Prologue: No Gods, No Masters
Thomas stood calmly as he waited for the Lucky 38’s elevator to arrive at the penthouse, bottle of whiskey in hand. He had a feeling this would happen. He was upset that it had happened so quickly, there were still so many steps he hadn’t gone through. He was prepared for the worst, wearing his Elite Riot Gear, a Sequoia held loosely in his other hand.
“About damn time you came to your senses,” General Oliver Lee said as he stepped out of the elevator, flanked by a pair of Veteran Rangers.
“I agreed to this meeting, General,” Thomas said, spitting the last word. “The answer is no, I just thought I’d make it all proper.”
“So you refuse to turn over control of the casino to the NCR?”
“I refuse to turn control of Vegas to a power-hungry, expansionist, morally-bankrupt shithole,” Thomas countered.
“Like you’re one to talk of morality.”
“I give a shit about everyone in this city. You, on the other hand, see your own soldiers as cannon fodder to be thrown at the enemy so you can stand atop a pile of corpses and call it ‘victory’.”
Thomas smirked as behind the General the two Rangers glanced at each other. He knew they agreed with what he said, that they viewed ‘Wait-and-See’ as an idiot. “Our demands are reasonable,” Lee countered.
“Your demands are tantamount to slavery. It might not look like it, but the NCR’s bureaucracy is more efficient at controlling people than any slave collar. I made a mistake, backing your cause,” Thomas spat. “I swung the odds in your favour, and this is how you decide to repay me? A knife in the back?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Moore had Crocker fired, after all he did to negotiate peace with the Kings. You claimed credit for everything me and H...
... middle of paper ...
...pulled the trigger twice. One shot found its way into Thomas’s leg, stumbling him.
“Motherfucker!” Thomas screamed as he picked himself up. He had to get away, he knew that. Groping around inside his duster, his fingers gripped around something pistol-shaped. He grinned as he pulled out his Transportalponder. It wasn’t the perfect solution, but it would give him time to recover, and the Big Empty had a lot of things he could use.
“Stop!” He turned to see the other Ranger leaning out of the broken window.
“Not happening!” Thomas screamed back, pointing the Transportalponder into the air and pulling its trigger. Instead of the swirling vortex of blue energy he was used to, though, tendrils of crackling electricity shot down his arm. They didn’t hurt him, even as they enveloped the rest of his body. “Oh boy,” he muttered, moments before he felt himself get pulled apart.
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