The Bag Man looked around his camp. He was pretty happy with what he had built, but he felt like it was missing something. He realised that he wanted a pet. Not a rat, or a cat, or a cur though, he wanted something dangerous, something that would help protect his domain, something that would at least deter the worst of the scavengers. The thing was that the only dangerous animals he had come across in the wasteland were far more interested in removing a chunk of his person than becoming his companion. Even the not so dangerous ones were far too bitey. He had heard that a new Vulture chick had a talent for sourcing more malleable creatures.

“Hey, you Teekhup? I’m the Bag Man. I heard you can help me with some extra-special security”

“Hello Mr. Bag Man, can I call you Baggie? Is that okay? Maybe not, but oh yes, you’re in luck. I think I might have just what you’re looking for, a powerful beast, for a powerful man. I’ve been working with a particularly effective beastie that I think might be ready for his forever home. What do you say to a deathclaw?”

“Well not much, usually, but what I do say I say with my chain saw, which is on fire”

“Cool, cool, ok. I bet I can change your mind. Give me a few days, then meet me at the bridge near Big Bs rest stop. You know where that is, right? See you at first light 3 days from now”

Three days later the Bag Man heads to the bridge. The scene that greets his eyes is bizarre. Teekhup appears to be calmly chatting with a Deathclaw by the side of the road. He had never seen a Deathclaw that wasn’t trying to kill him before. She beckons for him to approach. He sees that she is gently stroking the skin under his chin and she seems to be growling softly.

“Hey there Mr. Bag Man, Baggie, what do you think? Think he would suit your camp? He’s a good boy, he loves scritches, just don’t try for a belly rub.”

“Is he strong? He looks a bit…. singed…” asks the Bag Man.

“Oh, yes sir, absolutely,” Teekhup replies, softly “He’s been around a while, but I’ve seen this boy reach up, pluck a scorchbeast out of the sky and rip its wings right off. I think you and he would make an excellent pair. I’d take him home myself, but the Hideout only has room for one ‘claw.” She turns to the Deathclaw. “You’re slightly melted, but you’re a good boy really, you can protect Mr Bag Man, I know you can” The Deathclaw looks her in the eye, and nods almost imperceptibly. “He’s a powerful raider, just like you” she says. The Bag Man isn’t sure who she’s talking to.

“This is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of fucked up shit out here” he says, incredulously. “But I think he will do very nicely. Are you sure he’s tame?”

“You need an obedient friend, I know that. Do you think I would present you with an inferior animal? You came to me, remember? I don’t have to help you. Do you want him or not?”

“Yes, yes, okay, I’ll take him, whatever. How do I get him to my place?”

“Oh, it’s okay, don’t worry yourself, I’ll get him there, it will be good. We’ll be there before you know it. I’ll help you settle him in.”

Back at his camp, Teekhup and the Deathclaw are having a tour. “What are you going to call him?” she asks.

“His name is DC”, says the Bag Man, but he doesn’t explain.

“Okay, good, now come here, and rub him just like I am rubbing him.” The Bag Man hesitantly reaches out. DC snorts at him but allows contact. DC is dry and smooth, and colder than he was expecting. “Give him one of these, I’ve uploaded the recipe to your pipboy so you can make more when you run out” She hands him a small sticky bag of meaty smelling lumps. “You live here now, okay DC?” Teekhup says. “I have to be going, but I will visit, promise” She strokes his cheek, and turns to the Bag Man. “You and he are going to be the best of friends, I can tell. You’ll be fine. See you around. One other thing; no refunds, no returns, this is your Deathclaw now” She picks up her backpack, and before he can voice any objection, she breaks into a run and disappears into the dust of the Divide.

DC looks at the Bag Man. The Bag Man looks at DC. “Oh” He says, suddenly aware he is alone at his camp with a particularly grizzled and angry looking Deathclaw. “Fuck”