• Published 22nd Mar 2014
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Fallout New Vegas: Unexpected Friends - Sleepyted



Twilight gets transported to the Mojave Wasteland after a magical mishap.

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Chapter 52

Twilight was worried about her friend, she didn’t seem to really care about her missing limb, just holding it sorely as they walked further into the ‘Forbidden Zone’ which as the loud speaker was constantly reminding was forbidden.

They soon entered another large room that looked almost the exact same as the one that held the five floating brains in a jar but this one looked more run down, crazy scientific scrawling’s all along the floors and roof. While Anne had no clue about most of it Twilight did spot a few thing such as ‘1+1=?’ with circles drawn around it and underlined a dozen times. There was only one spotlight in the floor instead of five. There was also only one brain bot but this one was very different.

It looked as if it hadn’t be maintained for the past 200 hundred years. The glass was all murky and scummy along with the glass on the monitor screens. One of the eye screens was cracked and only showed black.

“At least this place doesn’t have the pacification field.” Anne stated, pulling out her pistol with her one hand.

“What?” Twilight asked in confusion.

“Did you notice at the other place you couldn’t really get angry there? That’s because they literally have a field on that stops anger inducing hormones from being produced in your body. Which I don’t know how that would affect me at all considering that I don’t have a brain in my skull to produce the hormones…”

The pair slowly approach the floating robot, wondering what the dirty looking robot would do to try and get away from the situation. But as they got closer it slowly turned around. “I come in peace, visitor. Take me to... Oh. That's your line isn't it? ” The robot said before shaking itself. “Yellow. Uh... Hallow. No, wait, uh... oh, hello. Yes, that's it. So nice seeing you again, for perhaps the first time.”

“You’re the one here for the brain aren’t you? So young, so bright.” It said before quickly asking. “Would you be able to move a bit to the left? I have trouble seeing these days.” He asked kindly.

Anne and Twilight looked at each other in confusion before they both shuffled to the side. “Is that better?”

“Depth perception is a problem with this old monitor of mine. Went black a while ago. That's old age for you. I should look at getting the visual nerves re-attached... it's just that the right eye would… see the wrong things. The flying tortoises were the worst. And the purple horses…” He stated before asking happily. “Would you care for a Mentat?” and before he got an answer a little robotic arm stuck out with a small tin of the smarty mints which Anne took in confusion.

“Umm, thanks.” She said unsurely as put it into one of her pockets before pulling out her pistol again.

“Mmm. I love Mentats. Delicious and smarty.” He said happily and the pair could spot what looked like a half dozen of the mints dissolving in the gel that suspended the brain inside the tank.

“I have all sorts of amazingly science-arific thoughts and ideas when those chalky tablets are zipping through my biogel. I forget them all not long after, though, especially with the data constipating my memory core. Afraid binary streams might shoot out my chassis. Had to start using the dome floor and walls here to inscribe equations, although I've somewhat lost track of where they start and end.” He noted, looking around with his one good screen at the crazy scribbles along the walls.

“You’re… not what I was expecting…” Twilight noted, this had been the person, or brain, that had sent the robo-scorpions after them and he was acting casual.

“Really. That implies pre-conceived notions, theories and a hypothesis about this meeting? Please extrapolate. What was I... supposed to be like? After all, it might be worth a cognitive re-alignment if your theoretical Mobius is better than I.” he asked.

Twilight liked talking science as much as the next nerd but this felt like everyone in this place had no idea about science and just used words they think sounded smart.

“Look.” Anne butted in. “I just want my brain back and we can get out of your hair, or screens, or whatever you want to say.” Anne stated flatly.

“Do you? You seem fine without it.” He noted. “And does it even want to go back with you? Maybe you should ask it. It's quite independent, has all manner of opinions. Tell you what, I'll leave it up to your brain. If it wants to go, then fine. If not... well, you should respect its wishes.” He stated.

Anne was a bit confused at what he said, hearing a slight hissing sound up on a stage area. There was a large table that opened up and a large tank filled with more of the gel and a floating brain inside.

“Okay…” Anne said in confusion, the two walking away from the crazy robot as he started humming to himself.

The brain just floated in the tank and the two could only guess whose brain it was. “Now we just need to get it back into my skull…” Anne noted.

“Well, well, look who finally dragged themselves in out of the Wasteland. And where have we been, hmm? Crawling through pits of radioactive muck again?” The tank spoke out in a tinny voice, posh, British and most notable, male.

“Is this… my brain?” Anne had to clarify to Twilight and before the pony could guess the tank spoke again.

“Ah, lovely, figured that out, have we? Would you like a cookie?” It asked in a smug voice.

“Hey, don’t be such a dick.” Anne accused pointing her one good hand at the tank.

“Well, that's a fine how-do-you-do! Me! A, quote, dick, unquote. As if I'm the one responsible for the way you carry on, gadding about the Wastes. I'm not the one that makes us clamber around tetanus-infested ancient ruins or go charging off to New Vegas on missions of ill-conceived revenge! And have we forgotten who got us shot in the head and buried in a shallow grave? Hmm? Do you think I enjoyed that little moment?” It said, slowly starting to yell as it spoke on before it was ranting at the end.

“But you are responsible! You’re my brain!” Anne yells back.

Twilight was having a hard time processing what she was seeing. Her best friend in the Mojave having an argument with her brain floating a in a jar, steam coming from the back of the tank as the organ shook in anger.

“I most certainly am not! I am the seat of all reason and logic in our little partnership! All those... feelings that motivate you, that sense of righteousness and that rush you get when you help someone, do you know where those come from?” He asked rhetorically and just as Anne was about to say something it stated. “Glands. They come from glands. Free of the tyranny of your ape-like and primitive endocrine system, I can see how foolish your motives are.”

“But aren’t you responsible for my glans? Or are you blaming my thyroid?” Anne shot back.

It paused for a moment. “I... well... look, it's all a very complex system of biofeedback and other things I wouldn't expect you to understand.”

“Admit it, you’re as glandular as I am.”

“Oh, all right... perhaps I am, but at least I'm logical about it.” The brain huffed.

“Now, how about you get back into my skull and we all get on out of here?” Anne offered.

“I'm not going to lie to you, the prospect is definitely not that appealing. Look at it from my perspective. Here, I have peace, quiet, and safety - well, barring the odd rogue scorpion. In your head, I've got poison, radiation, grisly injuries, and biological functions. Do you know how much more you can get done when you're not constantly looking for places to urinate? It's quite a lot, I can tell you.” The brain stated.

“But what about the good things? What about a cool breeze on your cheek, the smell of food... sex?” Anne asked hopefully, making the pony blush faintly.

“Overrated biological feedback. Believe me, you only feel that way because you've got all that meat... oozing hormones.”

“So, what, you'd rather just stay here? Never leaving that tank of... whatever that stuff is?” Anne asked sadly.

“Well, certainly there might be some things I miss about being ambulatory. We have seen some incredible sights, haven't we?” He asked. “Jason Bright and his followers launching into the vast unknown. But still, given the tremendous, potentially life-ending peril that went along with those... yes. Yes, I'd rather stay here.” The brain said, nodding in the tank.

“I guess there isn’t really anyway I can force you back in is there… So I guess I’ll just have to go on without my brain…” Anne said sadly.

“Well thank you for listening to my wishes… for once…” The brain huffed.

“One thing I want to know though is how the hell did Mobius even get you in the first place?” Anne asked sighing.

“After the Think Tank extracted me from your skull, they fell to bickering amongst themselves. I'm sad to say we were quite forgotten about. Dr. Mobius saw an opportunity to gain some leverage, and had me spirited away to his dome” The brain said doing what could only be described as shrugging.

“How did he manage to do that?” Twilight asked stepping in.

“I don't know. I'm afraid the trauma of our separation rendered me quite insensate. I didn't come around until I was safely ensconced in this tank. I'm quite sure whatever he did was highly scientific, though.” The brain explained.

“And why do you sound like a dude?” Anne asked.

“Do you know how hard it is to find a feminine voice modulator in the Forbidden Zone? These brain tanks don’t grow on trees and I had to take what I could get at the time.”

“I guess I’ll just go then…” Anne said sadly. “I’ll tell the Think Tank that I don’t need them to put you back into my skull if you don’t want to go back in.”

“The Think Tank? And you believed them? Really? I know you were recently deprived of my fabulous advice, but... really? Once I'm delivered into their clutches, they'll find a way past the radar fence and the whole Mojave will be their playground. And that is assuming of course that one of them doesn't take a fancy to our body and decide to slip his own brain into it instead.”

Both pony and human grimace at that information, from the crap they saw going on around the facility they both knew that the brains shouldn’t be allowed outside and roaming free to use everyone and everything as test rats.

“So we need to stop them…”

“Oh really? How did you ever come up with that bright idea without a brain?” The brain said sarcastically. “Do you even have a plan on how to deal with things?”

Anne paused for a minute before holding up a finger and grinning. “I got it!” She said happily. “You stay out of my head, we don’t want it to be easier for them to take you.” She stated.

“That arrangement suits me fine. Do try not to get too many holes drilled in your head, will you? I may want to drop by for sentimental reasons.” The brain stated.

“Anne?”

“Yes Princess?”

“How do we end up in these situations?” Twilight asked standing before the metal door of the Think Tank where all the robotic floating brains stayed.

“If I knew I would avoid them.” Anne state with a shrug as she pushed the large button in the middle of the door and with a hiss it opened up. Walking in they were greeted with the normal hall but all the brains were floating over spotlights and the overhead lights were a deep crimson.

Walking in the shouting voice of Klein filled the air. “THE LOBOTIMITE RETURNS! HAS MOBIUS BEEN REDUCED DOWN TO SCRAP PARTS AND CHUNKS OF VOCIE MODULES?!” The robot shouted.

“I found my brain Klein, and I’m here to settle things.” Anne stated crossing her arms, although one was a bit short to do it properly.

“I RECOMMEND WATCHING YOUR TONE WITH ME, LOBOTOMITE. NOW... ‘YOUR’ BRAIN. HAND IT OVER. OR WE'LL EXTRACT IT AGAIN.” Klein stated, shaking slightly in anger.

“I’m not handing you my brain, we have things to discuss!” Anne said, Twilight noted while acting a hammy as the robots.

“AND WHAT COULD WE POSSIBLY HAVE TO SPEAK ABOUT. YOU HAVE THE BRAIN. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY. ALL YOU MUST DO... IS SURRENDER. WITH IT, WE CAN FINALLY LEAVE THIS PLACE. I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW BORING THIS PLACE GETS, CHOPPING UP THE LANDSCAPE AND EVERYTHING IN IT.” He said before adding “AND WE HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR BRAIN FIRST. ABOUT THIS... MOJAVE PLACE. A FERTILE TESTING GROUND FOR OUR EXPERIMENTS.”

Anne paused for a moment, not knowing what to say until a grin that Twilight didn’t like burst out on her face. “You think I am the Lobotomite...? No, for my skull houses the BRAIN OF MOBIUS!” Anne yelled, the sound of Twilight slapping her hoof against her muzzle with a sigh.

“THAT IS THE MOST INSANE THING I'VE EVER HEARD. THERE IS NO WAY MOBIUS WOULD... CONDESCEND TO STEP INSIDE YOU.” He stated before he hesitated. “BESIDES, THERE IS NO WAY SUCH A THING COULD BE ACCOMPLISHED. IT'S UNPOSSIBLE.”

“Nothing is unpossible for SCIENCE! Mesons, lasers, atoms, brainwaves... all are at MY command!” Anne said grinning like an idiot, hand on her hip as she looked up proudly.

‘This is never going to work…’ Twilight thought to herself with sigh.

“YOU SPEAK THE TRUTH. AND THE DECIBEL VARIATION IN YOUR VOICE... IT IS MOBIUS. HOW DARE YOU BREACH THE THINK TANK? AND WHAT DO YOU WANT HERE?!” Klein yelled as all the brains recoiled in fear.

“You got to be kidding me…” Twilight said wide eyed.

“I offer you a deal! You stay here, stay put and I, Doctor Mobius will spare your lives!” Anne yelled out.

“THAT'S NO DEAL AT ALL! THERE'S A WHOLE WORLD BEYOND THE CRATER... FILLED WITH IDEAS AND POSSIBILITIES! WE COULD HAVE ESCAPED, SEEN IT ALL FOR OURSELVES. TESTED IT, PRODDED AT IT. MADE IT SQUIRM!”

“I will PERMIT you to continue to SCIENCE! For ME!”

“PARTNER WITH YOU? MY FOE? MY RIVAL?! MY FOREMOST CRITIC?! I HAVE A STRANGE SENSATION... THAT I WOULD LIKE THAT. HOW... ODD. VERY WELL... PARTNER. THE THINK TANK IS AT YOUR SERVICE. AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT DESTROY US.” The robot grumbled.

As it had been in the years before the Great War, Big Mountain ... the Big Empty... became home to one of brightest minds of the 23rd century. The Courier watched over the Big Empty for years to come, caring for it, and keeping its discoveries safe until they were needed to help others. Which had always been Big Mountain’s purpose. Past the laboratories and Science, it had always been intended as a place to build the future of all mankind.

The Courier had scoured much of the Big Empty, although secrets still remained in the crater's depths. Perhaps that was for the best, however... curiosity, while sometimes rewarded for its efforts, often proves to be equally dangerous.

Dr. Mobius continued his research undisturbed in the Forbidden Zone. As much as he had attempted to create better scorpions, he tried the same with humanity, with considerably less success. These failures didn't bother him overmuch. Once the rush of Mentats wore off, he forgot he had failed in any event. After all, the bright young mind who had come to visit him in the Forbidden Zone had already exceeded his expectations.

The Sink atop the Dome bustled with the voices of a small town, constantly chirping, arguing, and snarling at each other. Still, this all happened productively in the interests of its new owner. The Sink Central Intelligence Unit discovered, despite its inversion code, it was comforted by the sense of community the other personalities gave it.

The Biological Research Station, obsessed with seeding everything in sight, requested a transfer to the X-22 Botanical Garden... so that it might, in its own words, "sensually fertilize the garden's smooooth contours." The Garden sent back a polite refusal, saying it had prior commitments with a Vault it had helped infect before the war.

The Book Chute continued to devour all seditious materials until it nearly choked on a paper clip. It adamantly maintained it was a Chinese paper clip, and the whole thing had been an elaborately orchestrated assassination attempt. Whatever the reason, it slowed down for a while, carefully appraising each document and clipboard that came to it.

The light switches continued to flicker and bicker. That was until someone dropped a flashlight in the sink, and the two united in hatred for the ‘showboat’

The Sink continued to ruthlessly scrub any particulate matter that came near it. Eventually, it gained access to the Magnetohydraulics Plant and nearly flooded all the Big Empty in an attempt to scrub the crater clean. Once it learned of the Innovative Toxins Plant, however, it gained new purpose. It sought to develop anti-toxins to flush into its drains and counteract the poisons bleeding into the soil.

The Toaster continued its psychotic spree, reducing all appliances in range to scrap electronics and spare parts. After one of its more psychotic episodes, however, the other Sink personalities decided enough was enough, and dumped the Toaster in a bathtub. Sparking and hissing, the Toaster swore its enemies would rue the day when they had bread - and no way to toast it.

Muggy continued to collect coffee cups until his wheel got a flat just out of reach of a dirty coffee cup, and his tiny robotic brain exploded. Muggy did his best to collect coffee cups, although in his quest, he accidentally trapped himself in Higgs' Village. It might have been the end for poor Muggy. Except... he found it peaceful there, tidying up the kitchens of the Think Tank Professors back when they had been flesh and bone. Well, except for Dr. O, who was an asshole for having created Muggy in the first place. Muggy left O's house deliberately dirty, punishing the dishes and cups that lived there in blind revenge for serving Dr. O.

Blind Diode Jefferson, with sounds the Courier brought him, created a symphonic counter-frequency that saved Big {Mountain} MT from sonic invasion in 2910. If you didn't hear about it, good. It was rumored by the other personalities that he had a brief fling with the light switches. Although he forgot their names once too often and was soon left in the dark as punishment.

Auto-Doc, always gentle and methodical, kept sewing up the Courier in all the right places when the skin split open from repeated wear and tear. The Auto-Doc was just glad to have purpose again. It heard its simpler brothers and sisters who got shipped to the Sierra Madre were bored out of their skulls in that toxic, dead city. In time, the Auto-Doc found a way to deactivate the Y-17 Trauma Harnesses, releasing the corpses they had held prisoner for almost 200 years.

As the Courier ran through the X-8 facility multiple times, the computers analyzed the test subject's movements. Rather than performing a superficial observation, they realized the subject barely knew what Communism was - or even what a high school was. This confused them for a time, until the facility finally realized that its research had... succeeded. So it let its Cyberdogs out into the wastes to help protect small communities from physical aggression rather than communist propaganda.

The infiltration program in X-13 felt spent, having repeatedly upgraded the Stealth Suit until it could upgrade it no more. It felt warm, fulfilled, and a bit sluggish. {Beat, suspicious} It realized not long after, the Stealth Suit had left it without so much as a note on the nightstand. So the infiltration program sent out Robobrains into the wastes looking for its wayward technology. It eventually found REPCONN HQ, and set up a new research center, testing and murdering Fiends who kept breaking into the facility.

The Courier left the brain at the Big Empty. A strange thing to say, but it was the truth. Brains are less important than they may seem. When the Courier's body finally passed, the brain was saddened. It kept on, remembering the vessel that had once contained it. Even at the end when it started to fail, however, the brain resisted going into a floating chassis like the Think Tank. It never said why. Perhaps it was out of respect for the Courier's body except when help was needed. All things must come to an end, and to hang on to the past is something that's not to be undertaken lightly.

Dr. Klein and the Think Tank remained alive, unaware of the world outside. They looped through their daily routine, none the wiser about the world beyond... although perhaps ‘wiser’ was the wrong word. The world outside belonged to the Courier, and if anyone would shape it... well, the Courier had already called dibs.

There is an expression in the Wasteland, ‘Old World Blues’. It refers to those so obsessed with the past they can't see the present, much less the future, for what it is.

They stare into the what-was, eyes like pilot lights, guttering and spent, as the realities of their world continue on around them.

Science is a long, steady progression into the future. What may seem a sudden event often isn't felt for years, even centuries, to come.

In the times following the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, however, Old World Blues took on a new meaning.

Where once it was viewed as a form of sadness, nostalgia, it became an expression describing the potential for the future.

It can be easy to see Science as evil, technology unchecked as the source of all ills, all misfortunes.

With the courier at the helm, Science became a beacon for the future.

There was Old World Blues, and New World Hope. And hope ruled the day at Big Mountain.

Some could say more, but the stories in the Big Empty speak for themselves.

Now armed with the Transportalponder, the Courier could return to the Dome at any time and crack open the secrets of the Big Empty one by one.

The sink sat vigilant for its master to return, boots covered in Mojave dust.

Only one road yet remained, and it was one that the Courier had to walk alone.

Author's Note:

This got hell of a lot longer than I thought it would get as I wrote this.

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