massive vats of… something green, and… glowing.
"Somehow, I'm not excited anymore about what we'll find here," Argus said.
"Psh, pansy," replied Reyla. She took off towards the other end of the catwalk.
"Reyla, wait!" Argus shouted. "Dammit girl." He ran in pursuit, shotgun at the ready.
Reyla passed through another doorway, to discover a workroom filled with tables and–
"Score! Spare parts!"
Argus came up behind her, panting. "What the hell did you go and do that for? Do you have any idea–"
"Oh, can it. We found what we came here for." She gestured to the workbench. Argus stepped forward.
"These look like Mister Handy components. There's a buzz saw, and a blowtorch, but… since when do they have syringes?"
"Good evening sir and madam! What may I do for you today?"
Argus and Reyla whirled around, weapons raised.
"Argus, what the hell is a Mister Handy do–"
She looked down. Reyla found a hypodermic needle, plunged into her abdomen, rapidly emptying its glowing green contents.
She gasped for air, but fluid caught in her throat.
"What..." she managed, "why... why is it so cold?"
Reyla collapsed, twitching.
"You bastard!" screamed Argus. His shotgun coughed at the robot. "I'm going to tear you apart, you–"
He hadn't seen the Mister Handy move, but somehow, a fresh needle had penetrated his stomach. Argus' shotgun clattered uselessly to the ground, and then, so did he.
An imposing figure emerged from an adjoining room, a figure covered in armor that crackled with electricity. He observed the spasmodic movement of the two human forms.
"Take them to the holding cells. Oh, and pass a message to the General for me: tell him our first order is ready to ship for Arroyo."