Part One: The Realizations
War, war never changes. When the world was consumed by atomic fire, those who survived did so in great underground vaults. When faced with the end of society and a chance to start over, man will always show their true nature. When it was deemed safe, people ventured out to begin again. They started new towns, tribes, even governments, others turned to a darker path. Became raiders, deserters, outlaws, and gangsters. In the year 2281, the two largest factions went head to head over an Old World relic, known as the Hoover Dam.
It has been four years since the Bull, known as Caesar's Legion won, but just barely. They have expanded operations further into the Mojave. Even though they mostly defeated the NCR, the Bear to the rest of us, defeating the man who brought them that far though, the one they call "The Courier", that was another matter.
To the average man, The Courier was more than a man it seemed, even to some of us he seemed surreal. Where ever he was, he commanded respect, people rallied to him, and by proxy, rallied to NCR. They may have lost the Second battle for the Dam. But they have not lost the war. Every effort to completely control the Mojave by Caesar was met with resistance, and more often than it pleased him, failure. The Courier had many allies as well as friends. It seemed impossible that a handfull of men and women could stop Caesar's grand plan. But if you came here to hear about the Courier, you could do better than talking to a sour sonuva like me. No the only tales I'm here to tell are the journies me and my boys went through in those days.
My name, Oddessyus, I was a decanus in Caesar's Legion. Unlike most Decani and Legionaires, who are fiercely loyal to Caesar himself. My men were loyal to me, and me alone. Way they see it, I'm to one who gave them their orders and made sure they were going to make it. My story began like most other days, in blood and death. When we first entered the Mojave, we were sent to make an example of Goodsprings. It was Caesar's way of showing that his hand could reach anywhere, even where The Courier had died, where he was born again. The sun just barely visible in the horizion. We had grouped up and discussed the battle plan. Thinking back now, it makes me chuckle, not because it is funny, or amusing in the slightest. It makes me chuckle because it was not a battle, not by a long shot.
"Were here, Ody, what's the plan, how will we punish these profligates." Cato, the greenest Legionaire to my rag-tag group asked as we huddled up. I put my hand upon his shoulder, feeling the metal reinforced plastic pauldron beneath my hand. "We aren't going to do anything fancy like Vulpes. But we aren't going to charge in there like Joshua would've had us do back then." Otis exlaimed "You know you'd be put to death for saying that Ody, why do you always spit in the face of Caesar." I grunted "I speak only the truth, none shall censor me, and you damn well know that by now. Listen here's how its going to go."
With in the next few minutes our lives were changed forever. I pushed open the door to the Prospector's saloon, dressed up in a field hand and a tench coat that I had gotten off an unfortunate bypasser minutes before, swapping clothes my legionaire clothes with them.
I sat at a barstool from behind the counter I had heard the young , beloved Sunny Smiles ask "What can I do ya for stranger?" I kept my eyes low, even after being in the Legion for most of my life, I always find it hard to look someone in the eyes who had no idea what was going to happen to them, knowing that by the end of the day when they thought they were being nice to a stranger, that same stranger was going to be their downfall. "Whiskey, the whole bottle, and a pack of smokes, if you would ma'am." She handed it over in a moment. I uncorked it taking in a big swig and pulling out a single cigarette and lighting it with a match I pulled out of my pocket. As most now know, chems where illegal in the Legion. Way as I figure what Caesar doesn't know will not kill him, and as long has his hands are dirty why should it matter if I try to forget it all. "That'll be twenty-six caps mister." She said as I took in another drink. "Not a problem ma'am." I replied pulling out the equivilent in denarius, putting them on the bar. "I'm sorry for this ma'am."
As soon as her eyes noticed I payed in legion coin she gasped, reaching her hand for the varmint rifle upon her back and whistled for her dog Cheyenne to attack. In one fluid motion I tossed part of my coat back and pulled out the sickle on my left side. I hit the dog across the neck with the dull side, sending her to the ground, and in the neck moment I swiped across Sunny's arm, blood dripping down her arm as she drew her rifle. As she aimed for where I was around the corner one of my troops, Caius came from behind her, holding his machete to her throat. "Want me to gut her here boss?" He asked, almost whispering it into her ear as he awaited my command. I took another drink of whiskey and a drag of my cigarette. "No Cai, I have other plans, Caesar wanted this place razed to ruins, we can do that, he said nothing about the profligates per se."
"So what're we gonna do boss?" He questioned. "Grab the collars we're gonna bring them in, as many as we can collar, anyone else, well we put them out of their misery," I turned my attention to Sunny "I really do apologize, but do not fret, for no woman shall be harmed under my watch, and none of your friends will be strapped to a cross, we may be Legion buy we are not Vulpes." I waved my hand toward the exit and Caius followed. I walked over the bar and emptied every bottle of scotch and whiskey they had muttering to myself "I gonna be a long trip back." As I exited the Saloon I pulled my sawn-off shotgun I kept strapped to my chest, close to my heart and fired striaght up in the air in the center of the barren streets. Within a few moments people crept out of their holes to see what the commotion was. My sickle was wrapped around Sunny's throat at this time as handed my gun to Cai to reload.
I yelled across the town as people came around, comepletely unaware of what was going to transpire within the next few hours. "People of Goodsprings, I am dreadfully sorry to bring down the horns of the Bull to your fair town. As you now must realize, I have come here to make an example of this place, and because of your distant relationship with The Courier, this has befallen you. But you need not die a needless death. If you all lay down arms and kneel down with your hands behind your back, you may live yet." As I finished my statement a younger male spoke out "We will never bow before Caesar!" and he charged me with the rake in his hand. I quickly drew my 10mm pistol and fired, two shots in each leg. His cries in anguish filled the air. "I apologize once more good people for this man must be made an example of the cruelty I can bring down." As I finished my statement Cai grabbed the rake and swung it like a nine iron into his stomach. The wind knocked out of him entirely as blood spewed from his gut, Cai pushed down on the rake tearing and pulling parts of his bowels out.
"Now I hope you'll reconsider, I do not want to spill more blood on the ground than I must. I regretfully am but the reaper for what ever Caesar sows. But none must die anymore needless deaths. It may not be a life your used to but I will be damned if it isn't better than death." I reholsterd my pistol holding my hand out to Cai. On instict he handed me a bomb collar, one of the worst things I have held, still makes me sick thinking on the deeds I've done in the name of a madman. I kneeled down to Sunny's level, keeping the blade firm against her neck. "Do you Miss Smiles accept this collar, this only beacon of life in this otherwise black time you and your people are faced with?" She kept her eyes staring at the ground and spoke barely above a whisper "Yes." I lowered my sickle to the ground putting a free hand on her cheek, softly raising her head to face the croud. "Would you please say that louder my dear, I am afraid they cannot hear as well as I can." She spoke louder, repeating the same answer. "You see people, if you lay down your pride, and accept that you will still live you can continue living." I wrapped the collar around her neck, not tight enough to cause damage just to where it would not slip off.
The next fifteen minutes went by and we had as many as we could collar. That included Doc Mitchell, who we knew Caesar would take intrest in, Chet the goodsdealer, Trudy, among other nameless men women and even children. Less than twelve people were left collarless. My men stood on each side of them, machete's drawn waiting for thee kill order. I raised my hand up holding four fingers to the air, my men knew what this mean, kill four leave the rest. When the deed was done, the few remaining I spoke to "Scatter to the winds, speak not of the events that have come to pass, you do not know who or where Caesar has eyes and ears. Do not return here for all that will remain is ash and bones." After who was left disappeared "Raid the town, take whats worth it and burn it down." The haul we had was several crates of medical supplies, we would have to stash these before hitting the the docks of Cottonwood Cove. Even though Caesar had the Dam the Fort was the most secure location under his belt presently. We also had quite a haul of chems and alcohol, we would celebrate for days to come, or try to forget. It all started out as a celebration but it was a mask, like the White Glove Society, you can act as civilized and justify anything but we all hide things. No matter how we felt about Caesar we knew we were under his thumb, so all we could do is grit our teeth and try to forget the deaths of those close to us, and those who didnt even have a fighting chance. Those who were sheep whom we for no reason slaughtered.
As night had fallen and we had travelled to a place where we would have someone toshelter us we had to camp under the stars. The boys all celebrating, drinking and hitting jet. I sat next to the captures, drinking whiskey as I listened to them. Their tears haunt me still. "You can break away you know." one of them said. I took another drink before responding. What?" I asked, it was Sunny speaking to me. I said "You can break away, from the Legion that is." I turned my head away, the flames from the camp glowing upon my cheek and I continued to drink my troubles away. "You don't know what your talking about ma'am. It ain't as easy as deserting the Bear, you can't just run and not find trouble. Caesar will send Assassins, highly trained monsters to hunt you down and pike your head. We are just cogs in this murder war machine." I passed the whiskey to her and she took a small drink "Your clearly more educated than some of the men-mounting sunuva bitches the legion brings up, you can lay low, they won't miss one person, odds are they'll think your dead." As she passed the bottle back I fiished it off, grabbing out a bottle of scotch. "That's where your wrong, I can't just leave, I have my boys here to think about, if I leave he'll torture and cruicfy them for giggles, and if we all leave they'll find us. It's easy to hide one man, but eight men, we would stick out and it would be a disaster for all around." I took a drink of scotch and corked it. Her words rang in my head as I layed down and closed my eyes. My boys knew the shifts, and I needed some rest, tomorrow is another day.
((This is a small excerpt of a story I am writing of post second battle obviously, tell me whatyou think don't be afraid to be brutally honost because either way I am going to continure writing this, if you have any question feel free to ask and I shall answer))