.and so it goes. | .piper.

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"That's the brewery?" Dean checked a thumb to his right. Beantown Brewery loomed beside them, cold as the falling rain.

"Yeah," said Piper, squeezing rain from her hair. "It's not functioning anymore, so don't get your hopes up."

"No hopes here," said Dean, scrunching his nose. "I can handle the smell of stale beer better than the next guy, but this just reeks."

"An old water treatment plant may to be blame for part of it," said Danse. He'd been doing that a lot, Steel'splaining, as Piper liked to call it. "Across the river. Super mutants turned it into a bucket of filth, and I don't mean just by being there."

"Sounds like the kind of place your General might wanna secure," said Dean.

"Maybe," said Piper. It wasn't worth mentioning to Danse that she had personally helped Blue secure the site and return water to Graygarden. Danse hadn't been around then, and the Brotherhood didn't need to know that taking charge of the plant would cut off Graygarden's water. He probably already had a plan in place to hack the robots and take all the food. Another example of you withholding a good story for the Greater Good, Piper, she thought, but that had been a personal favor to Blue.

Laughter sounded over the hill. Dean perked up his head. "What's that?"

"Nothing to worry about," Danse cut in. Piper growled beneath her breath. "Oberland Station, under Minutemen control. It has no real advantage other than proximity to the city."

"That place ain't as fortified as the others." Dean tried peering through the trees toward the warm, orange glows of Oberland. "She doesn't care that much about it?"

Piper shrugged her brows. "Well-"

"Like I said, it has no value." Danse continued walking. "The ground is full of rocks, and while it sits on a hill, it really only overlooks the water. Enemies have the advantage on land. To build a wall tall enough to fortify against such an attack could potentially disrupt the amount of sunshine the crops receive. It's only good for an overnight stay."

Dean kicked a stick. "Are we far from this Diamond City?"

"No," said Piper. "We keep moving."

"He has a point," Danse said, to which Piper grit her teeth. "It's still raining, and our route is along the riverbed. We should consider Oberland."

"Afraid that machine of yours will get stuck?"

"Power armor is replaceable," said Danse. Must be nice to have the means of the Brotherhood. "Lives are not."

"The route is fine," said Piper. Staying in Oberland would only delay Blue's rescue further. "I've taken it in worse rain than this, on darker nights than this, without the luxury of a lantern. It's our best shot of making it by the camps, unless you suggest we take the road overrun by Rust Devils and ferals?"

"Rust Devils will be taking shelter in this storm," said Danse.

"Oh, great, so the ferals are okay."

"I would rather they catch scent of us on solid land rather than in thick mud."

"Got news for you, Danse." Piper turned and stared both of them down. "Ferals can't fly, and even if we follow the banks a little farther in, we'll still be out of harm's way. Nothing hangs out here. Not even a bloatfly. The worst we're gonna get is a little mud in our shoes, and last I checked, there's a spot we can clean them in Diamond City. Called my house. Also, let's not forget who Preston put in charge here, or does the Brotherhood recommend disobeying the orders of a superior?"

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