Kooduh

MacGruber's C.A.M.P.

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MacGruber was so excited to leave with the BETA group, disappointing they didn't get a R-day party.  At least getting to play in a camp would be fun, but he was disappointed that it was so complicated.  He didn't know he was going to need so much wood, and after collecting all that junk, he still had almost zero wood.  So after finding the Overseer's camp a couple weeks ago, and trying to gather enough wood, he was able to set up a spot.

Genie said for him to just camp out and she would catch up.  The spot she told him seamed a little exposed, but she said the boarded up Slocum Joe was good land mark to start out.  She said something, about tracking her mom, and dad. 

"I'll help, just tell me what to do, and I'll do it". He would tell her.  He was embarrassed to tell her that the words on paper and terminals get mixed up when he looks at them.  It's a good thing Miss Overseer made recordings so he got the jist.

The camp turned out pretty nice, and MacGruber sat at his cooking pot just stirring the ladle while he admired his fence that connected all around, and the perfect placement of his Sleeping Sack. 

"Well Sack, it's just you and me until Genie gets here". He said to his sleeping bag.

Then he noticed he had some meat from the scary dogs that he was forced to smash. "Those pups shoulda just kept chasing the deer". He said to his Sack as he slapped his meat into the cooking pot.

"Geez, weres's Genie?  Seems like she's been gone for days.

Edited by Kooduh

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Genie combed thoroughly through Flatwoods until she was satisfied there was nothing left to learn there.  A couple days went by, she had been thinking on several occasions,

"Hope Mack is alright at the camp site."

"What's the deal with that?  Ever since connecting with her real dad, I been accually giving a crap about other people.  Huh?"

She headed back only dealing with minor encounters with a couple of hairless dogs, and a busted up farming bot.  "Man, keeping your distance with a scope is the way to go out here"

She was in her head alot and really wanted to hook up with Mack again, at the very least someone to talk to.

Approaching the place where the camp site is, she could see the trail of smoke and smell something cooking.  A feeling of relief started to form as she crested the hill. The anticipation to  see what MacGruber had done with the site heightened.  "Finally, rest and relaxation"  She turned the bend in the path to enter the bushy area they chose for the camp.

"Mack! What the heck is this?  A fence, cooking pot, and a sleeping bag?". Her disappointment showed. "What have you been doing all this time?"

She immediately felt horrible, "Sorry," and tried to back track. "Sorry, it's a nice fence, I'm just tired"

She sat beside him at the cooking pot, gave him a hug, and kissed him close to his lips, then she flopped back on the sleeping bag. "My legs are killing me Mack"

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Clutching her combat shotgun tightly, T.A. followed her Pip-Boy to where MacGruber was located on her map. As the skinny teenager entered the clearing he had set up camp in, she was surprised to see him sitting next to a woman she didn't immediately recognize due to her amnesia. When the young medic did recognize her, it was as the attorney Mr. Bridger's eccentric secretary and step-daughter, Regina Bridger.

Waving from the waist, T.A. smiled sweetly exclaiming in a flurry of words, "Hi Y'all! Its me, Tara  Aubree Murrow, but T.A. to my friends, but y'all know that! Mind if I join ya? Whatcha got cooking smells mighty good! Hey, I didn't know ya'll were an item! Hope I'm not interrupting nothing! By the way, nice fence ya got..."

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MacGruber was rubbing Genie's lower legs.  He joked with Genie, "Calf muscles, I guess, funny name for a persons muscles" Haha, "You don't look like a baby cow, or any kinda cow" He tried to cheer her up.

"Say I almost had enough wood to make a chair, but...". Then TA was standing there, she seamed to appear out of thin air, so much so, MacGruber thought he was seeing things at first.

"TA! Holy smokes your here! How did...?"..."You want some dirt-dog meat?"

Distracted easily, he shifted subjects,

"Oh yeah, the fence.  I made it all by myself,". He stood for affect to proclaiming his fence making expertise, with a biggo grin and waving his arms at the fence. "Isn't it great, Genie likes it too!"

"Excepten'as, I don't know how to make a gate, so ya gotta hop over."

He held a hand to his chin, thoughtfully, as he tried to think how a gate would even be possible.

Edited by Kooduh

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Being a bit short in height, T.A. looked at the fence with measuring big green eyes. She used a thin forefinger to push up her glasses as she thought how to proceed, then took off her back pack and shotgun and pushed them under the fence, Then putting one small foot on the middle board hoisted herself upon the top of the fence. Unfortunately for her, she went right over the top of the fence landing on the other side on her skinny rump.

"OWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!" Exclaimed T.A. with an exaggerated grimace, standing up and rubbing her butt to ease the pain as she forced a smile and remarked, "It's okay! I'm alright! I guess I'm not as agile as I thought."

T.A. walked over to the cooking pot and sniffed as a genuine smile crossed her freckled face while she commented, "Hmmm... smells good! Dirt-dog meat ya say? I got some of that myself! I was by that abandoned house down the way when about five of them there ugly wild dogs chased me inside. Lucky for me, I was able to stab each of them to death with my combat knife as they entered through the front door one at a time. Didn't want to use my shotgun because, you know, shotgun shells are as sparse out here as bottle caps in a desk drawer!"

Edited by T. A. Murrow

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Genie started to say, "Yeah, Mack's a fence maken genius..." ,but then hopped up quick as she could to give TA a hand, however, she was to late to keep her from falling, and just in time to help her up.  They were by the cooking pot already in the small camp so she poked a hunk of meat with her knife and held it out to her.

"Good to see ya Sis, it's great you could catch up to us"  Genie noticed the fresh scar on her upper lip.  "Kissing Lucky get a little rough?". She gestured to her lip.  "I'll kick his ass if he hurt you."

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"Hmmm... thank ya kindly Ms. Bridger! Like people say, tastes just like chicken," Quipped T.A. with a giggle after taking a big bite of the Mutt Chops then frowned when Genie's other words sunk in.

"Regina is the second person to link me with Lucky Thompson since I woke up," Thought the young medic to herself, "Why oh why would I ever kiss that hoodlum? Does she think so little of me to think I'd KISS that creep? But then - I've only met her a couple of times in Mr. Bridger's office. Mr. MacGruber seems to be awfully fond of her to be rubbing her legs and all so I don't want to offend her by being offended so I'll just let it go. Plus... there's something about her I really, really like!"

T.A.'s hand went reflexively to her lip where Genie was staring and feeling the stitches there for the first time, her blond eyebrows shot up and she exclaimed, "HUH! Musta happened when the roof fell in on me and Mr. MacGruber!"

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"Heh-heh-heh"  Genie's piercing laughter echoed through the forest.  "Ms. Bridger, you're funny, you know I changed it to my real dad's name".

Genie popped a stick of gum in her mouth instead of having a piece of meat.

"It's OK sis, we can talk about it later, when Mack's not listening". She looked around down the path. "I don't see the guy with you, maybe you broke up, oh gawd, please tell me you broke...". She stopped, noticing she wasn't wearing the gang jacket.

Genie put her hand to her mouth, "Oh geez, I'm sooo sorry". She pulled TA into her for a hug, "I'm sorry, are you okay? Was it a fight?  I'm sooo bad at these things, my mother never told me about this stuff, she was always so busy with the Overseer duties."

Seeing the hurt on TA's face, she pulled back and bit hat her finger, not knowing what else to say.

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It was more confusion than hurt plastered all over T.A.'s pale freckled face. She hadn't been in Reginald Bridger's office in a little while but to her it wasn't that long ago. So if Reginald Bridger was not Regina's real father, than who was? She hadn't a clue what Regina's real name was now. Maybe the teenager was out longer than she thought seemed to be the only conclusion to her. 

Was the guy Regina was talking about T.A. breaking up with maybe Jobadiah Jones? T.A. had thought that maybe a relationship might be possible with him at one time but that never congealed with the Outsider. In fact, he finally disappeared from the Vault, presumably going back to the Outside.

"I'll just go with the flow until I can talk to Mr. MacGruber alone about clarifying all these... misunderstandings. Hmmm... clarify might be the wrong word when talking about Mr. MacGruber. Shed light, maybe?" Thought T.A. to herself then smiling sweetly at Genie replying thinking she was referring to Jobadiah, "No worries. No fight either. Sometimes ya just grow... apart... even before ya really get together. Guess we were just too different to be together."

At that point there was not so much hurt as wistfulness in T.A.s big green eyes for she really did like Jobadiah and had at one time held high hopes that they might become a couple but her smile grew bigger as she joked, "It's okay,  I'm okay, honestly! But I didn't break nothing!"

T.A. hugged Genie back as a sister because she had feelings towards Genie that way even though she didn't remember any of their previous discussions or previous battles together that had created that bond over time. The memories might be gone with T.A.'s amnesia but the emotions remained. After that the young medic dropped the dog meat she had butchered at the abandoned house into the cook pot. 

The young medic sat cross-legged next to MacGruber to finish her mutt chop, but saying first in a low tone, "How ya doing Mr. MacGruber? I really, really like your new girlfriend!" Then she whispered to him her small hand raised in an aside, "By-the-way, what's her real name?"

 

Edited by T. A. Murrow

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"Haha" MacGruber chuckled, "Girl-friend?  She's just Genie. Yup, she's my Friend, but she ain't no Girl." His voice was not quiet, he didn't realize there was a secret to whisper.  "She's Genie...Rock-something, like a bird, or bad hit in baseball."  He thought for a minute, 

"Ooo! Foul Ball!"  He hollered the phrase like a baseball umpire, as he held an arm straight out from his side.  

"Hey! you guys, err, I mean, girls wanna play baseball!  I got a bat and some balls, and I found some sweet bases at that other town, the town where Genie's mom used to live at."  Before getting an answer MacGruber was at his Stash Box with the lid popped open, and digging out the baseball equipment.

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T.A peeked around his shoulder into his stash box and joked "Hey Mr. MacGruber, you got balls I have to say!"

Then the young girl broke down into a giggle fit. 

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MacGruber laughed hardily with TA.  The laughter, in his  mind, was partly from missing her very much now seeing her again, and the other part due to the fact her giggling is so infectious.  Either way, the laughter was very genuine.

 "Hahaha!  Yeah, I like collecting the baseballs just don't grab the balls that explode when ya hit 'em" He said while still laughing.

MacGruber took a leather baseball mit, "K, hold out your hands"  He stuck the mit on TA's left hand.  He looked sideways at it. "Hmm?"  It looked generally correct.  He grabbed a mit, and stuck it on his left hand in the same way.  He slapped a baseball into TA's right hand, then he took steps backwards until his back was against the fence.  It was only a few feet, because the fence was only two sections long.

"Ok, toss me the ball.  I'll catch it in the mit"

Edited by Kooduh

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"Okay, if y'all are sure this ain't on of those exploding baseballs," Commented T.A. as one blond eyebrow shot up with doubt before tossing it underhanded to him.

"Now don't ya go saying I throw like a girl," Exclaimed T.A. with a pretty pout, "Because I am... a girl that is... and... I guess I do... maybe."

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MacGruber, concentrating on the ball, readied his mit, with his tongue perfectly positioned out of the side of his mouth. He watched the ball carefully as it left TA's hand, it took an unexpected trajectory toward his head.  He stabbed at the slow looping ball with the mit on his left hand, the ball flew up in the air and over his head.  With the swat the ball went way farther than it would've gone had it just been TA throwing it.  She does throw like a girl, after all.

The ball flew high, and landed on a down hill slope, then continued to roll down the hill toward the road.

"I'll get it!". MacGruber jumped the fence and took off down the hill, intent on getting the baseball, and thinking about nothing but the baseball.   He was almost to the baseball, near the road, when he saw three guys standing in middle of the road talking.

"Hey fellas!  Throw me the ball!"  He pointed to the ball, then punched at the baseball-mit with his right hand.  "Put-R-there!". He held up the mit.  He smiled a big stupid grin, expecting to be able to catch the ball this time for sure.

The "fellas" turned their attention to the man yelling at them.  They just snarled at him, and started running toward him, with their arms flailing about, thier faces contorting as they spat and growled.

"Hey guys. You forgot the ball." He reminded.  "Uhm, guys"

Edited by Kooduh

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T.A. ran after MacGruber saying, "Sorry-sorry-sorry-sorry-sorry-sorry-sorry-sorry-sorry - " Until she saw the three feral ghouls headed his way whereupon the teenager stopped dead in her tracks yelling, "STOP MR. MACGRUBER! STRANGER DANGER!"

"Oh, shoot," Muttered T.A. as she pulled a machete she had found earlier in the day. Dressed in her Paramedic uniform that she now wore with the West Virginia Tech ball cap she had also found, the teenager thought how incongruous she must look wielding a machete dressed as a healthcare provider. She had briefly thought of bringing out her pump shotgun or 10 mm pistol but was afraid she might hit MacGruber since her aim was so bad and she hadn't got a handle on VATS yet.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Screamed the teenager as she charged at the mindless monsters past MacGruber while her blade sang, "Snick-snack" when she swung at the foremost ghoul's head and it went flying down the hill away from her.

Edited by T. A. Murrow

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Genie had learned these past couple of weeks to ignore most of Mack's childlike antics.  She was laying back on the sleeping bag just enjoying the real sunlight, letting the warmth relax her muscles.  At least until she heard the commotion down the hill.

She popped up, and looked around, but could just see bushes.  "This is a terrible defensive position for a camp" she thought.  She hopped over the fence and ran a little ways to get a better look.

"Dammit Mack!" Her sniper rifle was at the ready so it was quick to draw.  She sighted in on the Undead creature that was winding up to slap MacGruber.  With no time to think she pulled the trigger.  The bullet hit, but only stunned it.  She cursed the weaker rifle she's forced to use now.

She put her rifle away, switching to the pistol, then ran down to the flank of her friends, and thier assailants.  She activated VATS on to the same creature as she ran, and fired four shots with her 10mm pistol while running.  The creature fell to the ground, so she switched to the last Undead.  She fired off the last eight rounds into the creature, which was overkill. The thing was already on the ground when she ran out of bullets.

"Sorry.  I got carried away." Genie apologized. "What?  I hate those things.". She wrinkled her nose.  "Just the smell of them makes my skin crawl.  Ever since the brain surgery trip"

She looked back up the hill toward the camp. "Take whatever ya want from 'em, I ain't touchen 'em Stinkers". She added a fresh piece of gum to the one she was already chewing.  "After that we need to get ready to head out soon."

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T.A. looked at the feral ghoul's head still rolling down the hill commenting with a lopsided grin as she cleaned the Machete's blade on the clothes of the headless undead, "Guess I'm a better hitter than I am a thrower Mr. MacGruber!"

Turning to Genie after sheathing her blade, the teenager took out a pair of rubber gloves from her Medic's messenger bag and putting them on with a flair quipped, "That's where I'm glad I'm a certified medical practitioner. We always come prepared to handle disgusting old corpses!"

T.A. knelt by the ghoul's body efficiently and effectively searching it then her smile widened when she finished as held up a small metal item exclaiming in glee,  "Ooooooh, look - a bobby pin!"

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MacGruber looked stunned.  Genie and TA were talking about the dead guys.  "Those guys were kinda rude, but I don't think we had tah kill em, it's just a baseball.  I could just get a new one."

He looked around the ground for his ball, search and circling the area, pacing left and right. "Ooo!  There it is.  Found it!!  He left at the ball, picked it up, then tossed it straight up into the air.  He tried to catch it, the ball came down whizzed right by his upheld mit, and bonked MacGruber on the head.

"Ooohhh!  I don't think I'm too good of a catcher,  but you are a pretty good hitter.  Hey we can try batting practice.".  He said with a grin

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Hearing what MacGruber said, T.A. sighed deeply going over and picking up the baseball with one rubber gloved hand and the the head of the feral ghoul she had killed by it's stringy hair with he other. She returned the ball to MacGrubers glove, then lifted the upper lip with one thin forefinger of the dead ghoul to show the fangs within.

The young medic explained patiently, "See Mr. MacGruber, this isn't really a guy anymore so much as a feral ghoul. Radiation ate away the guy-he-once-was' brain so that he was as good as one of those undead zombies we used to watch in the some of the scary movies in the vault. See the fangs and the flesh hanging in tatters all over his face shows ya he's a ghoul! Now not all ghouls are bad - I've been know to have a ghoul-friend or two, joke intended," T.A. giggled then proceeded with her lecture, "But once their brains are so eaten away by radiation that they become feral, flailing their arms and attacking ya tooth and nail, there's no hoping they're friendly anymore - ya just got to put 'em down, permanent like, unless ya want become feral ghoul-chow!!"

The teenager bent down putting the feral ghoul's head next to it's body, carefully tucking it under it's arm like it was a football, then stood up and smiled sweetly asking MacGruber, "Speaking of radiation, have y'all been taking your Radaway when ya need it? There an awful lot of radiation out here in the Outside and if ya just drink the water wherever ya find it ya can take in a heap of it!" 

T.A. grabbed the bigger man's left forearm with a frown on her bespectacled freckled face, her green eyes narrowed with concern as she ordered authoritatively, "Let me please see your Pip-Boy Mr. MacGruber and check your Rad level, then give ya some Radaway as needed. As your personal physician, ya gotta do as I say medical-wise, okay? After that, I'll see what I can do for that lump on your noggin."

Edited by T. A. Murrow

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"Oh. Well then those 'Ferrlal Grools'  ain't very nice then.  Hey maybe we can give them radiation medicine then they can be happy."

His eyes turned to the sky as he thought about that.  While he was thinking the radiation medicine TA gave him made him get really thirsty.

"Ooo, or maybe, they had medicine and now they are just really really thirsty and it makes them super mad and they want to steal our water, because they only have Bobby pins for money."

"Maybe? Ya think?". He shrugged his shoulders

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"Okay, okay. Mack, listen." Genie butted in, trying to be as graceful as she knew how.  "It's not rocket-science, but to keep it simple fer ya.  If we are shooten at something, or hacken-&-slashen"  She glanced at TA. "That means they're bad guys. K?" Not waiting for confirmation or argument, "Okay then"

"By the way, TA, sweet hacken-&-slashen.  I knew you'd be a whiz with a knife...looken good Sis". She winked at TA, and couldn't help but smile.

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Seeing the thirst in his eyes, T.A. reached into her bag and pulled out a mutfruit juice to hand him saying with a sweet smile, "I'm running a mite short on pure water, but I boiled some water with some mutfruit down in Flatwoods way and its a pretty tasty substitute. Found some nice recipes a Reverend down ways there concocted. Unfortunately, I found his dead body in his trailer there too."

"Thank ya kindly for the compliment... Genie. I found I better get good with this big ole meat cleaver the way I go through ammunition without hitting nothing," Answered the young medic smiling back to the woman warrior then T.A. offered a juice to Genie to as she motioned her aside and asked, "I don't know, but does it seem like Mr. MacGruber is getting a bit... simpler as time goes on? I don't know how close ya are now, but he's my friend and I'm a thinking he's going to need both our help if he is going - shoot, if we are going to survive this here post-apocalyptic adventure. I don't hold any allusions that I'm good at this here survival game - but you are. I wouldn't blame ya if ya just shed us two albatrosses around your neck right here and now! I hope ya don't - but I wouldn't blame ya none if ya did!"

With that said, T.A. took out her CAMP from her backpack and set it up next to theirs which for her was basically her stash box and a collapsible metal bed whereupon she commented, "Pretty neat huh? I can't make much else with my CAMP but I don't have to sleep on the ground none. Ya can catch disease that way!"

 

Edited by T. A. Murrow

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"Oh wow! Neato". MacGruber ran to the bed, then hopped onto it landing in a sit-down position, and did an  exagerated bouncing. "Cool!  I thought nuclear war vaborized all the beds!"

"I'm so glad you found one. Hey, where did you get it?"

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"Uhm, hehehe" Genie's nasally laugher seemed fake.  She looked at Mack then at TA. "Nah, you're fine. We need to stick together," she looked back at Mack bouncing on the bed. " I need all the help I can get...ya know what I mean?"

She put a hand on her hip, and flipped her hair back. "I was following the path to find my mom, I mean Overseer, but I, err, we are open to other suggestions depending on our needs."

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T.A. smiled with pride as she answered MacGruber, "I made it with my CAMP and some instructions I found - all by my lonesome! I never knew I could craft anything, but there ya go! Never know what ya can do until ya have to!"

Then turning to Genie, her young freckled face turned serious as T.A. said, "I found traces of a group called the Responders in Flatwoods. I guess  after the nuclear bombs fell, police, firefighters, and medical professionals all got together to help folks around here. Sounded like my type of group, so I decided to try to find them if they survived and join them.  Looked in Flatwoods into a few computers and found a uniform dispenser so that's where I got their para-medic uniform so if I met them we could start off all friendly-like. However, when the trail led to an airport - which by the way, I never even got to see - I just kept running into tons of these monster folk called Scorched. Darn if they ain't both smart and well armed! That and way too many for me to deal with by my lonesome! Look burned all over and just plumb loco - no reasoning with 'em either! I was just wandering and wondering what my next move should be when I ran into y'all... soooo Genie, I'm open to wherever ya want to go."

The teenage medic rolled her green eyes heavenward putting her thin forefinger into the corner of her full lips as she suddenly had a thought, then suggesting with a lopsided grin, "Although for a short-term goal... I passed a pharmaceutical company building on the way here. I scoped it out with my new sharpshooting armor piercing hunting rifle and there were several feral ghouls wandering outside it but nothing more serious. I got a few of them marking it's location on my Pip-Boy to come back and score some medicines... but, there's no time like the present! We could go do that!"

T.A. suddenly giggled muttering, "I scoped it out - with a rifle scope! I crack me up!"

Edited by T. A. Murrow

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