Frank Bison walked through the wasteland, leading a duo of brahmin (two headed cows) that carried his packs of merchandise. Limping along his side was Old Stumpy, a protectron security bot, whose mechanical left leg had been destroyed and replaced by a metal, peg leg Frank had found in a scrap heap.
He was a junk merchant. He had come from the Mojave wasteland, heading towards New California Republic (NCR) territory. The NCR was fighting a war with Caesar's Legion over the Hoover Dam. Frank had decided it was best to leave Nevada and head towards the greener pastures in California.
Frank was a heavyset, solid as a rock, black man who wore a long duster, a cowboy hat and carried a repeater rifle. He had worked as a ranch hand for thirty years, since he was ten, on brahmin ranches. Then five years ago he had made a career change and became a junk merchant. Better caps for easier work, he figured.
He always traded with bottle caps. It was wasteland currency. A couple times some NCR soldiers tried trading with him using NCR dollars, paper cash. Frank laughed at them. "Bottle caps are the real money in this world." he said.
Some 'new' world powers were always trying to introduce new forms of currency. Even Caesar's Legion had the Denarius and Aureus, which are more valuable than NCR dollars. Frank had vowed never to do business with Caesar's Legion. They were slavers who often burnt down towns and crucified those they did not enslave. He hoped the NCR would win the war against these monsters.
Frank came to a small town on the outskirts of the NCR called Mole Rat Hill. There he had set up shop for a few weeks, selling scrap metals, conductors, batteries and various othe junk. His best customer was a friendly ghoul named Cash, who seemed to have plenty of bottle caps. Frank also did odd jobs for old widow Jenny Jenkins, fixing her windmill, shooting mole rats that came around her farm and providing her with 'company'. He often felt that she was plenty capable of handling the first two tasks by herself.
One morning Frank headed back into town with Old Stumpy and his brahmin. The town had seemed empty and quiet, until he got to the dowtown area, where he always set up shop. There he saw about sixty people, the entire town, gathered around.
"What's this about?" Frank asked a boy named Ted.
"NCR soldiers are here. About six of them." said Ted. "One of em's Captain Creek. He's a hero from the first battle of Hoover Dam. He just arrested some ghoul."
Frank had Old Stumpy watch the brahmin as he moved through the center of the mob. There were six soldiers standing around a ghoul on his knees. He recognized the ghoul, it was Cash. Frank noticed the leader of the soldiers, Captain Creek, who had short, white hair, a scar slashing across his face, carried two pistol revolvers and had a deathclaw gauntlet on his belt.
"This ghoul has been defying the NCR for months." Creek said to the crowd, then looking down at Cash. "I kept telling you Cash, switch to NCR dollars. Stop using those damn bottle caps. NCR dollars go through our banks. They're taxable." addressing the crowd, "When you switch to NCR dollars you help the NCR. We're at war with Caesar's Legion. The NCR needs all the help we can get."
"Five NCR dollars are worth two bottle caps. It's not worth it." replied Cash, whose rotten face had been beaten. "I've been saving bottle caps for nearly two hundred years," ghouls lived a very long time, "I can't just trade them in now."
"You're in NCR territory. We use NCR dollars here." Creek said "I've given you enough warnings, Cash. I'm taking you to jail and confiscating your bottle caps."
"You can't do that." yelled Frank. The crowd around him dispersed. Captain Creek looked at Frank Bison, who continued "You can't arrest a man for something that petty. Then you're going to take his bottle caps? That ain't right!"
"You don't want to obstruct justice, brahmin boy." Creek said, his right hand hovering over his pistol. Old Stumpy came limping to Frank's side, his twin laser gauntlets pointing at Captain Creek, while the NCR soldiers stood facing Frank Bison. Creek relaxed his stance and smiled. "I can tell you're from the Mojave wasteland. Probably grew up in Goodsprings, right?"
"Primm." Frank replied.
"Ah, Primm. I was close. Grew up near the prison." Creek said. "Well, if you don't want to end up in prison, I'd suggest you go about your way."
"It's okay, Frank." said Cash. "I appreciate you standing up for me but I"ll be fine."
Frank looked down at Cash, then back at Captain Creek. "Fine." he said, as he turned and started walking away.
"One other thing, brahmin boy." said Creek. "I want you to go to the nearest trading depot, over in Fort Nix. Then I want you to switch all your bottlecaps over to NCR dollars. Tell em Captain Creek sent you. They'll be sure to take good care of you."
Frank stopped walking. He knew he'd get ripped off or robbed at Fort Nix. He also knew if he didn't do what Captain Creek said, the soldier would track him down, arrest him and rob him. Probably kill him. Frank decided to end it here.
He grabbed his rifle, spun around and shot Captain Creek in the chest. Creek flew backwards to the ground. Frank shot the nearest soldier in the neck, who was caught by surprise, then he scrambled over to Old Stumpy and hid behind the metal protectron.
Old Stumpy fired lasers from his twin gauntlets, taking down two of the NCR soldiers, who began shooting up the old robot. Frank aimed from behind Stumpy and shot down another soldier, just as a bullet hit Stumpy's face plate, decapitating the protectron and dropping him to the ground. Frank stood up, aimed his rifle at the last soldier and shot him between the eyes.
Captain Creek tackled Frank to the ground. Creek was wearing body armor that protected him from the rifle shot. He was also wearing his deathclaw gauntlet and began slashing at Frank, who rolled over to Old Stumpy's body. Creek slashed again at Frank, who dodged out of the way. Creek's deathclaw gauntlet impaled Stumpy's armor and got stuck. As Creek struggles to get the gauntlet free, Frank slides a device in Creek's pocket, then runs away.
Captain Creek yanks his deathclaw gauntlet out of Old Stumpy, hears a beeping noise and see's the bottle cap mine Frank stuck in his pocket. The explosion tears Captain Creek into a bloody mess.
"Pants exploded!" the boy, Ted, yells from the crowd.
Frank gathers his brahmin and decides to make his way back to the Mojave. He just killed six NCR soldiers. He'd be a wanted man in the New California Republic.
Cash stood up. "Thanks Frank. They were going to take everything from me."
"Sure." Frank replied. "Anyway, they would have stolen from me eventually, I figure."
"What now?" Cash asked.
Frank sighed as he looked to the east. "Guess I'll try my luck in New Vegas."