Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and violence.
"Minutemen?" Jacob echoed. "Now am I going back in time?"
Preston smiled, saying, "Yeah, that was the whole idea, being ready to fight at a minute's notice and all. I joined up, wanting to make a difference, and I did, but... things fell apart. It looks like I'm the last Minuteman standing."
"Who are these people?" Jacob asked, motioning to the other four people. "Family? Friends?"
Ignoring the man at the terminal cursing as he tinkered with a password, Preston replied, "Refugees from Quincy. We're on our way to a little settlement not far from here. What brought you out here?"
"Missing person. I need some trackers."
The Minuteman sighed, apparently depressed. "We used to have a few good ones, but... not many now. A month ago, there were twenty of us. Yesterday, we numbered eight. Now... we're only five. The ghouls in Lexington hit us pretty hard, but this mess might just finish us off if we don't get some help and fast."
The Vault dweller nodded. "What do you need?" Jacob asked, deciding to ask about "ghouls" later.
"Sturges," the black man barked, pulling the guy at the terminal forward. "Tell him the plan."
"There's an old vertibird up on the roof, old school-- pre war," the man-- Sturges-- said as he was pulled back from the screen. The man grinned, apparently not caring that Preston had yanked him backwards and to attention. Flippantly, he added, "You might've seen it on your way into town. Looks like one of its passengers left behind a seriously sweet goody: a full suit of T-45 Power Armor, military issue. We can pull the minigun right off that baby."
"I know how to use that," Jacob said. "Does it have a fusion core?"
Sturges shook his head. "No, but down in the basement, there's one behind the security gate. It's still plugged into the generator, so it should have some power left in it."
"Alright... I'll see what I can do. Sadie, stay." Jacob nodded to the two men and smiled at his dog before running back downstairs, heading down the ramp on the first level. Indeed, there was a security gate there. Jacob took a bobby pin from his satchel and found a screwdriver on the floor. Slowly, he started to break into the lock before his bobby pin broke. "Shit..."
He stood and looked at the terminal on the wall and sighed. Pressing his lips together and narrowing his eyes, he furrowed his brows and started messing with the terminal, looking at the age-old password screens that he knew so well from the before. The screen flashed with a jumble of words and non-letter characters. He tried three of the words, all of which failed to allow him access to the fusion core. He looked for hidden bugs, smirking as one reset his tries. At last, the word "revolutionary" finally let him in.
"A bit too obvious, I think," he chuckled as he swiped up the core before running back upstairs, wincing as he put too much pressure on his leg yet again. "Damn it! Fuck that bug!"
He heaved in a sigh and forced himself to continue upstairs. "I've got it," he grumbled, starting to pass Preston before a magazine by Sturges caught his eye. "I want that RobCo." He snatched it up, and before anyone else could say a word, he also took a bobblehead sitting on a desk, stashing them in his satchel.
He passed through the room into the next hallway, going through the debris to reach a service ladder that lead back outside. The sky was already darkening, and Jacob guessed that it was about sunset. He looked around at a few tool boxes and a table that were on this part of the roof, finding a holotape and some more ammo, tucking it all into his satchel.
Jacob turned and examined the suit of power armor that Sturges had said would be up here-- it's steel armor pieces were in decent condition, and the frame appeared to be in working order. He plugged the fusion core into the back of the suit, and it's headlamp started to glow as the metallic eyes came to life. Jacob twisted the wheel on its back, opening the armor so that he could step inside.
"I've missed this," he said, examining the condition of the armor. The right leg and left arm were both red in the small display of the armor's condition, meaning they would soon be in need of repair. The attached Geiger counter detected no radiation, and the core was apparently at half health. The bulky, standard armor sprang to life as he started to move, already comfortable.
Jacob looked at the crashed vertibird, noting how it had landed just perfectly so that it wouldn't just fall through the roof. He moved through the open side and reached for the minigun, tearing it off of the vertibird with a sharp clang!
"Hey, boss, we got somebody over here!" a voice from the ground called suddenly. Jacob moved forward and looked down at the ground, seeing almost ten raiders running around in the ruined square, two of them looking up at Jacob. "Com'un, show us dat fancy, shmancy gun u close!"
Jacob smirked and jumped down to the ground, shaking the earth with a resounding boom. There was no pain in his leg now-- the armor had shielded him from the force of the jump. Standing tall and proud, he started to fire up the minigun, shooting down the attacking raiders like an archer would shoot down birds. One threw a glass bottle towards Jacob, but it erupted midair as a stray bullet hit it. All of their focus was drawn away as a roar went up at the end of the street and a giant, black lizard creature crawled up from beneath the street. Its back was spined like a dinosaur's, and it had magnificent horns atop its head that seemed to be like a crown. Its fiery red eyes stared Jacob down as it unleashed another hideous roar.
"Deathclaw!" one of the raiders hissed, trying to escape. But the beast was too quick for him, great sharp claws swiping him of his feet and into the side of the building, killing the man instantly.
The other raiders started to run away, fleeing in terror as Jacob started up his minigun again, backing up slowly, nearing the museum door. A beam of red light from above Jacob's head slammed into the beast's side-- apparently Preston was not backing down. A thunder of bullets ripped through its hide, but the monster merely unleashed a louder, angrier, more frightening roar. It started to charge at him, but another quick shot from Preston hit it in the eyes, blinding it long enough for Jacob to start firing at its head, neck, and stomach, potentially deadly shots tearing through its body.
Terror mounted with every movement the great beast made, though whether it was dead or alive at this point, Jacob did not know. His heart pounded inside his chest, and he suppressed a shiver as he gazed into those giant, devilish red eyes. At last, the minigun stopped firing-- it was overheated, red at the ends of the barrels. The creature hit the ground with a resounding boom, small rocks and bits of rubble nearby shaking and rolling as the monster fell. After a few moments, the minigun had cooled down, and for good measure, Jacob fired into its skull, destroying its brain, dark blood spilling onto the broken, gravelly pavement.
Jacob tossed the minigun to the side, checking the battery of his power armor. It was at about 15% power now, and all parts of the armor were in dark red. Deciding he'd repair it back in Sanctuary Hills, he started back inside of the museum, almost certain that Codsworth would scold him for joining a fight without any knowledge of what had been going on anyways.
Stepping inside, he heard the settlers talking quietly. "...so take it easy, Mama," Preston said to the gypsy woman as she sat down on a small bench.
"I'm fine, Preston, quit fussin'!" the older women grunted. Sturges leaned against a wall while the Asian couple sat on the ground, the female whispering to the man, possibly her husband. Preston had a hand on the old woman's shoulder as he turned to look at Jacob.
"That was a pretty amazing display," the Minuteman said. "I'm pretty damn glad that you're on our side."
"Hey, you placed that shot on its head pretty well," Jacob replied. "It was a team effort," Jacob answered with a smile, outstretching an armored hand.
"Heh, I guess it was," he agreed, shaking it. "We'll be safe as soon as we reach Sanctuary, I think. Mama Murphy's been seeing it for a while." He motioned to the old woman, who was dressed in worn blue coat, a tattered hat, and an old red scarf. The Minuteman pulled out a small pouch, handing it to Jacob. "Fifty cells, a hundred caps, and some potato crisps."
"Caps?" Jacob questioned confusedly.
"Yu not from around here or something?" Sturges asked. "Caps are our money. It's backed by water, it's a good way to do things."
"Oh... well, thanks," the Vault Dweller said. "I'll put this stuff to good use, but, uh... I didn't do it for this stuff. I just... need some help."
"Yeah, you mentiond that," the Minuteman answered firmly, looking like he was ready to get to work. "I'll help you however I can just as soon as we get to Sanctuary. It looks like you took a good beating."
"No, thank you... What's you name?"
"The name's Jacob," he answered. "Jacob Collins."