- "This may look like a sheet of metal but don't be fooled;it is the bones of our brothers. Every hammer blow to it is a reaffirment to their sacrifice and our brotherhood. And sisterhood. Siblinghood. Fuck you, make the metal into armor, don't die, don't snitch, and watch each others back."
- ―Screwdriver, leader of the Rust Bones in an eloquent mood.
|The Rust Bones|
|Group type:||raiders, craftsmen, traders|
|Location(s):||Honor's Cost, Rapid City, South Dakota|
|Enemies:||raiders, Custer's American Army, American Northern Army|
One of many raider gangs in the ruins of Rapid City, The Rust Bones have been there since 2189, and have withstood the rise of the Mutants, the Regulators, the Junkies, and Custer. Inhabiting Honor's Cost they are the only sellers of Shiver in the wasteland, something that has brought them wealth at the cost of some addiction. One of the more "civilized" clans, they are still very willing to strip someone down, pulse or not.
The Rust Bones began as a group of children playing in one of the scrap fields of Rapid City. Originally just playing 'cops and raiders' with the various pieces of debris acting as goods and weapons, as they got older they began to try and make things with it. After some members of the group had altercations with other teens, they began to make weapons and armor from the scrap, using them in the rumbles that happened most nights. By 2189 the teens had formed into a proper gang, and took the name 'rust bones' after the scrap metal they wore and wielded.
They at first only attacked rival gangs, but by 2192 they would raid caravans and travelers in the city. They would establish themselves in a diner downtown, and scrap with other gangs when not raiding. They would recruit other youths and by 2205 be one of the better know gangs in the ruins, mostly due to their armor. When The 8s were destroyed by a group of Dakota Regulators in 2208, some of the Bones sensed trouble. Their leader at the time, Jeff, sent a messenger to several other gangs in the ruins, urging an alliance to drive the Regulators out.
While several gangs would turn down the proposal, enough would join to cause Jeff and his Bones to go on the offensive, which they did in the spring of 2209. Although numerically superior, the rag-tag coalition was under-armed, undisciplined, and assaulting a fortified position. They would have the advantage of surprise however as the Regulators hadn't expected such a force so soon, and as their leader tried to rally his men from the wall, a sniper shot him in the throat. The raiders would climb over the still writhing body to scale the walls, engaging in a savage melee with the defenders.
When the last blow was struck, the raiders had emerged victorious. They looted the base and celebrated, with The Rust Bones claiming it, renaming it "Honor's Cost" after the last words of Nuelson, the Regulator commander. The bones would try to keep the alliance together, hoping to drive out some of the more dangerous gangs, but mutual mistrust and greed ended it shortly after the victory. The Bones would continue to raid and fight over the next few decades, with smaller gangs joining as The Great Raider Wars spread to Rapid City. They would also start to take on tribal superstitions as the original members died, placing their armor on a crude tower in the center of The Cost.
These newer generations would continue to make their own armor, even establishing a small forge in the Cost, though few would have the skill or talent to use it well. They would continue to fight their rivals around the city and the Regulators whenever they could, and would think their position fairly secure. This belief was rocked in 2225 when they were betrayed by The Superiority, the Mutants gunning down a dozen leading members to establish themselves as the top crew.
There would be a brief period of infighting, but leadership was again established, this time by a newer member called Slingtop. She would prove herself not in combat against her rivals, but also by making an excellent suit of metal armor that could withstand pistol rounds. She would demonstrate this on a raid against the Hammers, a rival for their scrapyard, shrugging off three rounds before cleaving a Hammer's head in twain.
She would also oversee the expansion of The Cost, ensuring that they could expand their ranks in comfort. Slingtop would lead the gang until her tragic death in 2248, due to a Med-x overdose. After the gang mourned and put her armor reverently on the tower, they would need to choose another leader. Slingtop had three notable lieutenants, all of whom claimed succession. They all would try to press their claim on the field, raiding every caravan and Regulator patrol they could. Armoire would try to outdo his rivals by attacking a group of Rockers, but would be caught unaware by two members during the attack.
The Bones looked ready to be massacred by the mercenaries, but a new recruit called Screwdriver would smack several of his fellows with his shotgun, telling them to 'die in their fronts' before charging towards the Rockers. Not wanting to be showed up by this youngster, the raiders rallied and over ran the Rockers, easily beating them in a brutal melee. Word of Screwdriver would spread through The Cost once the raiders returned, carrying loot, severed heads, and the armor of their fallen.
Screwdriver would soon become a prominent figure in the clan, and would continue to fight the 'civilized' factions throughout the ruins. His rule was formally acknowledged in 2253, and he began to build up the gang, aiming to replace their losses from The Great Raider Wars. These numbers would be slashed in 2259 however, when the chem-crazed Vault Dwellers of Vault 52 swept across the ruins. Destroying everything in their path, Screwdriver thought this would be a great opportunity to demonstrate the clan's strength to the city.
This would prove to be a costly mistake, as the Bones were overrun by the Dwellers, most of whom didn't even notice their wounds. Screwdriver would pull back those he could to The Cost, which would fall under siege for a week before the raiders managed to sally out and rout their attackers. Despite this victory, The Bones were severely weakened, having lost two-thirds of their manpower to the Dwellers as well as having most of their home destroyed.
The remaining raiders would pull closer to the center of their base and focus on rebuilding their numbers, raiding only occasionally. As Custer and the Regulators began to increase their attacks on the city's raiders, however, the Bones struck back. They would target the scrap caravans that feed the Regulator's warmachine as well as the supply caravans that feed Custer's troops in the city. In this, they would be joined by their rivals, yet again forced together in the face of 'civilized' threats.
While this boosted their reputation in the ruins, it was rarely profitable and their home would remain in disrepair. This would change in 2279 when one of the Bones heard about, and went to shakedown, a new chem dealer. He would return and try to tell Screwdriver about him, but fell asleep twice during the conversation. Curious about this new chem, the chief sent for this chemist, who introduced himself as Edward Taylor. He called his chem Shiver and had brought several samples, which met with great approval from the Bones. Screwdriver would work out a deal with Taylor and begin to sell Shiver to friendly raider band.
Since then the Bones are again on an upward path, with Shiver proving extremely popular and even drawing in merchants and smugglers who see the profits to be made. They have rebuilt some sections of The Cost, but focus their time more on war. They also claim to have made Shiver, which has brought in a pair of hopefuls who wish to learn the process. They are currently preparing for the winter and the inevitable warring in the spring.
- "The Bones can never end; we may die but this city is built on rusted bones"
- ―Screwdriver on his raiders
- "White devils, they think shiver will make them rich. It will only lead them further down the needle. "
- ―Huan, leader of The Yen Boys