Fallout New Vegas
KING

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How much of our world is imaginary? To examine something, reduce it. There are buildings, some of which humans sleep and live in as shelter from temperature, weather conditions, and hostile fauna. Some humans will smear pigmented mixtures onto the surfaces to give these buildings colour. Humans will then assign these structures some purpose, and the inhabitants will act in a matter befitting this purpose: this is a store and the man inside will sell you things, this is a mayor's office and he says he's in charge and his receptionist wants you to make an *appointment* of all fucking things - and this is a Casino and the people inside want your money, and money is in itself an almost absurd concept as you break it down further.

For all its glitz and glamour there is no great cosmic difference between what is within New Vegas' walls and without; we humans, however, are gullible to suggestions otherwise. Before the walls were built and the securitrons deployed and the prostitutes and the tourism and all that Sodom and Gomorrah shit associated with the city, Vegas was simply a slightly flashier collection of ruins than the rest of Nevada, brimming with all sorts of raiders and scavengers and tribals. House just took a handful of those tribes and painted them different colours.

The Boot Riders were big at the time, and when House made his offer a lot of us balked at the idea, mostly united under chief Bingo, but Benji - I mean Benny united a faction who'd wanted to join the Overboss and he killed Bingo in the traditional way; knives at arm's length by the fire at sundown. A few of us decided to sharpen our heels on the pavement; we didn't want a thing to do with the Chairmen - Met up with each other, formed a new tribe of our own, with cards but no suits. Boot Rider's 2.0, but it didn't feel right to call ourselves that anymore, especially there only being something like 12 of us.

A lot of us ended up becoming members of The Kings not long after. The King was never a Boot Rider though; he was a Howling Dog. What was left of the 2.0 made peace with the other tribes for the most part, united in resentment towards House and the Families.

The School was the home of the Howling Dogs - we partied with the Dogs before they were decimated by the Vipers and chased out of their village; Fellow refugees, they welcomed the friendly faces and extra numbers. This was before the Kings; The King went by Daver Love-Bone back then, and Pacer was Pracher Black-Feathers - and both were warriors under Chief Handle Red-Kind, who was dying of sepsis when I met him.

Wasn't long before he died - now we were even less sure what our futures held, like puppets with cut strings in a heap on the ground.

We were all in the main hall eating when Daver came in wearing a sweet leather jacket, sauntered up on the stage, and started singing; we knew Daver to play the guitar and sing around the fire on occasion, but this was different - he moved like a man possessed, swaying his hips and crooning Love Me Tender, as if he wasn't a man but a conduit to a higher force. After our applause ceased, he began his sermon, his voice taking a new inflection; "When things go wrong don't go with them." He told us that we needed to stop acting as the downcast victims we believed ourselves to be and to form a new idea of the man beneath the skin. House proclaimed himself king, why couldn't we? Kings of ourselves, not beholden to any but us and those we chose to surround ourselves with, no regard for the power structures folk try and impose on us from outside.

He told us about a man - a great man from the past who others clawed to emulate; this was a great facility of his teachings, his Icon the template for its initiates to follow, an alternative to the toilsome life they'd been assigned. He'd proclaimed rulership of the social conscious, and millions would flock to see him and listen to his words. This man was the Rebel, a perpetually moving force against the mundane orthodoxy, who in spite of his iconoclasm was the Gold Standard for respected men, an imprint upon the world that had survived him by a century. A man so great he was known to others only as "The King."

The King's ideals resonated with a lot of folk - there's always a rugged sort of appeal to the idea of so casually shrugging off authority, social rebellion in general really - but the old school Kings were mostly ex 2.0, Howling Dogs, Mayas, Snow Mountain Paiute that got pushed out by mutants, and a handful of other small tribes that refused to be forced out of Vegas. You'd figure it'd be harder to get a bunch of disparate tribes to surrender their cultural identities, but in a way it actually allowed these tribes to maintain what identity they had left.

In the Old Ways impersonation was a method to kill your ego. Real sexy juju, take upon the spirit of the other so much you realize how blurry the line is. Chew hallucinogens in the desert 'till you stop thinking in individual terms. It's probably why the tribe accepted the ideals of The Kings so readily - a thirst for united principle among this misfit band, a willingness to dissolve those barriers that separated them so they might rebuild new ones in brotherhood. Unfortunately that principle devolved into a gratifying ego-inflation process. Rather than hot magic that let you slip the limitations of your own perspective, it became a grab for glory by personifying the glorified. Can't blame them though, The King is a cool cat.

The hair? Old habits never die, neither does style. I use corn oil usually, butter or animal fat in a pinch, mixed up with different smelly stuff for fragrence.

I spent a lot of time with The Kings, but the numbers of my kin in our gang has dwindled. It's become "the establishment" in Freeside, enforcers of a social norm - especially since the Squatters moved in. I feel like social groups larger than a few hundred tend to collapse eventually, so I left with The King's blessing. I miss a few things about home, especially the notion of having a home.

I rode my boots as a Courier for a few years for a few different people, the job just suited me; I just got back to Nevada actually. Spent a while in Reno doing work for the Bishops, was in California proper for too; even saw Kimball speak once. Kicked tumbleweeds in Baja - was heat though, and I don't mean the desert air. Spent time in Arizona too, and I have to say it was nicer than I thought, though it's propped upon the yoke of slaves - but when that fucker Caesar dies I'm pretty sure his civilization will too; too much change in too short a time to last, it'll lose all its energy not long after he does. Once he's gone the only things holding the Legion together will be football pads and misogyny.

Anyway, I thought I'd ease my heels a bit here; the trail just took me back and things have changed so much I hardly recognize the place. Been working for the Mojave Express for about four months now, Hell I'm on the job currently; it's an excuse to keep moving, see the sights. Keeps me on my toes; I'm getting older, I notice all the time. Started kicking in when I realized how many people I knew don't exist anymore. Especially since I spoke with some Khans on the road, they told me about Bitter Springs. I've only been gone a little over 3 years, seems like a lot longer with the pace things are moving.

The world is changing, however much I might hate that, and I guess I need to get with the times. Hopefully once I deliver this tacky fucking casino chip I can go home and check up with School, see if I can't get a better grasp on what's going on. Even if I don't wear the name anymore, I'm still a King and always will be.

I miss the old Nevada honestly; it was a rough sort of place but that was part of the appeal. 

Ah well, we cleaned the slate once, history knows we can probably do it again.

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2 comments

  1. reveccamorikava
    reveccamorikava
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    Very cool!
  2. YanL
    YanL
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    I read.

    Awesome dude, I liked a lot.