Content of the article: "Appalachian Wasteland Comicbook Covers (Fo76 Fan Fiction)"
I was lucky enough to meet someone on Reddit with incredible writing talent. I'm not much of a writer myself but I dabble in graphic design. With our powers combined we made a thing.
Attached below is a link to the images I put together and the short story as written by my colleague u/Tepellie_One
Fan Fiction Fo76 Comic Book Covers https://imgur.com/gallery/D7Ltj6P
1 / 9
WORD COUNT: 3800
Detective Jack Jones groaned and rolled onto his back nearly falling off of his large leather sofa where he’d once again passed out. He covered his ears with sweaty palms trying to silence the pounding in his head and blinked his bloodshot eyes. The rhythmic thumping persisted, though, and he realized that someone was knocking on his office door. Sitting up rapidly, he coughed to clear his dry, scratchy throat. Then sniffling he rasped out, “Coming!”
Jones stood up, put on his hat, and after shrugging his shoulders to loosen his stiff neck, he plodded across his small office to the door and yanked it open, hoping that his breath was not overly rancid. Standing there was a stranger. Blinking in the mid-day light, Jones sighed and thought, a stranger who was hopefully a client.
“Ah, in…come on in,” he muttered then reminded himself to be professional, something that he’d not been in some time, “Detective Jack Jones,” he continued, as the stranger stepped forward, “and you are?” He asked extending his right hand. When the newcomer looked down at it dismissively and stepped past him, Jones shrugged, pulled the creaky door shut, and followed him into the office.
Still trying to wake up, Jack rounded his desk and sat down in the chair, watching as the man walked around the small room studying his meager possessions. He was much younger than Jack, but his exact age was difficult to ascertain. The Wasteland aged a man quickly. His bearing, though, Jack noted was confident and wary, a wariness born of long practice and training. As he watched him roam around, Jones noticed the near-empty bottle of Bourbon on the floor next to the couch. He spun in the chair, snatched it up, and stuffed it into his desk drawer. He might be a depressed old drunk, but having a potential client see him as such wouldn’t lend itself to getting very much business. Spinning back around, he watched his potential client pick up and study the stuffed purple Brahmin sitting on his shelf before setting it back down very carefully, almost gingerly. Then, he wandered over and lifted the frog jar and tapped a crooked index finger on the glass. Finally, he turned and strode purposefully forward toward the desk while staring over Jones's left shoulder. Pausing, he looked down and at Jones directly, for the first time, before darting rapidly to the right, around, and behind the barrier.
“Whoa,” Jones snapped jumping to his feet. The man’s sudden burst of speed raised his hackles. Reaching into his duster, he wrapped a well-practiced, calloused hand around the butt of his hefty, snub-nosed .44 and took two steps back, “Let’s just slow your roll a bit there, bucko.”
The man ignored him with the same stoic silence and just stood there, his back to Jack, staring down into the display case where Jones kept the few mementos of his service in Anchorage. He was
2 / 9
slightly shorter than Jack, five-nine maybe ten but not much more. The weather-worn, bulky Ranger Armor outfit that he wore made it tough to tell his weight, but to Jack’s well-trained eye the man weighed in around 180 to 190 pounds. By Wastelander standards he was eating well, a testament to his abilities. While the detective warily assessed his guest, the man opened the case and removed Jack’s battered combat helmet. He flipped it over and around engrossed in its many scratches and blemishes. Finally, he stopped and ran a half-fingerless, gloved thumb across the emblem for Jack’s old unit. Sighing his shoulders dipping a bit within the folds of his coat, he turned, helmet in hand, and returned to the front side of the desk. He set the helmet down on the right-hand corner of it, then unslung his Combat shotgun, and Handmade rifle before finally doffing his full pack. Finally, unburdened, he took off his grey knit cap; and after running a left hand back through his nearly black hair, he reached out his right.
“Athos, Athos Bran,” he said his voice deep and gruff and raspy as though he seldom spoke, “My father was Cyril Bran. He was Sergeant First Class Cyril Bran. Power Armor jockey. Anchorage. Didn’t make it back before they slammed the damned door closed.”
Jones stared at him for a long moment taking in his haircut. It was called the Anchorage, and it had been the trademark of the elite recon squads of PA jockeys on the frontline. Shaking off his surprise, he grasped the proffered hand firmly in both of his, “Detective Jack Jones, please have a seat, Athos Bran.”
Athos sat, “Loper. Call me Loper.”
“Loper, then,” Jack replied nodding, “Call me Jack. What can I do for you, Loper?”
Loper frowned and settled back in the stiff wooden chair. How could Detective Jack Jones help him? He suddenly felt stupid and embarrassed for even coming to the man’s office. His parents were, like so many others, long dead. It was time that he just accepted the fact and moved on, and to a large extent, he had. But, now here he was once again harboring hope. If only he hadn’t been in the Wayward when that merchant had been babbling about some new ex-military, investigator, detective fellow from Anchorage being in Appalachia and opening some sort of agency.
“You came from Anchorage,” he said quietly, eyeing the helmet.
Jack shook his head, “Yes and no, Loper. I was in Anchorage. Served in Anchorage, that much is true. I was wounded, though, and sent back home, here, with a pass into 76. I…”
“You’re one of us?” Loper asked sounding equally surprised and disappointed.
“If you mean a seventy-sixer, then yea, I am one of us,” Jones replied holding up his left arm and showing Loper his Pip-Boy.
3 / 9
The man frowned, “Saw it. A man can have whatever he wants if he’s willing and strong enough to take it.”
“True. You were hoping that I’d made it back. That I’d met or knew your father.”
“Sorry to disappoint. Your father, what was his unit?”
Loper shook his head, shrugged, and sighed, “I don’t know. He was, they were forward recon, black op stuff. He never told my mother anything. In the end…comms were well…”
Jones nodded again in understanding. Then reaching down pulled open the desk drawer and retrieved the Bourbon. After looking around, he stood up, “I’ll be right back,” he said, went into the small, neat kitchenette and returned with two clean glasses. He poured three fingers worth into each and handed one across the desk to Loper, “To Anchorage.”
They drank and Jones sat back down. “I hate to disappoint you, Loper, but Anchorage was a world away during the best of times. Making it back now, well…”
A long silence fell between them, and Jones refilled their cups. Finally, Loper took a long pull of his and after taking off his wraparound glasses, picked the helmet up again. Jones waited him out, examining Loper as he examined the helmet again.
Bran’s face was scarred. A long deep gouge ran down from the center of his forehead, across the corner of his right eyebrow, and down along the side of his broken nose stopping at the corner of his right upper lip. Across the bridge of his wrecked nose ran another deep, horseshoe-shaped scar. His full beard did little to cover the horrible gashes. Further marring what was once a handsome face were pinkish blemishes on his left cheek. Probably the result of burns, Jones thought. The kid had been through the wringer. What struck him, though, was that the scarring seemed aged. Too aged to have occurred since Reclamation Day.
“How old you are you, Loper?” Jones asked tipping his head to the right and squinting across at his guest.
Loper put the helmet back down, “Thirty-one. Went in with my mother when I was five.”
“Aubrey Bran. Doctor, professor, worked for Vault Tec and the Army. Developed power armor and training aids, virtual reality, robotics that sort of stuff. She had a pass.”
“And she is where now?”
4 / 9
Loper took a long swig of his bourbon, and then reaching across the desk poured another, “No clue.”
Jones leaned forward and rested his forearms on the desk suddenly hating that he’d installed the terminal. It blocked his view of his clients, “Hey, step outside onto my porch. I need a smoke.”
They both went outside and settled into chairs. Jones took out a cigarette and offered the pack of Grey Tortoises to Loper. He waved him off, “No thanks. Life’s hard enough.”
“True. No clue? How come? We all came out together.”
“Dissenter. She riled up the wrong people. Went missing two months before Reclamation Day.”
“Dissenter, I see.”
“Didn’t believe the story behind waiting an extra year. Wanted out. I think they sent them out, out early and empty handed,” Loper continued bitterly, “empty handed into this.”
Jones was aware of the Dissenters. He’d steered clear of all politics during his time inside, though. His service in the Marines, he figured, had been more than enough sacrifice. He’d just kept his head down, did what little was asked of him and waited out the clock. The rationing, though, had been brutal. It created factions and divisiveness in a group that was not trained to handle adversity. They’d been trained to function together for the greater good, and spoiled by the vault’s security. The Overseer’s decision to wait a year, with no explanation, had fractured that unity. In hindsight, he recalled, the Dissenters had gone quiet all at once, and no one had dared to question their absence.
“I was Vault Special Security. Conscripted and indoctrinated at twelve,” Loper replied sullenly, “I…I chose the wrong side. I lost my mother. We were close, but near the end well we had our differences. Knowing what I know now, though, I would have gone with her where ever that may have been.”
“You think that the Overseer sent them out?”
“I do,” Loper grunted, “But I’m not here for her. She took too long to see the truth. My father, though, he fought for us. Can you…will you look for him? There must be records, something…”
“Yes, I know,” he spat out standing up and moving to the railing overlooking the deserted, dusty, street. He smelled rain in the air. The trip home would be a wet one, “Anchorage is too far away. I have this, though,” he said turning back toward Jones and holding out a tattered, yellowing piece of paper.
Jones took it, unfolded it, and studied the faded, blocky writing. Written in a code meant only for special recon forces and deciphered in different handwriting, it gave radio frequencies and grid
5 / 9
coordinates. It also said, Athos, when the world goes sideways, search for me on these freqs. Set up base in or around these coordinates. Keep your mother safe. I ‘will’ get back to you. I know that they have trained you well. Consider that suffering a gift. Use it, and above all else, and by whatever means ‘survive’. Love Papa. He refolded the note and handed it back.
“Where did you get this? How can you read it?” Jones blurted out.
Loper shrugged, “He made it a game when I was little. One of the only times that I remember him being home here. Said it was a secret code for fathers and sons. Made me promise to study it. We sent letters in it. I just can’t break that final bit of intel. I think it might be his squad name or location.”
“Huge breach in comsec,” Jones sighed out, “Not that it matters. Where did you get this, though?”
“After we left out, Reclamation Day, I struggled. They didn’t prepare us for this, this mess. I was offloading crap I didn’t need to carry. Had a stuffed polar bear that he’d given me that last time before he deployed back to Anchorage. I’d kept it because…well…he’d made me swear never to lose it. He was adamant about it. Also, it was all that I had of him. I…As I was tossing it, I discovered an odd seam. Inside, in a plastic pouch was this note. He must have worried, have known…”
“This, these frequencies are a long shot, Loper. Even if he is out there and has gear too much time has passed. Too…”
“Freqs are freqs.,” Loper snapped defensively.
“But you need gear. You need…”
“I set up camp at an existing home in the forest north of 76,” Loper began speaking rapidly now, “It was nearly untouched by the bombs, or looters,” he said sitting back down, “not at those coordinates, those places are toast. This place even has a bunker. Once I got situated, I started scavenging for radio gear. I’m in good with a Raider up Crater way, Wren. I keep her in working parts, and she slides me excess gear on the sly. I humped a small satellite dish in from a nearby tower and installed it. Nearly broke my back. I scan constantly. Also, have a few smaller dishes scattered about. I siphon and record sigs from BOS, those weak assed damned Settlers, and that witch the Overseer. Anyone anywhere who is running a comms system, I eavesdrop on. The Vault Tec Special Security Force trained me well.”
Jones laughed aloud, “I know they did, and I see you don’t mind sharing your opinion about our neighbors.”
“To hell with the lot of them. I played my part. Found the cure and killed the queen. Now, I just take care of myself. Besides, like I said, if you’re strong enough, you can take what you want.”
6 / 9
Jones furrowed his brow, “Go inside. In the kitchen, in that rattle trap refrigerator are some Blackwater Brews. Grab a couple. I need to think.”
As he watched Loper walk into the office, Jack took a deep drag of his flagging Tortoise and tried to quell his nerves. Since his wife’s death, he’d been treading water emotionally. Having to think about the chaos and depravity of Anchorage again was not helping. He’d found the bottom of the bottle six months back, and despite telling himself daily that he’d claw his way out, he doubted that he actually would, or worse yet could. Loper showing up was a blessing and a curse. It gave him something to focus on distracting him from his wife’s death, but in turn, churned up horrible memories. Conversely, he could have been Loper’s father, left behind the lines, cut off from his loved ones as the world burned. Him and Cyril Bran were probably of similar ages and had similar training and backgrounds. He’d gotten lucky though, if you call getting blasted out of your power armor, being horribly wounded, and nearly dying lucky. He’d made it into 76. He’d been given a second chance on life, for what it was worth anyway. Maybe Loper showing up was the wake-up call that he needed. If nothing else, the foolishly determined kid was a paying client. Loper came back out dragging his thoughts back to the present and Jones took his beer nodding a thank you.
“I can get you a better refrigerator,” Loper said curtly after sitting down and sipping the cool beer, “I have sources.”
“That’d be appreciated, but like I said, this is such a long shot.”
“Consider it a down payment.”
“That part of code that you can’t figure out, I found some old manuals. I have them tucked away. They were communication security briefs that I scavenged out of an APC down Watago way. High level Commsec stuff. It might help. But, see, I was a Marine. Your father Army. We did and could communicate. But if these are unit designations, and even if I decode them it won’t matter. Still, what the hell, copy them here on this clipboard for me. I probably won’t recognize them,” then while Loper wrote, “The only way, Loper, that I might be able to sort this is if your father and I ever served in the same theater at the same time. Do you know anything at all about where in Anchorage he served?
“I was young, but I remember him talking about an F.O.B called Castle Striker. He went out to get behind Chinese lines and stop rocket attacks. His unit came under heavy resistance. He saved his team. This guy, a corporal Devon Mountbatten, started calling him the Snow Devil because of how my father fought hand to hand to save them,” Loper shook his head, and held his hands out in surrender, “that’s the only location I know. The only story I recall.”
7 / 9
Now that Loper had spoken in complete sentences, Jones noted his accent, or rather the lack of any accent. His pronunciation was flat, nearly phonetic. He’d grown up in a vault filled with people from all over the country. It didn’t surprise him that Loper’s speech was somewhat pristine. There had been no accent to grab on to. Back on track, he nodded at him.
“I know of Castle. I went through there in maybe 2075. Was an Army base. We were there for repairs and restocking. In and out,” Jones mused nodding his head, “Listen, Loper, I do have a contact. He’s BOS, now. He was Army back then, though. He’s old as dirt, but let me talk to him. I doubt that he’ll give me anything without something in return, something substantial. He is BOS after all. He was an officer out of Ft. Strong Massachusetts, he…”
“My mother worked at Strong!” Loper shouted, “I was born at Strong. She met my father at Ft. Strong when he was there for PA testing and training. I need to meet…”
“Whoa, slow your roll, son. Ft. Strong is, was a big place. Hundreds if not thousands of men go through, well went through there. Also, I don’t know what my contact’s mission was. He might know nothing about troop deployments in Anchorage.”
“I don’t give a damn, Jones,” Loper snapped, defiantly, his stoic façade having evaporated, “It’s a start. It is the first and only lead that I have had, and I have scoured Appalachia for two years now. Before that, I searched every archive that I could in 76. You talk to this old man. You figure out what he knows. And, if he won’t talk to you, Jones, then I will pay you to give him up to me. Like I said before. If you are…”
“Strong enough you can take what you want.”
“And like you said, you know that Vault Security Force trained me well,” Loper concluded coldly.
Jones looked across the small porch at the young man sitting beside his grill. He was so determined, and Jones hated to kill that part of Loper’s heart. He had no doubt that if given the opportunity Loper would bleed his contact dry for intel. The Wasteland nurtured cruelty in men, and in particular, men trained, from childhood, to dominate and control. That innate cruelty and unconditional hope would fuel the boy’s determination for years to come.
“Sadly, I do know, Loper. I declined their very lucrative offer to serve my time in 76 as one of their special instructors. I was against the conscription of children, and at twelve you were still children, no matter the reasoning. Not to mention they’d been pounding knowledge into your heads from near birth,” then sternly, “So, I have no doubts about your potential or your skillset, Special Security Force agent Athos Bran.”
8 / 9
Loper took a long swig of his Blackwater Brew, “Hell with you, Jones! You have no idea, if you declined, what they were capable of. The training was a well-kept secret. Training that my own mother developed. I am not one of them.”
Jones laughed again, “Before I declined, I saw the training manuals. Your face, those scars,” he said quietly, pointing half a left index finger at Loper, “they are from Special Security Force training, son. You didn’t get them out here. They’re too old. Sure they didn’t want to kill you. They needed every warm body possible to start civilization up again, but they weren’t above making their point,” then waving his hands in the air palms outward, “Enough about that. I will talk to my guy. I will get back to you with his offer if he agrees. When it comes to scavenging, I hope that you are as good as you say you are. This intel is not going to come cheap.”
“Just let me know what he wants. I’ll bring him a god damned nuke if that’s what the BOS bastard wants. Just let me know.”
The conversation apparently over, Loper stood and went back into the office. Jones shrugged and tagged along behind him. Once inside, Loper hefted his backpack and settled it onto the chair where he’d been sitting. As Jones watched, he opened it and rummaged around. Finally, he drew out a parcel wrapped in supple, well oiled Radstag hide. Turning back to Jones, he placed it on the desk and unrolled it.
“I will get you a refrigerator, Detective Jones, but this, this is your real down payment.”
Jones tried not to gawp at the items and failed. The two bars of glimmering, solid gold were amazing to behold. Puzzle pieces clicked together in his head.
“Bullion? Where…how? It was you?” He stuttered incredulously, “You’re the one that led the Raiders into 79?”
For the first time, Athos Bran smiled, “I am the one that breached 79. Like I said…”
“Vault Special Security trained you well, and if you are strong enough you can just take what you want. Come back in two weeks. It will take me time to do my homework and time to get to my contact. If something pops sooner, you said you have a radio?”
Loper nodded and reaching out picked up the pencil and clipboard from the desk, “My freq. and my call sign, use it. Black Wolf. I’ll be waiting. If I don’t answer, tell the guy who does polar bear. I’ll get back to you.”
Then, after donning his backpack, and shouldering his weapons, Loper slipped back out into the drizzly Wasteland evening leaving Detective Jack Jones with his shiny bullion and a thousand myriad questions to answer.
9 / 9
- Help me build: A pair of Aasimar bodyguards without using the Angel statblocks (NPC sidekicks)
- SCP Foundation MTF Build in the Wasteland
- SCP Foundation MTF Fallout 4 Build
Top 7 NEW Games of January 2021
New year - new month - new games. Take a look at the first 2021 games you’ll be playing on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Switch, and more.
More about FalloutPost: "Appalachian Wasteland Comicbook Covers (Fo76 Fan Fiction)" specifically for the game Fallout. Other useful information about this game:
Top 10 Best Video Games of 2020 (So Far)
In times of uncertainty, video games allow us to escape from the stress of the real world. For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the best games released in the first half of 2020.