Fallout: The Dark.

In the wastelands of Washington D.c. there are tales of a creature prone to terrible violence, but only against the evil that inhabits the land. A tall figure, his face disfigured and without skin, stalks the raiders and mutants of this world, hunting down injustice and crime. The people of the metropolitan area know him by one name: The Dark.

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1. Gruesome Shadow.

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Throbbing.

The throbbing was constant, pounding against her temples. The blow had come out of nowhere, across her cheek, sending her careening into the soft dirt of the wasteland. She could taste copper in her mouth, dripping crimson out of her swollen lips. She tried to talk, but only a small gurgle escaped from her throat. Trying to push herself off of the ground, another punch slammed into the back of her head. Her eyesight was becoming darker. The whole world spun.

Somewhere above her, she could hear a deep, dark laugh. "Hey there, little miss. Where do you think you are going?"

Her eyes began to fill with tears from both the pain and the foreseen outcome of her bad luck. She had been warned of Raiders near this road. But she didn't listen. Now she was paying the price. 

A dirty hand reached down and roughly grabbed her shoulder, lifting her away from the ground. She got a good look at her assailants now: five young men decked out in scrapes of metal and old tires, each with a look of murder in their eyes. 

"How about we go inside and play?", The bandit holding her shoulder hissed, suddenly dragging her to the nearest building. It looked like an old grocery store, now decrepit and abandoned. As they passed through the front door, the tears began freely cascading down her cheeks, as she realized this was where she would die. 

The group laughed as she was thrown to the ground once again. They all slowly began surrounding her, ogling her like she was a piece of meat. They began grabbing makeshift weapons from nearby debris piles. Wooden planks. Iron pipes. Anything that would cause immense pain. The girl felt her body began to shake uncontrollably.

"Aw, don't be afraid," One of the bandits, apparently the leader, whispered, kneeling down to her level. "It will all be over soon."

Clank. 

The group stopped and turned towards the noise. One of the members had dropped his metal pipe. His gaze was distant, as if he wasn't looking at anything. He slowly slumped down to his knees and fell over. 

A knife was jutting out the back of his skull, oozing blood. 

The group reacted instantly, looking towards the shadowy isles of the supermarket. "Who's there!" Their voices were paniced. The confidence and evil was now replaced by fear. They quickly formed a circle, each one franticly looking around for any sign of the assailant. 

Something moved in the shadows. 

With a small whimper, the leader of the group pulled out a gun from his belt, holding it awkwardly out towards the darkness. "Come on out, fucker! W-we'll kill ya!"

The girl glanced up, trying to comprehend what was happening. Then she noticed . . . two more bandits were missing from the group. The last two ruffians slowy realized this fact too. "Shit!"

One of them tried to run towards the door, but something rushed out of the darkness and grabbed him, dragging the screaming man into the blackness. The remaining bandit was the leader, who quickly formed a plan. He grabbed the girl and pulled her up, holding her like a shield. He pressed the cold barrel of his gun against her neck, breathing quickly. "Whoever you are, you better show yourself! Or the lady is fucking dead!" 

Silence. 

Nothing but shadows. 

Then, from out of the darkness came heavy footsteps. Boots cracking against the broken glass on the ground. Something slowly morphed out of the shadows, what looked like a man in a trench coat and fedora. Then his face . . .

His face.

Devoid of any skin or eyelids, the man's face was similar to the feral ghouls the girl had heard about. His lips were gone, showing off a permanent grin. The eyes were milky white and terrifying. There was no nose from what they could see. The girl could feel the bandit's jaw drop behind her. 

The ghoul man just stood there, not saying a word. 

"N-now, aren't you a dumb one," The bandit stuttered, pointing his gun towards the strange man. "Should have left when you had the chance!"

In one quick moment, the ghoul man produced a revolver from the sleeve of his coat, and aimed it at the arm of the Bandit. Before he could react, the room echoed with the blast from the revolver. The bullet slammed into the Bandit's gun hand, causing the entire appendage to explode in a sea of blood and bone. The thug quickly let go of the girl, gripping the bloody stump of what used to be his hand, screaming in agony. 

The ghoul man simply walked up and produced a hatchet from the other sleeve of his coat. With one solid swing, the screams from the Bandit were silence forever. 

The girl just simply sat there, shock coursing through her body. The man turned towards her, causing more fear to course through her veins. He approached, slowly. "Are you alright?"

The voice was deep and gravely, as if his throat had been burned. He held out his hand, offering to help her up. 

She simply stared at the gloved hand, unable to comprehend what had just happened. "I'm. I'm ok," She whispered, blinking the tears from her eyes.

"Are you hurt?" The man asked, his mouth not moving. She frowned, noticing this detail. Maybe it was just a mask . . . 

"J-just some bruises, but i'll be ok," She murmured, hugging her knees. "Why did you save me?"

The man simply stood there, silent. 

"Who are you?"

"Just a man trying to do good things in a bad world."

He knelt down, his white eyes staring deep into hers. "They call me The Dark." 

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