A radio crackles to life in a burnt out bus. Lights flicker on and off, and then a red line switches across.
A soft melody starts playing:
I don't want to set the world on fire...
I just want to start a flame in your heart...
Amy whistles under her breath while she reassembles her pistols. She'd been told over and over that it was overkill to have one in each hand, but she couldn't explain why it felt...right, to have both. Checking her work one more time, flicking the safeties on and off, looking down the sights, she nods, satisfied. She holstered both, swung her pack back on, and walks up to the concealed entrance to Vault 87.
Her (overpaid) informant told her this place was a wealth of Vault-tec leftovers, and in the Wasteland, those were worth more than caps could ever be. Especially to the Brotherhood, and once she had an in with them, well. Thus would begin her revenge.
She plugs her Pip-boy into the receptacle once she was on the other side of the door, keying in the code to open it up. "Vault-tec, your secrets will be mine," she mutters to herself.
Once the Vault door groans to life, pulls away, and Amy has a way in, there is the sound of scuttling.
Not of anything an insect would make, more like the slapping of flesh on ground.
Amy unholsters one weapon. Damn it, there wasn't supposed to be anything in here! She was told it was empty!
She switches on the Pip-boy's torch and immediately gags. A man leans against the wall opposite the door, ripped to shreds. Blood is splayed around him. It doesn't look like it was done that long ago...
...which means her contact set her up. Well. Fuck.
Amy keeps heading in, still wanting to get something out of this, but she keeps quiet and cautious.
The slick slapping noise echoes in front of her again, and the sound of something fleshy and wet scraping across the ground.
"Fuck. Fuck!" Amy says under her breath, hoping the coarse language would calm her rocketing heart-rate. Super Mutants. Has to be.
She spies a computer terminal in a barred room close to her. Good. Maybe she can steal some information and have that be it. She's not going toe-to-toe with Super Mutants. She likes being alive, deformed as she is.
She slinks next to the door, tugging a bobby pin from her pocket as she does. She points her light at the keyhole and gets to work. The lock clicks in seconds and Amy steals inside quickly, shutting and locking the door behind her.
There is a nasal whimper, and the same slick, wet sound she heard out in the hall.
Amy turns her gun immediately around to the noise, heart thumping. She has approximately two seconds to land a shot to the brain before the Super Mutant kills her.
But when her light falls on the creature, she stops.
A Centaur, not a Super Mutant, cowers in the corner. The nasal whimpering continues. The hands the creature has instead of feet scramble to get it closer to the wall. Its eyes are terrified.
Amy knows Centaurs are often just precursors to a Super Mutant attack...but there is nothing else in the room besides the two of them and the creature isn't attacking. Which... is very unusual for a non-sentient creature.
Amy holsters her gun cautiously and keeps her eyes on the Centaur.
It noticeably relaxes, but is still jammed into the corner, whimpering and shaking.
"Hey, hey, it's okay. I won't...hurt you. Surprisingly."
Amy isn't sure her raspy voice is actually calming, but she is curious enough about this creature to get closer to figure it out. She keeps one hand up, the other stretching out to it.
"It's okay little... big guy. I'm just gonna come a little closer. Just coming to say hi."
The creature snuffles sadly, but extends one mouth-tentacle to slather over Amy's hand.
Amy keeps a straight face, though, and continues coaxing the centaur from the wall.
"Did the others bully you, big guy? You're smarter than them. You should be running this Vault."
It snuffles in agreement. Or, at least, seems to.
It pulls away from the wall, shuffling closer. It's disturbing to see how the legs move.
Amy quickly schools her face back into something less... shocked. She's seen Centaurs move before, but never up close or so slowly.
"God, the things they did to you," Amy says sadly, stretching her hand up to cup the Centaur's head.
It thuds it's head into Amy's stomach, mouth-tentacles fluttering sadly. It's making more soft, nasal noises-
It almost sounds like it's crying?
Amy rubs it's head soothingly. Or, at least, she hopes it is.
"There, there, big guy. It's all right. It's all right. Let it out." She catches sight of her own reflection in the darkened window. No skin, no hair, craggy scars stretching over her exposed, hardened muscle. "We're all monsters here."
It takes a while to stop sobbing. When it does, it looks up at Amy like it's assessing her. Then it draws itself to its full height (taller than Amy), and shuffles over to the desk in the room. There, it tries several times to open a drawer, but neither it's feet-hands or mouth-tentacles have any finesse.
The noises it makes become more distressed.
"Hey! Hey, it's okay. I'll get that," Amy says quickly, stepping between it and the drawer.
It steps away, and Amy pulls it open. Inside is a file, a little gore-stained, but still readable. The first page is a file of information, like on any form Amy filled out Before, with a picture of a young man attached. He looks... familiar.
She turns around and holds the picture up next to the Centaur's face.
The eyes are the exact same shade of deep brown, though the Centaur's have a shining bit of hope in them.
The face shape is almost the same, though the bones are... wrong on the Centaur.
The nose, yes. The brows, yes.
Amy reads the file.
"...Edward?" She asks the Centaur.
He nods his head vigorously, tentacles flapping with wet slapping sounds, and his eyes spill with relieved tears.
"Nice to meet you, Edward. I'm Amy," she says, holding out a hand for him to shake.
He wraps a tentacle around it.
Amy isn't sure what else she expected.