FROM: <DistantPrince>
To: <Teek>
SUBJ: RE: new guy
No idea, the way those clones get their memories in the first place is a mystery to me. Maybe it’s gone for good, maybe it will come back suddenly. Good thing you enjoy a little risk, right?

FROM: <JohnnyD.>
To: <Teek>
SUBJ: RE: The fuck
No idea what you’re on about, sorry. How’s things? You’re welcome any time, it’s been too long since we had a catch up.

Fuckin’ hell, Johnny Danger is an arrogant piece of work. If I didn’t have Geo to deal with I’d be heading straight there. It’s late afternoon, and we have arrived at the Tower. Home. “What do you think? Anything seem familiar? You used to spend quite a bit of time here.”

Geo looks around, cranes his neck to see all the way to the top of the tower. “No, and I would have thought I’d remember something like this, it’s impressive.”

“Thanks! Just something I, um, threw together. Let me show you the Beast Lair.” I take him underground to the shelter I use for housing, treating and training animals. “Maybe while you stay here you can help out a bit, you know, with the mucking out and whatnot. You’re going to have to stay out of sight anyway. We don’t get many visitors, but you never know.” It will be really nice to delegate some of the more unpleasant aspects of my job to someone for a change. Deathclaws produce epic piles of crap, although weirdly it’s the Snallygasters that have the most unpleasant emissions. 

I show Geo around. I introduce him to the animals I currently have in training. I teach him how to care for them. I reinforce the idea that he is a wanted man. I make sure that he knows that I am his only chance at survival. He works hard for me. The animals are well tended. He obediently wears his sack hood any time someone comes around. He avoids other people. As time goes by I start trusting him to stay put, even when I’m away for a few days. I let him remove his slave collar. The best slaves don’t know that they are slaves.

We settle into a routine. Days turn into weeks, weeks into months. We become friends, occasionally even lovers. He shows no sign whatsoever of recalling anything of his life before we met. I even hear him swear from time to time, although he still occasionally blushes. I come to care for him. I’m glad to see him when I get home. He becomes adept at hand to hand combat, and has even come with me on some raids. The first, a raid on a nearby Blood Eagle nest. Before his first kill he hesitated, but he carried through, and seemed to almost relish it. He is turning into a proper raider.

I leave for Bandit Town with some supplies for the animals there. I will be gone for a few days. While I am there, the unthinkable happens. The Enclave has landed a nuke squarely in the middle of our Town. I barely escape with my life. Dozens of us are dead. The Responders and the Tin Men have entered our territory with the help of the Free States Militia, a group who were supposed to be our allies. I am overtaken by grief for our fallen brothers and sisters. I am overwhelmed by disappointment at the Militia, welcoming and encouraging our enemies. I am overcome with rage, for the Enclave, the pathetic cowards who hide in their holes, yet think themselves gods.

When I return to The Tower I see Geo. I haven’t spoken with him since I left. 

“Thank goodness, you’re alive! I didn’t know what had happened. The news coming through on my pip-boy was so confusing! I was so worried for you!” I see his relieved smile, I feel the warmth. “What happened, is it as bad as they say?”

I look at his face, his beautiful face. It is the face of the monsters who did this to us. I can see it now. It’s like a cloud has been lifted. This man who has been tending to my every whim, who has been working so hard for me, taking care of me, he is one of Them. He is not, and never will be one of us. I can’t believe I have been so naïve, so stupid. I walk slowly to him, a smile on my face. I take him into my arms, and pull him close. A tear slithers down my face. I slide my blade out of my wristband into my hand, and drive it into the soft spot at the base of his skull. 

“No, Geo, it’s worse…”

Part One

Part Two

Words: Teekhup

Pictures: Teekhup and The Eagle