raptureofthemoon: (Vulpes)
Isa’s not far outside Nipton when the wind changes direction.

Her sunglasses and the scarf she’d bought off a trader back at the Outpost give her some protection from the glass-shard sands striking her skin. But the acrid smell of old rubber burning, the scorch of sulfur, and a rancid musk slip right through the thin cotton and settle on the back of her tongue.

Years ago, she’d traveled with her father on one of his many trips from their shop in McDermitt to New Reno. He usually overnighted in Love Lock to resupply and catch up on the trade-route news, but miles outside the town, they were stopped by an NCR blockade. The people in Love Lock had caught a deadly and highly contagious virus. The order was quarantine. And containment.

As her father ushered her to the detour road that wound up a small plateau, she’d caught sight of a masked soldier carrying a long, wrapped package that he tossed on a fire at the edge of town.

Her father’d gone grey in the face when she asked him about it. But then, as always, he was honest with her.

The thick, sickly-sweet stench of bodies on fire had followed Isa for the rest of the trip.


In 16 years, she still hasn't gotten the memory of burning human flesh out of her nose.

And that's what she smells now; faint and lingering like a bad dream.


.....
raptureofthemoon: (cheaper than therapy)
Title: "The Fort" (Working title; will likely change)
Series: Dispatches from New Vegas
Characters: In this snippet: Isabelle (Isa) Reyes, also known as: The Courier.
AN: Just a little sliver of something being (sporadically) worked on.... This comes from a piece that's a bit of an outlier currently, as it doesn't fit in with the other vignettes in terms of POV (and possibly tense; though at this point, it's possible that all the vignettes will vary somewhat in tense).


-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0

You’re standing outside of Caesar’s tent, waiting for the escort Caesar is supposed to send once the meeting he called is finished, and watching the to-and-fro of the crowd below: the stooped women and men hauling firewood, hauling water, and several children, just old enough to begin schooling, being run through armed drills and mock battles.

For a moment, you wonder about those children who are just babies when they fall into the Legion’s hand. Are they taken under wing or are they left out on the side of a cliff to die?

You put your back to the camp—the one display of disapproval you aren’t too concerned about making while companionless...weaponless—and glance at the entrance of Caesar’s tent, willing it to open, because the sun is edging toward the horizon and it’s a long barge trip back to Cottonwood Cove and an even longer walk to a hospitable overnight stop.

Your leather armor sticks to your neck, is sucking wet around your breasts and hips, the bends of your knees; your hair keeps escaping the confines of the twist you’d thrown it into as you’d left the arena.

And it feels like someone’s taken a rebar club to your body; there’s not a piece of you that doesn’t ache.

You’re sure your back is bruised from where Benny sent you flying into one of the support beams of the arena and the machete graze on your head—that keeps dribbling blood into your eye—is likely to scar. At least this one will be covered by your hair. But you shouldn’t have gotten hit in the first place.

Still, the “battle” with Benny had been little more than a lead to the slaughter; the Chairman was all fast moving limbs and unfocused charges that were (mostly) easy to avoid and you’d put him down fairly fast. And with only a twinge of guilt…

Long ago, you’d learned to look after your own ass like nobody’s business which is what made the decision between giving Benny over to the Legion or killing him yourself such an easy—well, an easier—one.

That and the fact that you knew he’d abandon you as soon as you gave him room to maneuver…

You’d seen that in his eyes the moment you walked into Caesar’s tent. The way he shifted, the way he looked at the stealth boy on your belt then glanced at the Praetorians; you just knew he was measuring the distance and the obstacles between his location and the door.

But even then, you couldn’t just leave the prick to be tortured; not when you could end it all with a quick blow to his head or slice of his throat.

Even though he was the one who’d shot you, stolen from you, and then run half way across Nevada after you’d found him, dragging you directly into the Legion’s line of sight which, especially after the experience in Nipton, is exactly where you didn’t want to be thank-you-very-much and…fuck it.

He should be damned grateful you just killed his sorry ass.



....TBC

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dreaming through the noise

September 2015

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