The first memory I have is of my father and me traveling the desert. It was his dream to open a business to inform people of where Vash the Stampede was, where he had been, which way he was going, and confirm his description. All in the hope of saving lives.
He started from scratch, selling our home and taking me on his Thomas from place to place in search of Vash the Stampede. It took awhile to find him, so many rumors had begun that it was hard to tell fact from fantasy but at last my father figured it out and followed the man in the red coat closely but never making contact.
It was surprising how little Vash's presence in a town was noticed and it was soon clear that he usually tried not to make trouble. But it was the actual accounts from the people who met him but did not know who he was that was the most surprising to us:
"Such a nice man. He gave up the last of his money to a starving boy."
"He was a coward. Whenever there was a fight he would step in and get beat up. He didn't even fight back."
"He was a very emotional man. Very strange. He stuffed his face with donuts and would be crying one minute and laughing the next. It was as though he were going through PMS!"
"He had such a nice smile."
"He saved my life."
"I could really fall for him."
"He opened my eyes. It was like he awakened something in me that's been gone since my childhood."
"He's fun to play with!"
"He's a dork."
It wasn't until I was older that I realized how much a revelation this was for my father. The stories that had made him start out were nothing like the truth. Vash the Stampede wasn't a bloodthirsty killer, but a truly nice guy with just a lot of trouble following him and a bad wrap. But you could never really tell. Sometimes things just didn't click and you began to wonder, 'How well do you know this Humanoid Typhoon?'
And as for my father? Well, there's a Yellow Alert Search Team, isn't here? Yes, he fulfilled his dream but rethink it a little. He only allowed those who he could trust with the precious information he had collected. No giving it out to the Cavalry and no giving it out to people who would go after the poor man or use it to their own advantage. No, the real Vash that nobody knew about - the truth behind the lies. That was what my father had and that's why he had to be careful with who he gave that information to. Only to those who understood.
It's been 17 years after my father and I started our hunt for Vash the Stampede and I'm still doing it. My father's dead but I'm still carrying on his tradition and his dream. And I'll continue to do it, no matter what my Uncle does with the business or how much power he gains.
I swear to god, he will not get my branch of Yellow Alert!
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