Fan Fic / Justifying The Ends
Justifying The Ends
is a collection of Fallout: New Vegas
one-shots written by Liangnui
. The stories follow the adventures of the Courier (an Asian woman named Meda Li) and the various companions as they explore the wastes and try to build a better future for the Mojave.
Originally, the various stories were fairly disjointed, if in chronological order, but since "Nellis" the chapters are starting to tie together more strongly. All of the stories so far are told from the human companions' perspectives, with each having two or three chapters written entirely for them.
This work provides examples of:
- Action Girl: All four female members of the Courier's group are this, with three of them being close-range fighters (the exception being Cass).
- Almighty Mom: The Courier's mother is described in terms that make it seem like she's basically Boone, if Boone was sixty, a tiny Chinese woman, and had lots of kids and grandkids.
- Anti-Climax: "Cottonwood Cove."
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Averted. The Courier generally takes at least three companions on any given excursion, or more depending on the scale of the conflict they're out to solve. Bitter Springs is the first time all of them were involved at once.
- Artistic License – Gun Safety: In-universe, since the Courier is extremely bad at using guns even though pretty much every other resident of the wasteland with opposable thumbs can at least use a pistol.
- The Atoner: Boone fits this. And this is the main reason the Courier joined the Followers of the Apocalypse.
- Berserk Button: Legionaries for Boone. "Acceptable losses" for the Courier.
- Breather Episode: There are generally one or two comedic chapters before the drama kicks in again.
- Body-Count Competition: Implied during "South Vegas."
- Bond One-Liner: "Ring-a-ding-ding, baby."
- Call-Back: Played for dark comedy in "The Strip." The delivery is funny, but the particular nature of the Call-Back is rather serious.
- Can't Hold Her Liquor: The Courier inherited "Asian Flush." Cass was disappointed.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Arcade's sarcastic moments in "Ultra-Luxe," mostly because everyone in the Courier's party expects a gunfight at any moment.
- Cerebus Roller Coaster: Deliberately done. On one hand, the first two chapters feature the One For My Baby and Nipton subquests. On the other, the next four are based on interaction with the companions and mocking the the Courier. And the more recent chapters have been relatively dark until "The Strip."
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In "Nipton," "South Vegas," "Nelson," "Return to Gomorrah," and "Bitter Springs."
- Deadpan Snarker: Everyone except for Lily. The Courier is generally the one being snarked at.
- Epic Fail: The Courier manages to miss a billboard at a hundred feet.
- Extended Disarming: In "Gomorrah."
- Femme Fatale: Mentioned more than seen—the Courier killed Benny after sleeping with him.
- Fragile Speedster: It's not brought up much, but the fact that the Courier prefers to go around unarmored and carry a melee weapon means that she's essentially an ambush fighter. Her tendency to disappear as soon as a gunfight starts and attack from the flanks or rear means that she's very aware of it.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: The Courier has a pretty nasty, uneven gash across her left cheekbone as a result of shrapnel injuries while trying to reach Nellis (and a lot of smaller ones across her entire left side from the same incident), but she's still nice enough despite all odds.
- She also has a scar on her chest from open-heart surgery when she was a child
- Guile Heroine: The Courier, of course.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Almost entirely inverted in the case of the Courier's party, since all of the male characters prefer to fight at ranges of more than ten or twenty feet, while Cass is the only female character to prefer guns to stabbing (the Courier), punching (Veronica), or smashing (Lily).
- Hidden Depths: Most of the characters have this, though in the Courier's case it's more hidden since all of the stories take place from her companions' perspectives.
- Indy Ploy: The Courier seems to be working this into her repetoire as of "The Fort." Arcade expects casualties.
- I Did What I Had to Do: One of the many undercurrents in the story is the Courier's trouble with this concept.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: In "Jacobstown," though not in so many words.
- Knife Nut: There is no reason any sane wastelander should be carrying that many more knives than guns. However, this Courier is a melee specialist.
- Large Ham: The Courier has a moment like this in "Ultra-Luxe."
- Limelight Series
- Mama Bear: The Courier is this to her friends
- Mood Whiplash: Most of the chapters have a tendency to combine humor with serious subject matter, such as "Nelson" and "Lucky 38." "Bitter Springs" was the epitome of this trope's use.
- Miniature Senior Citizens: The Courier's mother is smaller even than her
- Mysterious Past: Ulysses has very good reason to think of the Courier as the harbinger of the apocalypse. Most of which has to do with how Hopeville became the Divide.
- Never Mess with Granny: The Courier's mother. And Lily, of course.
- Noodle Incident: The "incident regarding ammunition stores" that apparently resulted in the Courier being thrown out of the NCR.
- Nothing Up My Sleeve: The Courier carries two switchblades in there.
- Older Than They Look: The Courier is actually about thirty years old, but people regularly mistake her for being barely out of her teens because she's small and doesn't have wrinkles yet.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: The Courier may be only five feet tall, but she's lethal with an edged weapon.
- Plucky Comic Relief: ED-E. Yes, the robot.
- Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner / Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Mostly courtesy of the Courier. Examples include:
Li: "I'm going to wear your head like you wear that dog's."
Li: "As far as the Legion goes, it just saves us the trouble of finding them."
Li: "What in hell made you think that was a one-time thing?"
- Running Gag: "Shut up, Gannon."
- Shoot the Messenger: The Courier has Alerio killed in "The Strip."
- Slasher Smile: The Courier pulls this off in "South Vegas Ruins."
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The story seems to hover somewhere in the middle, with the Courier being generally more idealistic than her peers. Boone and Raul are the cynics.
- Something Completely Different: "Sticky Notes." Nothing happens. Really.
- Stock Quotes: "Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war."
- Straight Man: Generally, the role is shared between Cass, Boone, and Arcade.
- Tranquil Fury: After having her Berserk Button pressed earlier in "Ultra-Luxe," the Courier decides to deal with Mortimer. Permanently.
- Weirdness Magnet: The Courier, though the companions are starting to wonder if that's their problem.
- Youngest Child Wins: The Courier is established as being the youngest of six siblings, and has the fate of the Mojave in her hands.