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Title: The Pitt and the Swinger
Author: MustInvestigate
Disclaimer: I only own action figures
Rating: NC-17 for sadism and poor taste
Pairing: nada
Summary: An AU snippet branching out of Outgoing. Don't look at me, some kind soul actually asked for this! :D

30 years later…

Lanius endeavours to appear upright under his own power, not surreptitiously propped up by the two Praetorians at his side. He has no illusions; perhaps he could recover from the fragments of metal in his chest (left in place, lest he immediately bleed out), if he were even ten years younger, if his body wasn’t thoroughly polluted by the ambient radiation that only increases as they push toward the eastern sea.

But he is not. He is dying, and he wishes only for the brief time and dignity to witness his adopted son successfully take on the mantle of Caesar he has been so stringently trained for. His mother’s blood made Tiberius Desertum a natural and ferocious fighter, and of his skills as a strategist and politician, Lanius has no doubt.

As a warlord, however…

Lanius has burned many offerings to Mars, but feels compelled to add one more silent prayer.

“Eyes up, you cubes!”

His son stands before the secured steelworks, dark complexion glowing demonically in the light from the outdoor forge pit. Divided by Legion troops, the Pitt’s survivors are grouped around it, the clearly human to the left and those who scuttle on all fours to the right. Their leader is stripped of her motley power armour and hangs by her wrists from the platform upon which she must have stood uncountable times, lording over her subjects. Tiberius gives her a shove so she swings, barely half-conscious but still struggling.

“You kookie cats, you really laid a patch on these drop-dead losers! Kudos, fellas, really, from the bottom of my heart. Give yourselves a pat on the back – but drop those machetes first, hey-o!”

Lanius closes his eyes and wishes for Death to get His boots on. He winces as the words pass through his mind, a fore-echo of his son’s words.

“Now, the rest of you bums: get your boots on! This is Legion territory now, and, if you are very, very lucky, you are about to become a Legion citizen and receive your own snazzy drape like these handsome boys. Incultus, turn around so they can see what it looks like from the back! Ain’t that the ginchiest?”

New Vegas burned as Tiberius screamed out his first breath. He has never come in contact with a prolifigate for longer than a bare second to rip the tongue from its degerate jaw. And yet, these words…it is as if they lay in ambush within the boy’s brain, and no beating, burning, or pleading could excise them. Worse, they had colonised Lanius’ inner voice, corrupting the brutal simplicity of his own impulses.

“Here’s how we decide who gets to be one of us classy cats – sorry, ladies, men only, ha ha ha! – and who’s gonna be an original square, envying the dead for a few very uncool years before joining them. You, you, you, you, and the little guy on the end – down in the pit. Over here, you, you, you, you, aaaaaaaaaaaaad…you!”

The chosen numbly descend, avoiding each others’ gaze.

“You creepy-crawlers, ugh! You give me the willies and I don’t mind saying it. But you fight like radscorpions on the rag! The rest of you, well…you look more hep than these “Trogs,” which is certainly a plus, but…I just can’t decide. So you ten are going to kill each other, hand to hand, and the last one standing, well, his people get to join the baddest band in the land! And if any of you have a problem with this plan…”

Tiberius reaches out to steady the woman, and carefully lifts the back of her undershirt. Lanius grunts, noting the fastidious way his son leaves her breasts covered. Sexual humiliation, Tiberius has often insisted, “lacks class.” Another weakness.

In his other hand, Tiberius raises a combat knife, his favourite one with “Chance” scratched on the handle, and hacks through the skin between two ribs. He fishes inside for a moment, neatly hauling out the end of a pinkish lung and leaving it to hang in the fetid air. The gathered prisoners gasp and scream in rage while the victim, her face a rictus of pain, refuses to make a sound.

Tiberius pauses and pats her shoulder. “I know, a crumb’s life is hard. This will all be over soon…for me. You’ve got a day or two to die as your lungs dry out. Enjoy!”

He repeats the procedure on the other side and gives her another push, twisting her so the former Pitt citizens all get a good look. “Any of you have a problem with fighting to the death, well…here’s your alternative. Let the games begin!”

His legacy secure, Lanius closes his eyes as the fighters frantically fall upon one another and his troops howl their approval, some of them beginning to chant Tiberius’ name.

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