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Civil Affairs: Back in the Saddle

WetRats

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It’s good to see you big guy!

Although the sight of you out of power armor is gonna take some getting used to.

I’ve gotta confess that I was worried when I heard you were up with Dima. I was afraid you were trading one cult of personality for another.

Yeah, I know. I’m doing my damnedest not to let that happen here. It’s not good to let people get used to the idea of one person taking all the initiative. Fortunately, I’ve got hotheads like Hancock, and subversives like Desdemona to keep me in check.

So how are you feeling about things? That was some serious mind-fuckery you were put though. I’m not sure how I would have handled finding out so much of my life was a lie.

No the code has no expiration date. You can always use it. You’re not the only person still carrying theirs. Glory ATE hers, of course, envelope and all, but Sturges keeps his in the bib pocket of his overalls.

I really thought Roger Warwick was gonna use his. That poor bastard KNEW he was an impostor the whole time. Knew he was lying to the real Roger’s family every day. Knew that he and they were expendable pawns in an experiment. His wife left him, of course, I think she was already fooling around with Zeke before she found out. Those kids, though. They convinced him that he might not be their real father, but that he was a better father, a better MAN, than the other one had ever been.

Of course, I considered not telling you. Christ, I can only imagine what you felt.

But what the hell kind of friend would I be if I didn’t? If I didn’t give you the same choice I gave every other synth?

Discovering that you WERE the very thing you had been programmed to hate, though? I have no idea how you managed to survive that.

I’m glad you did, though.

No.

Well, OF COURSE I have a job for you if you want it, but I’m glad you survived and chose to remain the man I know and respect.

Do you still want to be a soldier? I wouldn’t blame you at all if you wanted a career change.

Yeah, I know. I never really adjusted to being a civilian, and then I found myself in this world, and was back in the thick of things. Hell, I’m STILL not adjusting that well. Down to carrying one gun and three knives, though, so I guess I’m civilizing a little bit. No grenades, at least, right?

Well. It’s kinda nuts, actually.

I’m not sure if there’s really a military need, even, and without you to shake down the concept, I wouldn’t even consider pursuing it.

Yes. You would have to work with some of them. You will be able to define the terms, though. And I certainly won’t expect you to go down there unless you choose to.

But whether or not it’s because they made you to be that way or not, you’re hands-down the best man with power armor I’ve ever seen.

Look, you’ve seen the horses we have now, right?

Yeah, they’re everything I hoped they would be, they’ve been field-proven, and refined, and production is fully up-to-speed.

So we can develop variants now.

Holdren already has a solid draft horse version. I’ll take you over and show you the first team this afternoon.

If we can make them that big, we can make them big enough to carry a man in power armor.

And give them armor of their own.

Maybe even build in some weaponry.

What do you think, Paladin? Would you like a warhorse?
 
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