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Isaiah Shadrach "Sherman"

"... come with me."

0 · 308 views · located in Aegis

a character in “Fallout: Red Texas”, as played by Fear of a Female Planet

Description

BIRTH FACTS:
    Full Name:  Isaiah Shadrach Sherman
    Gender:  Male
    Race:  Caucasian
    Ethnicity:  American
    Eye Color:  Gray
    Hair Color:  Brown/gray

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PHYSICAL DESCRIPTIONS:
    Height:  6'7"
    Weight:  300 lbs.
    Body Type:  Massive mesomorph
    Hair Style:  Long, pulled back or loose depending on the type of day it is
    Appearance:  A behemoth of a man with some of the most intense facial expressions you'll ever see.

THE OTHER THINGS:
    Sexuality:  Straight
    Age:  45
    Scars:  Numerous scars on his face, arms, hands--evident of his close calls and various scuffles over the years.
    Ink/Holes:  Unknown
    Attire:  Prefers to dress casually in throwback "cowboy" gear, with rough leather dungarees and long duster coats, Occasionally wears wide-brimmed hats when the sun is far too bright. Never goes into battle without proper power armor, despite his throwback tendencies in more peaceful times.

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THE GOOD:
Reliable - Sherman's no slacker. When given an order, he does what he's told, and does a thorough job. Every. Single. Time.
Steady - Nothing rattles, upsets, or excites Sherman. You can count on him to be the same guy as the day you met him.
Loyal - Sherman's not beyond standing up for those he's in the service of, in his own unique fashion. He sees to it that no one is able to threaten Bonita or her plans.

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AND THE BAD:
Cold - Sherman's no teddy bear. He makes it very clear.
Unfriendly - Sherman's not here to be your friend, or to encourage your bad habits. If he's being nice to you, just nod and say "yes."
Hard to Read - You may not be able to tell where Sherman's coming from, or where he's going.

S.P.E.C.I.A.L.:
    +9 Strength
    +4 Perception
    +8 Endurance
    +7 Charisma
    +6 Intelligence
    +3 Agility
    +3 Luck

SKILLS:
Combat: Unarmed, Big Guns, Melee Weapons, Energy Weapons
Active: Traps, Medic, Lockpick
Passive: Persuasion, Outdoorsman, Deception

PERKS:
Terrifying Presence
Friend of the Night
Hit the Deck
Toughness
Quick Draw
Adamantium Skeleton
Super Slam!
Comprehension
Strong Back
Stonewall
Shotgun Surgeon
Bloody Mess
Unstoppable Force
Mister Sandman
Paralyzing Palm

EQUIPMENT:
coming soon

WEAPONS & TOYS:
coming soon

OTHER:
coming soon


CHILDHOOD:
coming soon

NOWADAYS:
coming soon

So begins...

Isaiah Shadrach "Sherman"'s Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Null Character Portrait: Brigitte Thibodeaux Character Portrait: Roland Brave Character Portrait: Bonita Abbott Character Portrait: Isaiah Shadrach "Sherman"

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"Bonita, we've got an after-hours approach, over," the emergency radio crackled above the other speaker blaring A.I.R. Bonita turned her head and riveted her attention on the small device, standing up from her spot on the bench around the small campfire with various residents gathered about for the monthly outdoor get-together. "Bonita, requesting your direction, over."

The woman furrowed her eyebrows as a gentle hush fell over the campsite. After-hours approaches were fairly uncommon, as most travelers knew the rules of the road and would often camp out at a rock formation about a mile away to seek safe shelter overnight. After-hours approaches tended to be either of two extremes: either a gravely or fatally-injured refugee who needed help as quickly as possible, or foes bent on destroying the safe haven and all who resided within its walls.

However, Bonita wasn't one to forget her entire aim in the creation of the oasis fortress. She plucked up the radio from the large table in front of her and held down the "Call" button. "This is Bonita responding, please describe the circumstances of this after-hours approach," she answered flatly, devoid of emotion. Brigitte's voice trilled in the background as she delivered a public service announcement during the closing of her show, tinning out from the other radio. Roland turned his massive lavender form and pinched two massive fingers at the device to twist the volume down just slightly.

"Two individuals. Both wounded. One incapacitated. Female, small, unconscious. Other figure is barely standing. Male, military type. Barely keeping it together, begging for help."

"Secure them, seize any and all weapons and hold them in the armory until we have them cleared. Send the unconscious woman into the infirmary and have medics assess the other inside the holding cell. Don't release him until we have him cleared for threats. Copy all channels?"

Immediately, a series of beeps and tones chirped out from the metal box in Bonita's hands. She stood and looked at the Aegis staff assembled, then back at the various guest residents scattered about. "Guests, feel free to continue to enjoy this evening," she addressed them pleasantly. "We have some business to attend to." She turned on her boot heels, clicking confidently across the paved stone path toward the entrance in question. "Someone do me a favor and go get Brigitte. She's coming with me to assess the approach."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bandit Character Portrait: Null Character Portrait: Brigitte Thibodeaux Character Portrait: Bonita Abbott Character Portrait: Isaiah Shadrach "Sherman"

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"And that was the Harmonicats. Freya's a little late tonight, but she's not far away. We'll just keep the midnight oil burning coming up with Count Basie, Perry Como, and more. And from Aegis to you, good night, y'all."

The moment she signed off, the padded wooden door swung open violently. Brigitte gasped and whirled around in her chair. Sherman stood in the doorway, glowering urgently. The bearded man was one of the most intimidating in all of Aegis, and he'd earned the reputation well as Bonita's long-time head of security. Brigitte remembered meeting him years ago when she'd first came to the facility, but he had never made himself very friendly or approachable, preferred to stay preoccupied with the specifics of maintaining sentry on the wall, weapons prepped, and defenses otherwise in place, ready to use. He also accompanied Bonita on trips Outside, providing a threatening and imposing defense to help any would-be harm-doers think twice.

The man's cold eyes blinked as they studied Brigitte, who was apparently surprised to see him appear so suddenly. "Thibodeaux," he growled cautiously, "Bonita wants you down at the primary holding cell. We've got after-hours approaches."

"And she's letting them in?" Brigitte asked as she rose to her feet, her eyes wide with curiosity. She plucked her wrap up from the back of the chair and began to pulled it around her arms, and adjusted her scarf around her face and over the thick braid above her. Better to be safe than sorry, considering how the weather had been for several days.

Sherman beckoned his head to the stairwell outside of the door. "Injuries," he said simply. "She wants you down there with us to go question the one who'll talk."

Brigitte wavered a little on her confused knees, staring through her dark lenses at the stoic and expressionless man. "But, why does she-"

"Thibodeaux, don't ask questions," he halted immediately, cutting her off and turning around to leave. She clapped her mouth shut and suppressed her frustration as she skittered after him, winding down the stone stairwell and through the main floor of the station's building, then across the still, sandy pathway toward the holding cell in question. Sherman glanced back at her occasionally to ensure that she was still trailing behind him. Finally, they met Bonita outside of the cell and watched as a couple of staff quickly carried a small, unconscious blonde woman on a stretcher, a white blanket thrown on her still body, toward the infirmary.

"We just secured their weapons," Bonita updated them quietly once they approached closer. "The woman's poisoned. Almost comatose. We'll give her a serum and let her sleep it off. She'll be fine." She took a breath and looked at the door to the cell. "But I wonder what explanation he'll have. These aren't minor injures they have." She led the two inside and stood against the wall as they watched the masked, armed guards from the lower level of the wall politely but firmly direct the tall figure to sit on a long metal bench.

Brigitte found herself stopping quickly in her tracks. The tall man seated on the bench was exhausted, sunburned, and clearly in no condition to be outside the wall any longer. Normally guests in Aegis didn't make her feel uncomfortable or nervous, and neither did this one, but... there was something else strange about the situation. There had not been many cases of after-hours approaches ever being admitted; most of those who were usually died within hours, or had a long road to recovery ahead. These were not typical cases.

She snapped out of her brief pause and followed behind Bonita, still not bothering to remove her scarf or goggles from her brown eyes and face. She looked to the old woman, who looked ahead at the dark-haired man. She reached down to the bag slung around her shoulder and slowly extracted a glass bottle of purified water. "Sir," Bonita politely stated, extending her hand forward and offering the water. "I'm Bonita Abbott. I'm in charge here. First and foremost, we want you to nourish yourself before we subject you to a search. We're already securing your and your companion's weapons while we work to clear you. You'll be examined and myself and my two colleagues, Mr. Isaiah Sherman and Miss Brigitte Thibodeaux, will ask you questions. You must answer our questions or we will refuse you and your companion refuge. Is that clear?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Null Character Portrait: Brigitte Thibodeaux Character Portrait: Roland Brave Character Portrait: Isaiah Shadrach "Sherman"

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Brigitte looked up at Null and nodded distractedly. "I suppose it is," she responded distantly, then turned her full attention to him. "I guess there's a first time for everything, including to determine whether or not we move an 800-pound sleeping being from his spot." She smiled. "Never wake a sleeping baby, right?"

As though on cue, Sherman approached the two from the side and looked at Null cautiously, then glanced down at Brigitte. "Thanks, Brij," he said, somewhat rushed, "it sounds like Lieutenant Commander Null's guest quarters are ready. Bonita had him placed in the unit attached to the infirmary so that you can be near your girl," he informed Null after turning his head to meet his eyes. He swiveled his head back to Brigitte. "You good?"

It was everything Brigitte could do to keep from laughing at the sound of Roland's resonant, satisfied snores. She nodded as she looked back at the desert-worn man and nodded. "I'm good. I mean, I'm happy to take you," she chattered to Sherman and Null. "I'm flexible. I just have to be at my own place in the next hour. Just let me know."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Null Character Portrait: Bonita Abbott Character Portrait: Isaiah Shadrach "Sherman"

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Bonita smirked wryly and let out a little "hmm" through her nose. "John." Simple and easy to remember. She sat back and half-admired his attempt to take control of the situation.

She tilted her head and nodded, staring intensely at him for a long, long moment. "That's mighty big of you, Mr. Brown," she said neutrally. "I do not think you're in the slightest position of making demands, but you are in a position to accept or deny what it is that I have in mind." She picked up her glass of grapefruit juice, her plate still empty. "Bear in mind, you and your companion must leave immediately if our priorities aren't aligned." She took a sip, then placed the glass back on the table.

She pulled a thick folder from a leather bag at her feet and held it up in the air casually, her elbow bent. "I'd like for you to review this and offer feedback," she said. "It's our inventory of information about your 'Sigma' brothers-in-arms. Or, ex-brothers-in-arms, as it would seem." She lowered the folder and placed it on the table, easily placing her metal hand on top of the cover. "In addition, I need someone to do an inspection of our wall, our weapons, our defense resources. Sherman," she nodded her head toward the door, "is the chief of security. But I think he needs an expert opinion." She blinked at him during a pause, wondering if she should tell him that there were a couple of other Sherman-related issues that needed resolution. But that was not the key issue at this point.

The door pounded suddenly, interrupting the conversation. It opened and Sherman poked his head in. Bonita nodded to him with a slightly annoyed expression. She knew no one could hear through her door, but the timing was something uncannily cosmic. "Bonita," he started tersely, "the girl has broken out of the clinic. She almost strangled Brandi and left without getting cleared. Starting talking some crazy talk about some Flasher."

Bonita took in a sharp sigh and cast a quick glance at "John," then back to Sherman. "Well, she's physically healthy, at least. But please do go find her and return her to the clinic for clearance. We don't know if she's in any condition to roam free. If she resists, gently restrain her. I'll pay a visit to her today, as soon as I can."

Sherman grunted his compliance and pulled the door shut behind him. "You, by the way, are responsible for any transgression she may cause," Bonita said as she turned back to her guest. "Anyway. My final request is not necessary but it is optional. Should everything go to plan, you're invited to stay. Your guest, too, if she can prove that she's no danger to anyone. You'd have a purpose and a place to live." She sat back, keeping her hand on the thick file. "So, Mr. Brown. What are you asking of me?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Null Character Portrait: Bonita Abbott Character Portrait: Isaiah Shadrach "Sherman"

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Null



Alright, this woman was good.

Null had to admit, it had been some years since he had seen someone as proficient in verbal sparring as she was. He was by no means proficient at persuading people, and had little sense of social norms - he'd realised that during the last month or so - but he did know the basics of negotiation, as did any Sigma officer. And he knew well enough that the woman before him was damned good.

"I am willing to comply with all three," he stated. This would be a good place for him; easily-defensible, a good view of the terrain, and safe enough to keep Bandit here-

What? Where had that last one come from? He immediately chastised himself for the thought. She was of no consequence to him - he could not afford to care about what happened to her. He was here for one reason, and one reason only.

That said, he could not deny that her company was… entertaining, if nothing else. And he'd carried her far enough to have some innate concern for her, simply by virtue of having gone through such effort for her. Nonetheless, he stowed away these thoughts for later consideration.

He went back to Bonita's offers. From the sounds of things, she was looking for him to become a senior member of her security force; little more than a glorified guard. Hardly what he was here for. Nonetheless, it was a chance. The fact that they had a file on Sigma was unexpected, and indicated a more organised and aware group than he'd expected. He slid it across the table from her.

The chief of security - Sherman - came in and reported that Bandit had flipped out and was roaming the streets of Aegis, babbling about Slasher. Hardly unexpected behaviour - she had been hallucinating quite heavily under the effects of the poison. He restrained himself from reacting. Bonita would not be foolish enough to risk his ire by unnecessarily killing Bandit.

"Now then, to my request, Bonita. What I want is hardly complicated - your help, and the help of Aegis, in pursuit of my goal."

He paused for a second, his eyes cold and hard, staring her down. This, he knew, was the moment of truth. Her reaction to this would tell him what she was made of, and how far she was willing to go.

"That goal is, quite simply, the complete and utter destruction of the Enclave."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Null Character Portrait: Brigitte Thibodeaux Character Portrait: Isaiah Shadrach "Sherman"

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Brigitte rolled her eyes again. "Look, I—good God, what's your name?" she asked, curtaining her long hair back over her shoulders, "I don't even know what to call you. But I have no idea how to get you out to—"

The door knocked, not far away from the dark-haired visitor. Brigitte crossed over to twist a padlock and open. There stood Sherman, as though on cue. "Everything all right, Thibodeaux?" he gruffed, casting a quick look at the other man.

"We're having a heated discussion," Brigitte said, shooting the other soldier a look out of the corner of her eye, "and you're aware that there's a—"

"Slasher," Sherman broke in, "I just came down from Bonita's and she told me." He floated a glance at Null, with a hard-to-read expression. Frustration? Anger? A dark gleeful excitement? "She said to talk to 'John' about it."

Brigitte turned and looked at Null. "'John'?" she asked.

"John, I sure as hell wouldn't mind heading out into the desert," Sherman volunteered, his voice sounding almost... relaxed, in its element, in a way Brigitte had never heard before. "I love hunting me some cannibals."

Brigitte blinked. There. That ought to have washed her hands of having any part in this situation...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Null Character Portrait: Brigitte Thibodeaux Character Portrait: Isaiah Shadrach "Sherman"

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Null



Null spun as the massive-framed man moved into the room, hand subconsciously going for his knife. He didn't trust anyone, especially not seven-foot-tall security chiefs with a grudge against cannibalism. He relaxed a little when he realised that Sherman didn't have hostile intentions - not towards him, at least - but not much.

Still, the man was welcome, at the very least. Much easier to go straight to the man with the guns, rather than relying on Brigitte to wrangle together a team for him. He'd get a lot more done this way.

"Copy," he nodded to Sherman, glad to be operating with military forces again. Soldiers were far easier to negotiate with for him; there was an understanding that they were all there for the same reasons. No need to wrangle with feelings or ethics - just targets, ammunition and orders.

"Do you have anyone who knows a thing about power armour?" he asked, as he stepped out of the room, with a quick nod at Brigitte, as though to say, Thank you for your assistance -

But you are no longer required.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Null Character Portrait: Brigitte Thibodeaux Character Portrait: Isaiah Shadrach "Sherman"

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Brigitte didn't let her eyes leave his, scowling darkly at the tall, dark-haired stranger as he confidently sauntered off with Sherman. Dishonesty did not play well with her, and that's how she perceived the man at the moment--dishonest. He'd obscured the truth about his guest and put the whole facility in peril, and then expected her to simply roll over and accept his request without questioning him. Clearly he was a man used to getting what he wanted, as it would seem, by simply walking up to others and saying what he wanted and expected them to comply.

The nerve.

Sherman allowed Null to walk out of the door ahead of him, and caught Brigitte's eye with a quick wave. He lingered slightly in the doorway and opened his mouth to say something, then seemed to think better of it when he clapped his jaw shut and instead offered a purse-lipped, wavery nod before he stepped out, not bothering to shut the door behind him.

Brigitte rolled her eyes. Men were weird.

She stepped forward to push the heavy wooden door shut behind the two, and pressed her back against the door and leaned her head to look up at the ceiling, rubbing her hands under her eyes and letting out an exasperated sigh. Not even 9 o'clock and what a day so far.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Null Character Portrait: Isaiah Shadrach "Sherman"

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Sherman averted his attention forward. Something, anything, to take his mind off of a colossal failure of an attempt at a normal social interaction, with the person who was actually least likely to frustrate him in such an attempt. It was much easier to avoid trying altogether, it would seem. Maybe he'd try again later.

"Bruno's our point man on power armor," the tall, broad man answered flatly. The stranger was of no concern to him. At least, not of any threatening kind. His arrival at the compound at this critical time actually was serendipitous--Slasher sightings had indeed been reported by various travelers who reported whispers back to Aegis over nighttime drinking hours. Even that odd duck who'd made a pass at Brigitte a few nights prior confirmed his own sighting just that morning when he'd ventured outside of the wall to meet briefly with a passing caravan. Slasher was a quiet traveler, but those who also excelled at blending into the desert as though they were born in the sand itself had their ways of recognizing the cannibal doctor.

An ex-Sigma would be such a strong asset in tracking Slasher down.

"By the way, 'John,' Bonita doesn't know I'm hunting the cannibal," Sherman gruffed honestly as the two strode ahead, side-by-side. "Figured it'd be best if I was straight with you. Demonstrate a genuine desire to collaborate on ridding ourselves of a mutual problem. A problem that has the potential to do a vast amount of harm." He glanced over to his right to study the stranger's young but harrowed face, one that looked as though it had borne witness to far more than it ought to have in its time on the earth. He understood all too well. He pointed toward the armory, down a long brick-lined path, easily discernible thanks to its doors, painted a shiny black with a metal lining, intended to direct the sun's heat away from the building itself.

Sherman silently led the way, then approached one of the ebony doors, keying a code into a small touchpad and waiting a few moments for the door to click loose. He tugged the handle open and offered the door to Null, leading the way inside. One down the long hallway, Sherman stood at a small door and gestured inward. "We've got upgrade benches or new suits, if you wish to try 'em on. I've had a hell of a time customizing mine."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Brigitte Thibodeaux Character Portrait: Isaiah Shadrach "Sherman"

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Brigitte anxiously looked through the small glass piece in the door, taking in a deep breath as she paused for a moment to collect herself before she twisted the knob open. She grimaced when she couldn't make out who was on the other side. It had been a long day... it had started by arguing with Bonita, then with 'John,' Lyki's profession to her through her door, and then followed a very uncomfortable shift of radio. She hadn't even made it a point to stop into the tavern after signing off, preferring instead to go straight to her building, trudge up the stairs, and walk into the door. Not even three minutes home, and the door was knocking.

She looked high up and nodded courteously, a little surprised to see who her guest was.

"Sherman."

"Brig." His syllable with simple but purposeful. "… may I?"

"You're welcome to come visit." She walked him inside and he looked around, having never been in her home before for more than just a few minutes. She gestured to the large armchairs in the living room area. "I've put on some tea and I'm happy to bring you some."

He nodded and cast his eyes down to the woven rug, desperately searching for an interesting detail to focus on. He didn't understand why he felt so panicked. Everything else in the world was easy. Getting what he needed wasn't a problem for him. But talking to someone he couldn't just intimidate to get what he wanted? That was a whole other problem.

Which was why he had another strategy.

"Great," he managed quietly as she brought a small tray with a few items on it. "No sugar. No thank you. Just as it is." He let his blue eyes meet her own brown eyes briefly before she blinked and nodded, breaking away awkwardly to find mugs into which to pour hot water from the kettle. He looked around the room and studied the decorative scheme. The eclectic, fun, yet intensely individualistic sense of aesthetic was even slightly intriguing as he struggled to discern details about Brigitte, whom, as he had to be realistic with himself, he barely knew on a personal level. He'd only started to really pay attention to her about ten years prior; before that he knew her as the young kid who came in after she was found at that awful scene. Sherman remembered finding her; it was one of the few times that he'd been truly bothered by what had transpired on a jaunt outside of Aegis. And as much as that experience impacted him, it felt very strange to see Brigitte and her aftermath in the following years. It wasn't until she really began to transition out of childhood that she'd much changed on the surface, which helped in leaving that part of the bitter past behind.

He blinked as he watched the small woman at the stove, her back turned to him. No doubt she'd always wanted to ask him about that.

"I bet you've got questions."

Brigitte gathered the tea sachets and nervously placed them in the mugs. With shaky hands she placed them on the counter not far from the bubbling kettle. "I do," she managed coolly, despite her high anxiety.

He adjusted in his seat, fingers tapping on the armrest of the large green chair. He studied the curiously empty photo frames strewn across the walls. "Perhaps… perhaps I should have come to you much sooner, Brig."

She flexed her hand before lifting the kettle off of the woodfire stove, willing herself to not allow her unsteady hands to spill any of the dangerously hot water from its spout. "I… I'm glad you're here now, Sherman," she responded faux-pleasantly.

He looked over at her to catch her eye from his spot as she stood in the kitchen. "Please, call me Isaiah," he said gently, while still allowing his voice to carry. She blinked, her mouth snapping partly-open in surprise. "Only if you feel comfortable, of course…"

She closed her mouth shut and plucked the two mugs carefully from the countertop and slowly made her way to the center of the living room. "I've been hoping to learn more about what had happened, "she offered tentatively, placing Sherman's mug before him, then sitting on a large chair opposite of him. "I do have to wonder why you're telling me all of this now, instead of telling me earlier. That seems strange to me."

He let himself frown again, almost looking disappointed in a funny kind of way. "Some things some people aren't ready to talk about until later," he said simply. "I doubt any of this would have changed the course of your life earlier if you'd heard it then." That wasn't the reason at all. He knew that.

"I'll be the judge of that," she snipped covertly, scooping a little bit of honey into her steeped teacup as her annoyed eyes challenged him a little.

His eyes darted up to meet hers as he reminded himself to remain calm. "I wouldn't steer you wrong," he reassured her, truly trying his hardest to be his most genuine self. "Besides. Some things I didn't learn until recently." He took in a long sigh as he watched her steady, emotionless reaction. "But… anyhow, your settlement was destroyed by a band of some of the most savage desert raiders known to all of Central Texas. All they cared to do was pillage and kill." He blew lightly on his tea as the fragrant steam breathed into his dusty nose. That felt good. "But the difference with y'all's savage raiders versus run-of-the-mill raiders of the savage persuasion is yours takes money in exchange for allegiance. So it wasn't personal. It was motivated by money. Someone bigger was looking for something at your settlement." He watched Brigitte's wide, nervous eyes as he slowly sauntered into the story. "I've been trying to learn more as time's gone on." Partially true, as he knew.

"You mean you've been actively trying to learn about this?" she interrupted quickly, springing to her feet and pacing into the doorframe of the kitchen, trying to expend a sudden bolt of nervous energy. "And you haven't told me?"

He shook his head. "I told you, none of what I'd known before would have made a difference," he said, "that is, until now."

Brigitte pursed her lip shut and seemed to swallow back a few choice words. She nodded to him politely for him to continue.

"Eventually, I tracked the raider band, four years after you came to Aegis to live with us. You were maybe 15 or 16. They liked to drift in and out of the region, but this time I had the right approach to taking them out. They still took their banknotes with them as they were lighter than carrying bottlecaps. Still hadn't used all of it. I don't think that their payout expected them to keep the bags marked with their emblem. I traced them to Austin and Washington, D.C. … it was not just some run-of-the-mill wealthy patron. It was a far-away kind of deal." He took another sip of his tea. Most of this was true. Even the part about eliminating the raiders. "Someone ran. And hid at that settlement. And got found. And that's why y'all suffered the way you did." It almost bothered him that he was leaving out a very important component of the story at the moment, but he knew that once he revealed it, she'd change her attitude quickly.

Brigitte didn't even hold her tea as she stood in the doorway from the kitchen, hands on her hips, listening to the words come out of his mouth. Her eyes bore into his in an almost abject and disdainful disbelief. "So you're thinking someone on the settlement got everyone killed… was it my family? Was it someone else?"

Sherman kept still. She was smart. "Well, your name really is Brigitte Thibodeaux," he said quietly in an attempt to divert the subject just slightly, pulling a small file from the inside of his long coat. This, this was true. "But you're not registered as having been born anywhere in the South. You're a Yankee. Or a Canuck, perhaps. See there?" He opened the file and pulled out the front page, offering both to her to examine. "You're from Montreal, it would seem. At least, your birth certificate says that. Your dad's a Quebecois type, and your mother was from the South. Enclave scientists assigned together. They ran afoul of the organization about 27 years ago."

"I was very little," Brigitte spoke out loud, just barely audible, thinking of the odd flashback she'd had about a family discussion about "running." It made more sense now. "How long did they run for?"

"Ten years, give or take? Everywhere from staying in Canada on occasion to D.C. to Texas, even some Tennessee in there. Your folks had you on the go with them forever. But it was Texas where they finally got caught up to."

"How did you all even know my name was Brigitte?" she asked warily. "I've always wondered. I never had anything with my name on it until someone made me something."

"I was the one who found your name, actually," he said, offering a trace of a smile. "It was stitched into your coat that we had to cut off when we found you. I wrote it down in my booklet when it all went down so no one would forget you had a name." He shrugged. "I had a brother killed by Raiders. Besides, I liked your name. Brigitte Thibodeaux. It made me think of old neighbors who originally hailed from Louisiana. They had real thick accents and the women sounded like they were telling you campfire stories even if it was late morning sunshine out there." She smiled and rolled her eyes. "You never had a voice like that." Brigitte burst out laughing. "But when all that happened your voice made me want to go and hide. It was awful to find a girl torn to shreds like that. Left for dead. Little girl who didn't do anything to no one." Brigitte's laughter had subsided quickly. Her face drew in very seriously. "One reason I admire you. You don't hold no grudges. You just keep going."

"Oh, no, I hold plenty of them," she corrected mildly, folding her arms around herself and looking down at the ground. "I just don't talk about them much. I'm too scared to go outside these walls. I hold plenty enough against just anything outside."

Sherman tilted his head and laughed a little. "Really? You're afraid of the desert? I thought you were just a regular homebody. No. You're truly terrified, aren't you?" Brigitte didn't flinch in her expression or form. She just watched Sherman, as though she were expecting him to continue talking. He smiled lightly. "It's true. All the more reason to help you now. There's a whole world out there and I don't think you'll be happy forever here at Aegis.

Brigitte froze at the sight of the rare smile. "What are you really here for?" she asked after a pause.

Sherman stood and placed his emptied mug on the table. "Look, I don't want to spook you or anything. For now, keep the file. You have a lot to sort through." He watched her waver only slightly. "But you come find me if you want to talk more."

"Okay." Brigitte eyed the file from afar. It was clear to Sherman that she was dying to dig through it. She waited a long moment before lifting her eyes to meet his. "What were their names?"

He nodded,not skipping a beat before he answered. "Roger and Amandine."

She could almost feel her eyes break open with tears. She held the inclination back, nontheless. "Sh… I mean, thank you… Isaiah."

He smiled broadly. She'd never said his first name before. It sounded like music. "You're welcome, Brigitte." He plucked his hat up from its spot and placed it on his head, then offered a bow and a nod. "Miss Thibodeaux." He exited via the heavy door, pulling it shut behind him. She watched the door for several seconds, then began to rifle through the contents of the file. She'd thank Sherman and sort out her feelings later—for now, there was a new thing to look through. Something she'd never dreamed of having before.