(As this is my only way to create any content for the moment, I wanted to share a particularly notable scene from CRONOS' time in the Mojave Wasteland with the remnants of the Secret Service during Operation Presumption. If you're jittery about intense, gritty content... or a big NCR supporter, this probably isn't for you. To anyone else? Hope you enjoy it.)
Dust blew through the air of the interior of the old and almost forgotten Remnants Bunker, and onto the weathered Vertibird housed within. Outside, tension was in the air... almost everywhere. The war drums of Caesar's Legion were beating increasingly more and more frequent across the Colorado as the days went by... and the Second Battle of Hoover Dam was almost here.
Special Agent CRONOS and what few agents remained of his Secret Service were now using the bunker as a staging point and main base after having met the likes of Arcade Gannon and following through on his suggestion to rally the likes of the 'remnants', as he called them.
Having revealed to them their target a day ago... the New California Republic, a particularly loud disagreement on the part of Arcade and Cannibal Johnson had been put to rest rather quickly. Their sentiments enraged the Special Agent immeasurably... and as a result, his agents violently accosted them and pushed them out of the war room.
As Daisy Whitman and Judah Kreger still discussed tactics and their means of approach for the battle with the rest of the Secret Service (two other men)... CRONOS, the other two of his last men, and an armored Orion Moreno confront the likes of Arcade and Cannibal, whom were being held prisoner at this point due to the time it took CRONOS to restore the Enclave loyalty of Daisy and Judah.
No one but CRONOS knew what was about to happen...
Disarmed, surrounded, up against the wall of the bunker just behind the Vertibird... and at their mercy... Arcade glares at CRONOS intensely.
"Can't believe I ever trusted you for a second. I should've known who you really were... what you were really up to. It's all so obvious to me now... I could puke."
Chuckling slightly at that, CRONOS leers at him just as intensely mutual, droning to him in a tone of voice that would make anyone's skin crawl.
"That sickness in your stomach? That's just your own regret. You've abandoned your history, Arcade... forgotten your lineage and heritage... and your birthright. Even worse than that, you've managed? You've betrayed your own blood... what your father fought and died for!! I can't believe I ever thought he'd be proud of you... hah, the shame you've brought to his grave..."
Lowering his head as if he'd been tortured horribly, unable to look into the souless goggles piercing into him... CRONOS' words hit Arcade like bullets. He was actually starting to believe all the things he'd told him, doubting himself and all he'd took a stand for deep within...
Cannibal Johnson, just beside of the young Gannon... saw this as he looked at him and attempted to comfort him the best he could. Unlike Arcade, Johnson didn't buy a single word of any of it. He firmly believed with everything in him... that they were about to be killed by the personification of evil... 'the Reaper has at long last finally come to collect', he thought.
He wasn't about to let Arcade think otherwise either... not for a single solitary second as he finally spoke up excitedly and very emotionally.
"Don't let him fool you for a slight second, son! I knew your old man... Hunter's a' lyin' through his rotten teeth! He loved you more than anything in the entire world, and none of this crap he keeps talkin' would've ever changed that! Ya hear, Arcade...? I'm tellin' ya the honest truth!!"
Arcade didn't look up from the floor or open his squinting eyes, but he wasn't as emotionally distraught like he had been anymore, and the effect Johnson's words had on him was utterly obvious in his body language.
Gripping their Heckler & Koch G-11e assault rifles tightly, and taking offense to Johnson's attempts at making the horrible situation easier on the Follower of the Apocalypse... the two Secret Service agents menacing over their helpless targets resumed with their physical harassment of Johnson, one of them strikes him ruthlessly in his stomach while the other holds his rifle in one hand and cold clocks him right under the chin with a balled fist.
Moaning heavily at the result of all the physical abuse he'd been on the receiving end of... and falling onto his buttocks leaned against the wall... old Johnson still wasn't letting up. His idealism shined brighter than ever, figuratively... and his voice was it's means of showing.
"Tell me ol' Jack, what'd they do to you? What 'experimental procedure' did they sign you up for? What are they holdin' over your head? You're about as old as me... but right here you are... just like I remember you... even after all these years. Like you ain't aged a day when I know you have."
Scowling at the hint of cold hard truth in Johnson's statement... CRONOS pulled out Arcade's plasma defender in a fit of reactive emotion... but didn't raise it, but he did grip it so tightly one could swear the weapon's handle was close to breaking in half. CRONOS droned to him, almost shouting.
"I'm more miserable than you'll ever know, stuck in here like this you arrogant prick!! Don't ever act like the dead men that did the procedure... are the ones to blame for it when it's MY own impulsive stupidity that got me into this... YOU HEAR ME?? Especially when I never heard them bitch about nothin'... and that's all your seditious, using ass EVER did!"
Trembling a bit in his arms, CRONOS breaths mechanically through his helmet, just about ready to end this for good. Cannibal looks up to him with two blackened eyes...
"Maybe if you took that damned ol' helmet off once in awhile you could use your eyes and see! The Enclave's dyin' if it ain't already dead Jack, it's bleedin' to death and frolickin' miserably... has been ever since I first knowed it. America's gone... she ain't comin' back... why, how can't you see that!? H-have ya finally went off the deep end...?"
Outright gritting his teeth at that, looking away in sheer disgusted hatred of Johnson... Orion stepped forward and stared directly at Johnson right in the eyes.
"She ain't gone, Johnson... she's just waitin' on the weak links like you to die off so the real patriots like me and Hunter here can prove how full of shit you are and always have been..."
Orion looked at CRONOS after, taking a few steps back.
"Would ya just get it over with? What the hell's the matter with you anyway... ain't never seen you this upset about somethin'."
Getting a hold of himself shortly after Moreno's pep-talk of sorts... CRONOS raises the plasma defender, and points it at Arcade who's looking right back at him now with a sternfully fearless look on his face.
"Why are you crazy? That's a question for someone much wiser and more patient than myself. Because if the NCR fails? It'll fail on it's own. You're just making all of us fail and killing as many people as you possibly can until they do, right? Is that it Jack...?"
CRONOS scoffs at Arcade's sarcastically persistent queries... he just doesn't get it.
"Not after me and the boys here take a little trip to the Divide. Ya see... turns out theirs a whole lotta leftover nukes still there to this day... and it's our job to see to them doin' exactly what your good friends in the NCR did to our oil rig. Ya understandin' yet Gannon... I hope so, 'cause this is the last time I'll ever explain anything I've done or doin' to you ever again."
Johnson's eyes widened in sheer terror as Moreno chuckled slightly and nodded his helmeted head in approval, Cannibal couldn't believe what he'd just heard.
"My sweet Jesus Jack... all those innocent people... you really have lost your goddamned mind. It's gone and so are you... you're a dead man walkin'."
Scoffing angrily as he practiced aiming two subsequent point-blank plasma bolts to their heads in his mind, CRONOS droned callously.
"Oh no Johnson. Oh no. When I die... I'll be on my feet, and where I belong. Not on my knees, not begging the Brotherhood or the goddamn NCR... or even ME, for mercy... not like you're about to die."
Arcade and Cannibal both, in unison... glare at the cadre of Enclave loyalists with boiling intensity before CRONOS enacts what he'd been practicing in his mind previously... executing both of them so very quickly it was hard for Moreno to take in. Arcade's body fell lifelessly to the ground and Cannibal remained in the exact same spot he'd been... with a crackling hole in his head and his eyes nearly bulging out of his head...
Looking to and turning to his men, barking at them emotionlessly... CRONOS tossed Arcade's defender on top of his corpse carelessly.
"Take the bodies to that Ranger Foxtrot station we took out... leave 'em to rot with the rest. Quick... we're nearly done with this mission..."