the ballad

of coffee

unsung

(part

five:

bobby

blamco)

 

the vault

dweller

ventures

west across

the common

-wealth to a

green lit

location in

a battle worn

pip-boy

marked from

the second

ghoul bard’s

guide crudely

scribbled onto

an old world

amusement

park map with

a purple, kid’s

menu

restaurant

crayon. a red

rocket gas

station stands

in the dawn of

the doomsday

sun, east of

the defunct

nuka-cola

bottling plant,

south of the

corporate city

of bradberton.

the dweller

spots a

simple scrap

nest on the

roof met from

the back by

a pair of

ramshackle

ramps and a

rusted perch

of scaffolding.

upon further

approach the

dweller finds

a general

trading

emporium

lean-to of

refuse fused

to a single

room built

around a

humming

fusion

generator. a

haggard mr.

handy robot

hovers with

three curious

eyes in

various

states of

focus,

 

welcome to

you traveler,

any interest

in a trade?

 

the robot

coughs

in the clearly

programmed

gravel of an

intelligent

ghoul.

 

my interest is

in information

and a ghoul

named bobby

blamco.

 

the vault

dweller says

through deftly

veiled startle

at the sound

of its voice.

 

the mr. handy

narrows all

three of its

pupils at the

dweller and

parries,

 

what need do

you have with

him?

 

he’s the last

bard of three,

ward to a

ballad of

legend and

i’m here

for his verse,

 

the dweller

replies.

 

i’m the bard

you seek,

patently not a

ghoul, but

modified to

sound as

such by the

titular legend

himself. caps

or fusion

cores for

what remains

of my verse.

 

what do you

mean by

‘what

remains’ of

your verse

and what

need does a

robot have

with caps or

fusion cores?

 

these past

two postwar

centuries 

haven’t been

exactly kind,

the answer to

both of those

questions is

damage.

 

bobby raises

his right hand

absent its

saw blade.

 

the dweller

produces

an issue of

total hack

magazine

from his bag

and says,

 

i can offer

you better

than caps

and fusion

cores.