A Wasteland confession.

I remember one night coming home from a particularly grueling battle with a gang of blood eagle shitbags. They sold a bad batch of psycho to a buddy of mine so I felt the need to head to thier camp and pay them back in blood. I was tired, hungry, cranky and hadn't slept for over 24 hours. Back then I had an underground vault. It wasn't much but it had all the essentials to survive. A river nearby, a generator and if there's no fresh meat, plenty of canned food to last for months if need be.

It was located north of the cranberry bog just across the river near Harper's ferry. I had never had a problem with scavengers or thieves as my vault was pretty well hidden amongst the overgrown plants and trees that souronded the area… or so I thought.

As I approached the vault I noticed someone at the entrance with thier back turned towards me. I couldn't see thier face from where I was standing. Regardless the guy looked like he could be wearing some type of headgear. I crouched down and approached silently. I pulled out a my bloody gauss rifle and got closer to get a better look at what was going on.

I kept all my valuables and rare weapons in this paticular vault so I automatically assumed the stranger had the worst intentions. I was about 3 or 4 meters away when I step on a twig and made a small cracking sound. It was slight but it was loud enough for the perp to spin around and reveal something shining in his hand.

In my younger days I would go hunting with my father often. I practiced shooting everyday and I was damn good at it. Through the years between the battles, the rad storms and a couple bad bouts with bone worms I'll admit, I'm not as good as I used to be but I'm still pretty fast and deadly accurate. I fired without hesitation. The blast hit him dead center in the chest. I could see the hole I put in him before he hit the floor. I walked up to the body. It looked smaller then I thought it was this close up. I knew pretty quickly he wasn't a blood eagle and I was friendly with some of the raiders nearby so I knew them fairly well and he didn't look like one of them either. I kneeled down and removed his gas mask. It was a kid. No more then 15 or 16 years old. He could've been older because he looked so malnourished.
All he had on him was some Bobby pins a small knife which is what I saw shining in his hand, an almost empty carton of what looked like boiled water and a letter. The letter was from his sister.

She explained how they were denied thier rations this week from foundation because of some debts father owed. He'd been spending all thier caps at the bars and were even told that they'd lose thier housing if they didn't begin to pay down the debt. So he had a shitbag father, starving sister and now hes laying on the ground with a softball size hole in his chest. Fuck. I dragged him to a secluded area nearby and buried him in an unmarked grave.

A few weeks later I was hunting molerats nearby. I learned that if I left the radio on but faced it down towards the floor, sometimes I can attract molerats to the sound and pick them off from up in the trees. I had just set the radio down and gotten up in the trees across the way when I saw two figures approaching from about 800 meters. It was around dusk so there was still some sunlight in the sky. I slid back in the tree amongst the branches and leaves very well hidden and waited for them to approach. As they got closer it looked to be two females.

One looked fairly young the other looked older. The difference in age led me to assume it was a mother and daughter. The younger girl approached the radio, picked it up looked at it, then looked up and all around her. She looked up in my direction and it felt like we made eye contact. I stood still as a statue but had my brotherhood recon rifle aimed directly at her but hidden in the natural camouflage of the tree. It was only about 10 seconds or so but for some reason felt a lot longer. She put the radio back face down, turned on thier flashlights as the sun had gone down by now and headed back up the road north I'm guessing toward the hippies at the treehouse village.

I thought immediately of that kid and the guilt I've felt since then. Damn stupid kid. Damn stupid old man. You couldn't fire a warning shot? You couldn't have pulled out a smaller caliber and wounded him? Your God damn good enough you've done it a hundred times before. Hell you probably could've taken him unarmed. You were tired, not thinking clearly. Did I do the right thing? Ive killed everything in this God damn wasteland and inbetween, why does this one haunt me so much. After picking off a few molerats, I head down the tree, collect my kills and head back to camp. Everyday since then I've been drinking a little more then usual. A lot more then usual. I'm tired of the killing. All the killing. Maybe I'm just tired. I stop feeling sorry for myself long enough to crawl into bed and fall asleep. That's the first time I've ever told that story. But I guess living in this hell hole we've all done things we're not proud of. It's the only way to survive.

Edit* got inspired by a real cool story and idea by r/Boncado (link to story here https://www.reddit.com/r/fo76/comments/q4a4qz/i_killed_a_man_today/)

Hope you guys like it


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