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mustinvestigate: Fallout and Rorschach, together at last (cyborg rorschach)
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Title: In All This Blood and Thunder (1/?)
Author: MustInvestigate
Disclaimer: I only own action figures
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: none
Warning(s): advanced geekery, WIP
Summary: Rorschach unwittingly enters the Fallout universe. Probably won't make much sense unless you've played at least the main storyline. Possibly not even then.
Note: Set in 1976. Thanks to Doctor Manhattan's random technological phlebotinum, gaming technology leapt directly from 1972's Pong to...this, why not.


1. Megaton

The sunlight burns his eyes, the first time Rorschach staggers out into the world (but he’s pictured it millions of times, brilliant slanting slices between blocky skyscrapers, decadent bloody sunsets nibbled by brickwork rooftops, images obviously from microfiche literature assigned by Mr Brotch). As his vision slowly clears, the first thing to come into focus is a mocking sign declaring the battered wasteland before him a Scenic Overlook.

At the distant horizon, he can see fantastic superstructures – just mid-rises, and barely that, comes to mind – and for a wild moment he nearly sprints in that direction like a rat scampering for its bolthole.

Then, no, he thinks, and Father. Father.

Father is out here, in the blasted nuclear wasteland that was once the District of Columbia. He’s followed his father out of the safety of Vault 101, fleeing the Overseer’s wrath and all he’s ever known, leaving even Amata, his best friend and a good woman, a dutiful daughter even against her own best interest.

She should have come along, should have faced this sickening world at his side.

It throbs like an old, sickened wound, that abandonment. He turns back to the vault door, suddenly determined to kick it in and wake her from her torpor, but his boot clangs uselessly against the corroded steel.

Father.

No matter. Father is out here. He’s left – to help the president – no, he doesn’t know why Father left him behind, but Rorschach’s going to find out. He’s going to find him.

Rorschach growls to himself and jumps nimbly down the rocky cliff, heading toward the nearest battered pimple of civilization.

* * *

Rorschach is up to his thighs in radioactive muck, two fists tangled in wires and a mad preacher raining obscenities and womanish slaps on his head, before it occurs to him that he knows nothing about the innards of nuclear warheads. The Pip-boy 3000 on his wrist ticks off the foreign gamma particles as they assault his virgin cells, now probably writhing with tiny tenticular mutations as he dithers.

Sheriff Simms, a good man, asked him to save the town of Megaton from the 200-year-old unexploded bomb in its heart in return for information about Father. He would have done so for no reward; the innocent souls needed to be protected from their own stupidity. Unfortunately, he finds himself fervently wishing he’d paid attention when…when…had it been Stanley, the vault’s repairman? Of course; Rorschach knows no other mechanics. He wishes he’d paid attention to Stanley’s rambling discourses on proper wiring. Was it the red wire, or the blue? They all seem to be green, in any case.

“Hurm,” he grunts thoughtfully, and goes with his gut, yanking them all from the casing like so much unspooling intestine.

* * *

Sheriff Simms rewards Rorschach with a handful of bottlecaps (…for some reason), a shiny Vault-Boy bobblehead celebrating the virtue of strength, and a house of his own in town, despite his protests that he has no use for one. He will not be staying overnight in this town, let alone living here. Simms insists, though, and the man’s sincerity convinces him to accept the gesture before making his way to the town’s bar, where Father briefly stopped.

Before he can even walk through his own front door, though, he is forced into a tactical retreat to the wastes. Simms himself is the last to land a blow, sending two bullets into Rorschach’s back as he squeezes through the heavy metal gate and limps into the blasted desert.

Rorschach has no regrets. Colin Moriarty had been a truly vile man, pimping out information and a single aging, moustachioed whore, and the world was better off without him. It was regrettable that the town did not see this wisdom and attacked Rorschach en masse before he’d even finished smashing the old whoremonger’s face to a pulp against his own filthy bar. He’d instinctively stripped the body of anything useful solely by thinking of it, adding more bottlecaps to his new collection, along with a 10mm handgun, a kitchen knife, and a couple of stimpacks.

Moriarty’s bartender, Gob – a very good man…er, mutated ghoul, working hard to earn his daily bread and shamefully abused solely for possessing a hideous visage – had earlier responded to simple civility with fawning adoration and an offer of that same drug. Rorschach had refused, of course (he did not pollute himself with such filth) but now, with every limb crippled, a partially caved-in skull, and a small pack of vicious feral dogs gnawing chunks out of his calves, he decides that regenerative medication is a perfectly acceptable addition to his body’s natural chemistry.

Besides, it isn’t as if it’s fluoridated.

Rorschach jabs a stimpack in each arm, bashes the dogs’ heads in with Moriarty’s notched kitchen knife (sure, somehow, that it would have required only one blow with something a little larger, and much sharper), and drags himself on his elbows into the only nearby structure with an intact roof.

Which, of course, proves to be the home of Silver, the thieving junkie whore whom Moriarty demanded Rorschach murder in cold blood in return for information on Father. Rorschach totters up onto the ragged meat that had been his legs and begins to demand assistance in return for the good deed of saving her worthless hide.

“Moriarty…wanted you…dead…”

The woman screams and flings still more bottlecaps at his feet, covering her face. When she peeks through her fingers, Rorschach is staring at the caps with growing rage, wondering why these mad people have yet to offer him a bubbly drink in a green bottle, only taunting him with evidence of their own pause that refreshed. Silver howls that the devil-horned spiders will get him before he can catch her and disappears out her front door.

There proves to be something called a Nuka Cola in her fridge, and while it tingles unpleasantly going down, it leaves a happy sugary warmth behind, giving him just enough energy to collapse over on her mouldy mattress rather than the filth-encrusted floor next to the door.

It feels strangely homey.

He fiddles with the Pip-boy screen, but while it functions like a computer, it seems to have no typing function whatsoever. Rorschach sighs, yearning to record all that has happened since he was shaken awake by Amata on this, the worst day of his life.

All of it because Father left, without a word.

He isn’t even cheered when he stumbles upon the radio function and is rewarded with a stirring blast of “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

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