From: Kestrel To: teekhup, distant_prince, the_eagle
Heads up, I’ve finally found where our little traitorous birdie is. Sending the location to your pip-boys now. Have fun! Try not to burn down the entire place xxx
//// END MESSAGE ////

Teekhup looks up from her pip-boy with a huge grin on her face. She has been looking forward to this moment since the aftermath of the Bandit Town bombing. That bitch spun some kind of sob story to get herself a cushy new situation. She is finally going to get what’s coming to her, and it is going to be excellent.

From: Teekhup To: distant_prince, the_eagle
Excellent news from Kestrel. I was starting to think someone else had had the pleasure of ending her. We need to scout the location and come up with a plan. Meet tomorrow at Biv’s place, 10 PM sharpish, y’know, whenever, I’ll be there, partaking.
//// END MESSAGE ////

The Prince’s eyes light up in rage, and a sinister smile creeps over his lips as he reads the message from the pip-boy.

From: distant_prince To: the_condor, the_eagle, kestrel, teekhup It’s finally time for us to deal with this traitor. Five-0 and FSM won’t be here to play body guard this time. Let’s show the wasteland how The Vultures deal with our enemies. I’ll meet you all at Biv’s place to discuss the details. This bitch is going to regret ever crossing us.

Sad Evie strolls calmly down the warm, sunlit pavement of Morgantown, savoring the gentle breeze and sound of the birds cooing in the trees. Turning a corner, she picks her way into a dilapidated Slocum’s Joe – spotting a few canned coffees sitting underneath a dust crusted glass donut case. She swipes the lot, sticking a few into her rucksack for later. She pops the tab on another can, relishing the soft hiss of air escaping into the sealed container.

Mmmmm. “fresh” coffee.

Life has been pretty cushy since she managed to get into the FSM/5-0 territories. The physical damage from the nuke blast as well as “grievous psychological damage” from her time with the raiders meant that she was able to cherry-pick the cushiest jobs; ones where she could easily skim off a few niceties here and there.

The Deliverer arrives at Biv’s followed by two zealots carrying a crate covered in crude graffiti between them. Not seeing the other Vultures, he enters Biv’s and directs the zealots to follow him inside. Down in the speakeasy, he finds Teekhup at the bar and motions for the zealots to place the crate on a table nearby.

“Evening,” he greets her, pulling out a stool to sit down. “I hear we have lost a member of our flock.”

“She is, indeed, a non-believer. It’s nice to see you, Deliverer.” Teekhup takes a swig from a bottle of bourbon, wiping her mouth with her sleeve. She idly strokes a possum sleeping on her lap.

“It’s hard to see what we can do here to get to her. The place is crawling with do-gooders. I’m amazed she has been able to keep up the act for so long.

Prince takes a long drag on a cigarette and throws it to the floor stamping it out with his foot. “She’s a deceiver – it’s what she does. You know she told the 5-0 and FSM I’m some kind of child slaver?” He snorts “As if I could even keep a slave past my dinner time! She’ll say anything to save her sorry hide.”

The Prince pulls out a stick of what appears to be mystery meat jerky and begins taking large bites from it. He lets out a burp “Besides – their tiny little bones get stuck in my teeth” He grins fiendishly.

Teekhup nods “She told them we don’t name the kids! Nonsense! If we don’t name them, how do we know who to bet on during the fights? How do we get them to snitch on each other? I’m amazed that they bought her ridiculous tales, they really do think that we’re all monsters!” Teekhup puffed on a cigar, blowing the smoke at the possum. She watched his nose twitch, but he didn’t wake. She scritched behind its ears, fondly.

“The nerve of some people.” The Prince lets out an exacerbated sigh. “So what’s the plan boss? Want me to break her legs?”

The Deliverer leans forward, resting his elbows on the table and steepling his fingers. “I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t impale her as an example to anyone else considering following in her footsteps.”

“An excellent idea! There’s just one problem though….” Prince unfolds a crudely drawn map of Morgantown. “The 5-0 regularly patrol the Morgantown area to clear out the hordes of ghouls. I’ve marked their routes here, here, and here.” He points to the red markings on the map detailing the patrol route.

“Our last known location of Evie puts her smack in the middle of it all.” He stabs a knife into the map on top of the Morgantown Slocum’s Joe’.

“Kestrel told me she was in the responder bar near the bank and she overheard a couple of heroes complaining about doing responder laundry. She told me they keep it in a tent behind the university, often unguarded. I mean who’d wanna steal a bunch of uniforms, right? We could sneak in, grab a couple of outfits. We’d fit right in!” Teekhup sits back in her chair, pleased with herself.

The Prince thinks to himself: “when was the last time any of us did laundry?He conspicuously sniffs under his arms. He makes a face, but then shrugs

“Sounds great, but my beak isn’t exactly going to fit into a firebreathers mask.”

The Prince scans the room. His eye rests on a dirty Easter rabbit head piece. One of the ears is missing and the eyes look dead. He grabs the mask and looks it over. “Will this do?”

The Deliverer raised his hands, “Once the Warlord has returned there will be no more masquerading as non-believers. We will walk free in the blessed fires of the damned. “

“Yes, absolutely right, Deliverer,” Teekhup holds up her hands in supplication, “But for now, we need to thoroughly sort out this particular unbeliever, in the safest most expedient manner. Disguise is the way to go. I promise it won’t corrupt us. Hail, Warlord etcetera.” She turns her eyes to Prince. “I think the mask will do Prince, it’s not like we’re planning on running into anyone, we’re just hoping to avoid confrontation before we get to Evie, and while we get her out of town.”

“In the event of confrontation…” The Deliverer stood and opened the crate, handing its contents to Teekhup and Prince. “I’ve brought a syringer for each of you, and enough rad toad venom for all of Morgantown if necessary. When injected directly into the bloodstream it works rather quickly to make the target vulnerable to suggestion. Feel free to be liberal with the darts, we would welcome an influx of converts at Redemption. I’m sure we’d get a lot more viewers with former Responders in our next broadcast taking the leap of faith. Regardless, it should help with reclaiming this lost soul.”

The Prince’s eyes light up as he looks over the crate’s contents. “Now this I can work with!” He grabs a syringer and removes the vial containing the rad toad venom. He looks the vial over several times before reloading it into the syringer.

“An interesting chemical composition, beautiful color, and the perfect weapon for this mission. You’ll have to let me take a sample back to the lab when this is all over.” The Prince slings his syringer over his shoulder and grabs the Easter bunny mascot head. “Let’s get a move on folks. Don’t want that traitor scampering off in the middle of the night now do we?”

The three Vultures exit Biv’s and begin making their way through Morgantown being careful to stick to the shadows to avoid attracting unnecessary attention. As the Vultures approach their destination the Prince signals towards the unattended laundry basket.

The three of them creep over and begin sifting through the clothes looking for a disguise to wear.

“How do I look? I’m gonna tell everyone I’m the Responder Rabbit here to cover for Response Bear while he’s away.” The Prince laughs making several poses. “Ssshhhhhh! We don’t want to get discovered before we acquire our target.”

Teekhup selects a firebreather uniform and mask, it wouldn’t do to get recognised. She struggles with the constrictive heavy uniform, but manages to wriggle into it. “Ugh, how do they cope with being this… restricted all the time? Have I got this on right?” She glances at Prince. He looks a picture, making her giggle. She tidies up the pile, making it look like they were never there

“Hey there, fellow good-deed-doer, what good deeds shall we do today? I can’t wait to be helpful and kind again, let’s make today a better today for everyone!” She stifles her giggles, holding her side, a tear squeezing out of her eye. “How the fuck do they do this hilarious shit without cracking up?”

Digging through the pile of uniforms, The Deliverer selects one and holds it up before slipping it on, spending several moments fumbling with the buttons. “This is sacrilege…” he mumbles. He runs a hand through his mohawk then grabs a cap, placing it on his head, snapping the brim. The Deliverer clears his throat, turns and addresses Teekhup and Prince.

“Fellow false servants of righteousness, soon the worms will feast on our corpses and we will die uselessly clinging to hope!” He looks at the other raiders expectantly.

Teekhup smiles at the Deliverer. She doesn’t exactly share his fervour, but she deeply admires his commitment and loyalty. “We all look terrible, obviously, but our cause is righteous. We must abduct the unbeliever and bring her to justice!”

The trio of disguised raiders begin walking through Morgantown keeping an eye out for Sad Evie. A few smaller patrols pass them by waving politely and tipping their hats to the group. A 5-0 patrol dressed in responder armor walks up to the disguised raiders.

“Excuse me – there isn’t supposed to be another patrol in this area for another 15 minutes. Are you guys part of the new batch of new recruits? I told the lieutenants to keep to our regular schedules. Don’t tell me they changed it again without telling me.”

The three raiders freeze in their tracks and look to one another for answers. The Prince steps forward awkwardly saluting the responder. “What a happy hip-hoppity day it is sir! Yes, we are new here. We are a little early for our patrol because we’re just SO excited to be helping out our fellow wastelanders.” He suppresses a laugh. The Responder looks him up and down suspiciously.

“What’s with the uh -” the responder gestures to the rabbit head. “- get-up?”

The Prince lets out an exasperated sigh. “What? This ol-thing? It’s because of that dog-gone Response Bear! Showed up to his shift drunk – again. Can you believe it? I mean how on god’s green earth are we supposed to save all these poor wastelanders if we show up drunk to our shifts? Tsk Tsk Tsk”

The Responder looks around at the group taking in this information. “Well golly gee! I knew he was going through some stuff, but I never thought he’d be….” the responder leans in closer and whispers “A drunk!

Evie leans against the glass counter of the Slocum’s Joe, humming a slightly off-key version “I didn’t know the gun was loaded.” She bobs her head merrily side to side, as she lifts her pip-boy to fire off a message to the commander

Hey Boss - I'm feeling absolutely terrible from the radiation from that nuke, and those terrible - TERRIBLE - memories and trauma from my suffering at the hands of those...Vultures seem to be really triggering today. I'm gonna need to take the rest of the day off to mentally recuperate. Maybe tomorrow too.

I just want ya'll to know that I feel SO incredibly BLESSED to have met all of you, And that God, in his everlasting glory, will get us though these dark times into the light of the Responders!

Evie pauses for a moment to debate if she’s laying it on too thick, before shrugging and punching the send button on her Pip-boy. Eh. Good nuff.

She brushes the dust off her shiny new responder-provided jeans, and resumes humming, cheered by the prospect of an easy day off drinking coffee in the sun.

Teekhup salutes the responder “I volunteered for extra patrol duty! I love working hard and doing good deeds! You have a wonderful day now! Make sure to be good, and if you can’t be good, be careful, and stuff like that! Well, we best be on our way!” Teekhup chuckles unconvincingly, lets her arm fall to her side, and begins to stride onwards.

The Prince begins walking off with his companions. “Farewell fellow do-gooder! We’re off to make Appalachia a safer and more prosperous place!” The Prince chuckles.

“Don’t follow us.” He says sternly

The three raiders begin walking away from the Responder. The Responder waves absently as they go. “What a lovely little group. It’s good to see new initiates taking their roles so seriously!” The Responder continues on in the opposite direction not giving the encounter a second thought.

The Raiders make their way through Morgantown stopping outside Slocum’s Joe’. The Prince peeks his head around the corner to peer into the open door. Sitting at the counter sipping coffee is Sad Evie. She is alone and whistling along with the radio.

The Prince whispers to his fellow raiders. “She’s inside just as Kestrel predicted. We need to move her to a more discrete location so we can kill her and dump the body.”

He pauses thinking for a moment and checks his pip-boy for the time. “The next patrol isn’t due for another 10 minutes. Let’s convince Sad Evie to follow us along down the alley way. We’ll tell her a feral ghoul horde is approaching Morgantown and that we have to escort all civilians to safety. She’ll see our Responder get-up and won’t give it a second thought. Once we have her alone – well -” The Prince cracks his knuckles.

“Here goes nothin’.” Teekhup pushes open the door of Slocum’s Joe and rushes in. She puts on her very best West Virginian accent. “Oh, my goodness, golly gee, no! What on Earth are you doing still here, Ma’am? Didn’t you get the evacuation order? Well I’m certainly glad we all did this final sweep or you woulda been a goner for sure! Massive horde of ghouls comin’ our way, Ma’am. We gotta get you outta here, right now, no dilly-dallyin’, ya hear?”

Evie jumps guiltily, clearly startled at being caught slacking off. “Oh!!! Errr….How….how terrible! Though usually they fire off the sirens at the airport when the ghoul waves hit. That’s odd.”

Evie takes a deep breath, her eyes suddenly glistening prettily with unshed tears “You saved my life, and countless others who would have been caught in the wave of ghouls. So…..selfless! Is there any way I can thank you…” She checks Teekhups uniform insignia…. captain…..?”

Teekhup hesitates for a moment “Well, now, ain’t that peculiar… I’m no Captain. I musta picked up the wrong uniform. No time to sort it out now though, Ma’am, we gotta get you to safety.” Teekhup gently takes Evie’s elbow and ushers her towards the door, then out into the street. Luckily no one else is about. The raiders, and Evie head around the back of Slocum’s, and head vaguely in the direction of the airport.

The three Raiders are completely silent while walking down the street. They approach a narrow alley way lined with dumpsters off of the main road. The Prince nods in the direction of the alley to his companions and the group slightly adjusts their course. Evie follows along taking note of the group’s stiff body language and lack of witnesses in the area. The tension is palpable, and the silence unnerving.

Evie stumbles along with the insistent tug at her wrist. “HEY!…..Ahem..uh…hey….careful there. My skin is still a little tender from all the radiation.” She snatches her arm back, to gently rub at her wrist. She looks around, nervous at the thought of a bloodthirsty ghoul horde hiding around the next corner

“Where…Where is everybody? Shouldn’t there be more escorts making their way to the evac point? Where’s the medics? And what’s with the shitty rabbit get up?”

She pauses, narrowing her eyes at the prince, cradling her now bruised wrist to her chest. Slowly her eyes take in the rest of the rather motley collection of responder gear. The idiosyncrasies start to stand out – a Firebreather with mechanic boots? And the pip-boys..the red paint alone would be a five day suspension from rec room privileges.

The Deliverer stops, snags Evie’s arm in his own and draws his face closely to hers. “Ma’am, your cooperation is imperative, the eternal fate of your soul is at stake. We are here to deliver you!”

Evie cringes at the iron smell of blood on his breath, the realization hitting her like a sledgehammer to the back of the head “THE FUCK YOU ARE!!” She starts to violently twist her arm, writhing in an attempt to get free. “Deliver me?? Fucking war-shipper! HELP!!!! RAIDERS!!!! SOMEBODY!!!” She starts to kick, going limp in an effort to throw her body weight against the pull of the raiders.

He’s prepared for her resistance, the lost souls always resist at first. As she goes limp he uses the opportunity to spin around behind her and hook both her arms into his and pull her up off the ground. He grunts as Evie’s heel catches him in the shin. Leaning back, he hoists her flailing legs into the air and away from his body, keeping her torso pinned against his.

“Come now Evie – Responder Rabbit is your friend.” The Prince draws his syringer and shoots it into the neck of the flailing Evie. Her eyes widen in terror as she lets out a small yelp. Her flailing becomes softer until her body is limp and she’s murmuring softly to herself.

“Now doesn’t that feel much better? Responder Rabbit and his crew are here to help!”

Sad Evie’s eyes look from one raider to another eyes wide with panic, but her body remains stiff. “That radtoad venom is sure going to help with the pain when we cut off your traitorous head.” The Prince takes off his Rabbit head. Evie’s eyes begin to tear up as the terror consumes her. “Consider it a favor from your old friends in the Vultures.”

The Prince smiles fiendishly delighted to finally finish off his foe. The Deliverer takes Evie in one arm while Teekhup holds up the other forcing her onto her knees with her neck outstretched. The Prince grabs a rusty machete from his pack and stands over Sad Evie.

“I’ve been waiting a long time for this.”

The Prince brings down the machete onto her neck. In one fell swoop as Sad Evie’s head falls to the ground with a satisfying thud and squelching sound.

Teekhup smiles. “You know, I think the 5-0 may be right. It does feel good to do good.” She bends down and picks up Evie’s bag. It’s full of crap Evie has pilfered. “We need to finish up quick, and get out of here before we are discovered. We can divide this shit up later.”

Teekhup and the Deliverer drop the body onto the ground by the dumpster and the Prince quickly consumes it in a mad rush – the rad toad venom coursing through her blood giving him a nice cerebral buzz. He wipes his face of the viscera, takes the head, and skewers it onto a nearby sign that reads DEAD END. He uses the blood dripping off of him to write a message on the concrete wall nearby: BEWARE OF VULTURES.

“Well I think our work here is done folks.”

The Prince puts his Rabbit head back on and the trio begins to make their way out of Morgantown and towards the Savage Divide.


First posted on the Vulture’s Discord

Co-written by The Eagle, The Distant Prince, Teekhup and Epiphany.

Special thanks to Epiphany of the White Swallow for her valiant sacrifice xx