Rubs his head for confirmation.
"Nope, don’t think so, just fancied a change."
"You look stupid."
The trail was followed warily, he moved through out the dusted city brushing his hands across the rubble walls. Harkness kept himself on edge simply because he didn’t know who he was dealing with. The threats he had encountered in the past varied and he knew Maria had a similar past. It wasn’t predictable.
Harkness was thrown off by the tracks, they weren’t consistent. The weight varied as the attacker dragged Maria. It shifted as they counterbalanced. It was difficult to assess a size of the other through this but Harkness could tell that they weren’t exactly…big. It bothered him. He could only conclude through typical strategic thought that this may have been to fool her, which potentially meant there was a group.
His feet thudded against the concrete slabs as he made his way through the torn office buildings. The path was lit through broken planes of glass, he stood on the remnants throwing off any chance of surprise. Pausing outside the door he concentrated, listening for anything that told him how many people were inside.
It was the muffled sobs that distracted him. He flattened himself against the door reaching up to the turn the handle, slowly entering the room. His mouth opened in a gawp. A shiver tore up his spine. Hell, he had seen some strange shit but this really took a run for caps. His gaze shot across the room. Concerning drawings. Unfamiliar equipment and materials. Blood.
Running across the room he reached her quickly arms clasping her forearms as he looked at her in horror. It was no surprise she couldn’t call out, her lips had been sewn together. Catching her arm he followed the trail of the invasive device pulling it with little delicacy from her arm in a bid to remove it quickly.
Whoever had answered her silent prayers, whatever had she thanked with every last morsel of energy she had left in her being. No sooner had she hoped for a miracle did one come bursting through the door, in all his armoured glory. Harkness. In that instant she wanted to scream out, to leap up and run towards him, wrap her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist and cry. Shower him with gratitude, relief and love but she couldn’t, she was prison bound by her own body. Just a rag doll on the ground waiting to be picked up.
When he comes closer to her however she feels a sudden wave of comfort and safety — it was over now. Harkness was here. Or so she hoped, countless times during her stay here she’d dreamt of this moment, hallucinated it too, what if this was just another one of those moments. It couldn’t be, this had to be real. With the pinch of the IV’s removal she gives Harkness a wide look. Hadn’t felt pain in her hallucinations, that in itself hadn’t happened in them either, maybe this was real. Oh please let it be real.
Watching in almost slow motion she clocks Harkness’ hand nearby hers and tries with everything she could to reach out, twitching fingers extending slowly just to brush against his skin as a fresh wave of tears rolled down her cheeks.
It was over.
They nearly squealed at the Nuka but Penny had the good sense to shut them up (by smacking Squirrel on the back of the head, eliciting an OW from him). She took it eagerly and ‘chugged’ it, finishing only a quarter of the bottle really but feeling very cool. "I’m Penny," she said proudly, taking over. "This is Sammy, he’s an idiot, and Squirrel, he’s a bigger idiot. What’s your name?"
At the mention of the collars they all got quiet. "You can’t take off the collars," she whispered, scared now. "They explode. I saw Mabel explode once all over this guy and Rory and it was really gross like really gross and I don’t want my head to explode. Try Sammy’s first.” She ignored any protest, looking at Maria with big brown eyes. "It’s really gross."
Watching them guzzle the drink as if it were life giving nectar ignited a sort of sadness within her, these poor fucking kids. Irradiated, dirty water was probably all they had up for grabs. Paradise Falls needed evacuating and then nuking — with all the slavers still inside. One could dream. Reapplying a warm smile she holds out a friendly hand, shaking each and everyone of theirs. “Well then Penny, Sammy and Squirrel,” adorable, "My name’s Maria, not a Mungo before you clever shits work out the double ‘M’.” It really was a pleasure to meet them.
When the kids shrink back it’s understandable, the concept of a bomb collar was terrifying enough so she got why the idea of it being tampered with set them on edge, but she could do this. It was risky but she knew what she was doing — if she didn’t she wouldn’t be here right now instilling false hope and fear.
"Relax kiddo, I got this. Trust me, and once we’ve got these horrible things off we’re gonna run, far and fast, you guys got that?" They were going home. This was what she lived for. "Okay then Sammy, looks like you’ve been nominated."
Waggling her finger she beckons the kid over, turning him around against his slight protests. Do it quick, like tearing of a sticking plaster, or administering a stimpak, easy does it—
"So," she smiles, dangling the collar on her finger, "Who’s next?"
"Ew… just no, nosebleed, not on at all. Fuckin’ hell." That was an image that would never leave his mind. Ever. Jesus.
"When has a supermutant ever been cute? Really?" Fair enough Fawkes was friendly but he wouldn’t go as far as saying he was cute. Far fucking from it. He was ugly as shit. Unless this other one looked different, then maybe he was slightly better looking then the others but he really did doubt that. "I kinda wanna ask Hark, but I just know that he’s gonna tell us to get fucked straight away. Might be best huntin’ down a friendly one to have a chat with."
She throws a snicker in Butch’s direction. Mutant penis’ an image neither of the pair were going to be able to shake for a while although she wasn’t repulsed by her own thoughts because the reaction gauged from Butch made up for it entirely.
“You’re fucking cute. Stupid. I meant cute as in personality wise, always about the looks with you isn’t it Deloria?” Though eye-candy was always a key factor, not that she was looking, she had all she ever wanted bundled up in a little ball of anxiety and nerves. "But it’s always fun to wind Harkness up." Though she was fairly certain the guy was on duty, or else he’d be suffering this conversation with them too, throwing eye rolls left right and centre. To the Wasteland it was! She stops for a minute and smiles, it had been too long since they’d done something as simple as this. No problems, no potential death or whatever. Just a stupid little adventure between best friends.
"Come on then dipshit, lets go find us a frieeeeeeeeeeendly mutant."
His attention had been consumed by the arrival of Ellie. He didn’t know what to expect with it but it wasn’t this. Harkness witnessed everyone around him accept her willingly with wide open arms and faces full of awe. It made him feel uneasy. It emphasised that he wasn’t human. He didn’t feel the same instant connection that he noticed in everyone around him. Hell, he wanted to but it wasn’t fair to force it. It derived from the fear of holding her, of hurting her by accident. She was simply just so small.
Running a hand through his hair his feet slammed against the metal floors of Rivet City. He needed Maria. There was a want to talk to someone about it without insulting them. He didn’t want Butch to think he was shunning the kid. Harkness just didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t programmed. Knocking on her door with hesitation he was surprised when there wasn’t a loud thud of footsteps. The door didn’t open to the loud and excitable blonde. There was nothing. “Blondie?" Silence, he frowned before slamming his shoulder against the door gut instinct told him something wasn’t right here. Freddie sat on the edge of the bed. Clammy. Pulse racing. His anxiety hadn’t been tackled recently, it hadn’t been sorted in a while. Maria hadn’t been there to reassure him. Lifting his arm he read the messages from the Pip-Boy. Off. Wrong. Backing off he didn’t have to speak before he ran. How the hell could he have been so oblivious. They all were.
He was sprinting, not bothering to yell his name. His eyes burned blue as he threw everything to hell and activated all of his protocols truly becoming a hunter. She was searching, looking. She had met someone, significantly smaller and then she had been…dragged. A feral growl left his lips. He owed it to her to protect her. She had offered him a kindness that was unique to her as a human. He could offer her a brutality he held as an individual synth. He’d get her. He had to do, and do whoever took her:
There would be hell to pay.
Jocelin could be back at any moment, come back in through that door with a look of pure innocence, a child of virtue, yet all Maria would be able to see was the devils incarnate. A guise of pure evil. The longer it took for that to happen the better however — Maria never wanted to see that little girl again, the walking, waking nightmare. The terror that would haunt her dreams for a long period if she ever got out of here alive.
That was the worst part of it all. If this was the end for her then nobody would know, know where she went or what became of her, they’d spend however long wondering, searching and grieving over the girl who’d simply vanished, dropped off the face of the earth. That was a thought she couldn’t bear to carry but in this situation, trapped where she was now in the horror that had become her life it was the only thing she could think about; think about her family and how much, how fucking much she wanted, no, needed them right now.
More tears roll down her face streaking a line through the powdered make up that was caked on her face, smudging the eye-liner until it amassed to nothing more than a black streak around her eyes. Dolls were supposed to be beautiful, not like this.
Looking back over to the door she whimpers inwardly, the noise unable to escape her bound lips. If only she could scream out, yell until someone came. They’d be able to find her that way, someone would.
Jocelin, please don’t come through that door, please let it be a hero or something.
"That’s not true."
"I look fantastic, I should know, I’m a barber."
Rubs his head for confirmation.
"Nope, don’t think so, just fancied a change."
"You look stupid."
"Thanks, I really like it bitch."
"Did you fall and hurt yourself?"
Hours felt like days as she sat rigidly, propped against the wall surrounded by her new, toy box friends. To her left was Archie, a one eared rabbit who didn’t say much, just merely snuffled around his plastic meal, and to her right was Vincent, the broken in half toy solider, with gracious stories of the war he’d once fought. Though right now he was talking far too much, chewing off her ear. Shut up Vincent. He did.
Looking around with strained eyes, she glosses her watery sights over the easels peppering the room, covered in paintings of her, various faces, some bloodied and some prettied, sights she didn’t want to see. A reflection of her terror exhibited like some twisted art show, a gallery of her misfortune. Why had this happened? She still couldn’t understand. How long would this go on for? She didn’t know. There was no crying out for help, no escape — she couldn’t talk, her lips were bound and she couldn’t move through her frozen body. This right here was probably her end, where the book on her life closed. Dark and dismal, the written works of a horror novelist that went by the name of Jocelin Lachance. The Devil Child.
At least, for now she was gone. There was a break in the nightmare, if only just a little.
"Stay put, miss Maria, I have more things to show you later. Maybe a new dress… or maybe I’ll make you a nice drink that’ll make the clean up of our play date less messy. I don’t want to mess up that pretty face."
Jocelin was gone, for now.
Glancing at the IV protruding from her arm she feels more tears roll down her face, countless times she’d imagined pulling it out, finding her feet and being able to run free, delusions however. Nothing more. Mind addled by the drug and her burning desire to get away from here, go home back to her boys, to Freddie and the new little girl that she’d only known for a few hours. If only she’d waited to go out and spoil the girl then maybe this wouldn’t have happened. Ellie’s arrival wasn’t to blame however, just her own excitement. That was all.
A soft vibration alerts her from looking at the IV and directs her to look at the opposing arm where her Pip-Boy rested; a message, from Freddie. Jocelin had been talking to him and he was now, undoubtedly, panicking.
Sent from VTPB 09476: Where are you what’s going on???
Freddie, please— tell someone.
Wrinkles his nose up. "I hadn’t thought of that before, but now I am, thanks a lot nosebleed." That was not an image he wanted in his head at all. "Who the fuck is Leo?" There were more of them? He heard that there might be, but he never really believed it. Suppose it was better for Fawkes if there was, then he wouldn’t be the only one.
"Shut the fuck up." She was right though. "Well we just gonna think about this or are we gonna actually find out?" Because he really wanted to know now.
"I bet its like a tree stump." She sniggers, commenting purely because of his reaction. Though now she had the image in her head, great.
"Oh Uncle Leo is great." She smiles broadly, "He’s this cute, kind and gentle Mutant, tells some really amazing stories of his past. I met him this one time just wandering around, you might catch him some time." She remembered when she’d first encountered him, they’d spent hours sat atop some rocks talking, her telling him idle gossip and stories from the Vault while he imparted all kinds of wisdom. Hadn’t seen him in a while, she hoped he was okay.
"Alright how’d you wanna do this, ask Harkness or find a nice mutant to share his fashion skills?"
Continues looking at his hands for a few more moments, hoping the explanation was there some where. It wasn’t. "Yeah… I don’t get it…"
"A friendly supermutant? D’ya think we could find Fawkes again? I mean I ain’t seen any other supermutants about that don’t wanna rip your head off as soon as they see ya. Hark might know, but then it might just fry his circuits or somethin’."
"I mean I’m glad they wear clothes, could you imagine the state of a Super Mutants cock?"
"Fawkes or Uncle Leo!" They were the only two she knew of, there might have been more but she never stuck around to see. "Well if we don’t fry his circuits I think you might yours." She laughs.
"I… really don’t know Nosebleed. D’ya think they would be able to work a needle?" He looks at his own hands as if to confirm that this explanation was not plausible
"Maybe they were in really stretchy material?" Even the boots? This was irritating him even more now..
She looks at his hands, then looks at hers. “I don’t think so, their finger is like one of our hands.” She probably shouldn’t have brought this up now.
"Well, no. Cause like most were from a vault and that shit was tight as fuck. We should go find a mutant, and like ask them. A nice one like…or Harkness."
Harkness knew everything.
"I have no fuckin’ idea? Not only that but like, clothes as well. How do they fit into any of them. This is the kinda shit we shoulda asked Fawkes when we saw him."
"…Fuck, you’re right. Didn’t think about clothes too. Too busy looking at the boots." The damned boots. Maybe their shoes mutated with them…
"Do you think they have a little hideaway somewhere where they sit for hours making outfits?"
8: Favourite fruit?
"Apples, definitely apples."
10: What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without a shower?
"It was a long time man, I smelled awful."
26: Do you believe in ghosts?
"To an extent, like really weird things happen and I just, well it’s gotta be hasn’t it? I’d like to think ghosts are real, keeping us company watching over us, sounds silly but yeah."
Okay as you all know I’ve been lacking a great deal of muse for Maria and my attention has been taken up by the other idiots. I know I had a few threads on here but the reality is I can’t remember what or where they were at — if we had a thread going on I’m going to be dropping them and starting completely fresh. There are one or two that I will be keeping up with because they’ve been long ongoing plot developing pieces but anything else as of now is done with. I’m sorry if we had something but as it stands I don’t bloody remember where I was with them.
If anyone wishes for a plot please don’t hesitate to ask — on top of that I’ll reblog a few sentence memes and see what we can get going from there.