Fallout Friday – Dead Men Tell Tales

It’s been a long time since my last entry.

I don’t want to count the days.

Days killing men and monsters. Days hacking at mutated beasts or digging up mutated plants or trying to stomach 200 year old radioactive processed junk for “food”. Days staying awake on Jet and Psycho and Buffout and Adrenaline. Days sleeping off wounds in bombed out shelters. Days obliterated with alcohol for the need to sleep. Days of never having a hot shower.

That’s the sort of unimportant focus on details that this sort of introspection cannot become, for my own survival. The only reason I am keeping this journal once again is to attempt to maintain my grip on reality in a life that feels absolutely unreal.

So I am going to go back to my last entry, the time I killed Kellogg, and do my best to reconstruct from there.

I remember Nick Valentine and I found a weird piece of circuitry and hardware attached to Kellogg’s amygdala among the “evidence” we gathered from our own murder scene. But how many days did I sleep on that concrete floor with a half-melted face before that?

I remember we went back to Diamond City so I could see a “doctor”, and Nick could speculate with Piper. That reporter who pisses off the mayor writing scare pieces. How many days did they drug me out of pain and hope for the best?

I remember Nick and Piper concluded we had to take the amygdala to the Memory Den. To Dr. Amari. The woman who put the brain of that murderous psychopath into my brain. And Nick’s…processor?

From that point forward?

I remember days that Did Happen.

I remember days that Did Not Happen.

I remember days where I died. There are so many of them. But those Did Not Happen because I am still alive. But I still remember dying anyway.

Ironically the one day I can focus on to keep my real-or-not-real barometer on track is The Day The Bombs Fell. The Day Shawn Was Taken. Because that day undeniably Did Happen. And that helps me focus on what really matters. Find Shawn.

Find Shawn. It has become a prayer I echo in my brain as I trudge through the bodies and the shit and the blood and the mud and the filth. Find Shawn.

Because otherwise I start trying to count the days. How many days in this hell actually belong to me? And how many of these days which I can never forget were just shoved into my brain just to maybe learn a clue to finding Shawn?

Find Shawn.

The reason I destroyed my brain.

I remember Kellogg’s most recent mission (not mine, he is not me and I am not him) was to hunt down and murder a man named Virgil who escaped from The Institute, “The Boogeymen of the Commonwealth”.

I remember that man was rumored to be hiding in The Glowing Sea, the most radioactive corner of the city. Where The Bombs Fell. The Bombs from The Day. Again, the one undeniable day everyone can agree Did Happen.

I remember I took that powersuit from Sanctuary and set off into The Glowing Sea. I remember I ran out of power cores once I got to the cave and found a Super Mutant with glasses and more clothes than a loin cloth. I remember he turned out to be Virigl.

I don’t actually remember how I managed to leave The Glowing Sea without a powersuit. But I do remember the doctor told me the white splotches on my skin and my white hair are scars for surviving ungodly amounts of radiation.

I also “remember” dying in The Glowing Sea. Being eaten by a Deathclaw. But I have this Deathclaw scar on my face I can touch anytime I want to remember I survived. Of course, a earlier journal entry confirms that happened before then. But whichever Deathclaw I got this from, I clearly haven’t actually been killed by one because I’m still alive. Death days are days that Did Not Happen, even if I “remember” them.

Scars are good. Scars keep me grounded. Any time I look at them I can touch parts of my body that confirm certain intrusive memories over others. Like markings on a map. The map I am now following to the Commonwealth Institute of Technology with Nick Valentine.

I am not entirely sure why, but there is a synth we must murder in order to Find Shawn. So that’s what I am about to do. Kill the Courser.

Find Shawn.

Fallout Friday – Dead Men Tell Tales
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Space Rat #1

I hate being terran-side. The floor doesn’t hum. How can you tell if something’s gone wrong if the floor never hums?

The air is unfiltered and unscrubbed, giving it an unforgivable taste. The people are too many, too loud, too pungent, too crammed into walkways and buildings and vehicles. Everything is too much. My heart is racing and my head is pounding. I haven’t slept in about 30 solours, and I am at least 40% certain that the xeno behind me recognizes me, but as usual I don’t recognize them. It makes me uneasy, but that’s my general state of being. Am I anxious because something bad is about to happen? Or because I’m coming down off stims? Or is it just because being on land always makes me fucking jumpy?

“Captain Neiboski, of the SFC Brooklyn Dodger, please step to the side regarding an item on your manifest. You will be redirected to an interview room for further questioning.”

I knew this would happen, even though I actually filled out the paperwork for my “item” by-the-book for once. But sentient remains on a freight class rig are bound to raise even the laziest of eyebrows.

I’m a spacer. An independent spacer, as a matter of fact. One of the most endangered species in the whole damn Confederate Galaxy. I fly my own rig, the Brooklyn Dodger, which was my Grandma and Papa’s rig, and would have been my momma’s had she not died giving birth to me. I haul whatever the fuck I decide to haul along the Sol-Remidian Circuit. Which means when the predictable boring work dries up, I might have to hustle a little harder for contracts. And might have to look to the side once in a while. And might have to talk my way through some checkpoints now and again. But at least I don’t have to do what some Con asshole tells me to do. I was born in space, I live in space, and I plan on dying in space because at least space makes sense.

I’m in one of the interview rooms now. A sterile cold white room with nothing but a Screenbot, table, and chair. It’s so quiet I can almost hear my own blood rushing through my veins. Silence is usually a sign I’m about to die, but Terraners just seem to take it for granted.

The screenbot has a digitally rendered cartoonish face projected across the table from me. It stares blankly ahead for a moment, likely accessing whatever files and regulations it’s about to lecture me on. It suddenly whirs into “life” as it begins to address me in the forms of Sapien communication it was programmed with. Its voice is overly personal and chipper for my taste.

“Captain Neibowski, according to your flight records it has been 2.4 solycles since your previous visit to your home planet. How was your trip?”

It projects what I am sure is intended to be a friendly and caring expression.

“I’ve had better, robot. My papa died on our last haul to Remidian IV and, although I have no personal attachments to this particular planet, he did. So I’m here to burn his body, scatter the ashes, drop my cargo, and collect my money before heading back.”

The screenbot now forces itself to look concerned before continuing the friendly interrogation.

“My condolences. Our inspectors became concerned because, according to your cargo manifest, there are sentient remains in a non-environmentally controlled portion of your shipment containers. As you may not be aware, this is against Confederate regulation for the transportation of deceased sentient individuals.”

“Yeah, well, I didn’t see much sense in storing him for over a solycle in a container that would only speed up the decaying process. I wanted to keep him fresh for his service. And a container with no moisture or atmosphere and sub-zero temperatures seemed like the way to go about that.”

“I understand your reasoning, Captain, but these regulations are in place for a reason. As this is your first violation for this particular matter, and because it concerns the death of an immediate family member, you will only be fined half of the standard 50,000 Credits for improper storage and transportation of restricted cargo.”

“Thanks, I really appreciate it. Next time a family member dies I’ll be sure to toss them out the airlock instead.” Screenbots, and most Xenos for that matter, never seem to pick up on snark. Maybe it’s the shitty translators.

The robot hums to itself as it processes my facial expressions and attempts to detect signs of deception.

“According to our records you have no remaining family members. But if you should discover others who later become deceased, know that remains disposal is only sanctioned in Neutral Space.”

“Thanks for the tip. Is that all, robot? Can you just deduct the credits from my ship account? I’ve got a haul to drop and money to collect before I get back to Remidian IV.”

“Your heart rate appears to be highly elevated, as well as your cortisol and adrenal levels. Is there a reason you are currently in distress?”

“I just fucking hate being on land. And I also hate discussing personal matters with a robot who isn’t programmed to actually give a shit about me.”

The robot hums again for a moment, “Yes, according to my records your bio levels, while unusual for most sapiens, are within the range of every previously monitored interview you have participated in. Would you like to consult with a Confederately-funded physician at the conclusion of this interview?”

“I’m good. The only thing I need is to get back on my rig.”

Since I’m not currently being arrested and tortured, I’m assuming neither my deception nor the other illegal cargo have been discovered. Grandma always said Cons are greedy but lazy. An obvious but minor violation like this means they’ll happily collect their fines and move along. I think being a red herring would actually make Papa proud.

“That will be fine, Captain Neibowski. As soon as your payment has cleared you will be allowed to continue through customs. However I would like to inform you that, thanks to the Sol Salvation Act, the Confederate government is prepared to extend psychological assistance to you as you grieve your loved one. As well as accommodations in an available Sol housing settlement for up to one solycle.”

“Yeah, that 25,000 Credits ought to cover at least that. Eh, bot? Thanks but no thanks. Space is where I belong.”

There is a long silence as the robot does whatever the hell it needs to do. Finally its face becomes expressive again.

“Your payment has been processed, and you and your cargo are now cleared through Sol III customs. Your sentient remains will be released to you within 24 solours upon further inspection. Welcome to Earth.”

Space Rat #1

Gynoidsaph #1

CN: Alcohol and Drug Use, Internalized Queer Antagonism, Light Bondage


I have an affliction. It’s something I try not to dwell on too often, try to push out of my mind. But on a night like tonight, my affliction refuses to be ignored.

I reluctantly walk into The Green Fairy, ashamed at my lack of control but also secretly delighted, as I always am in these moments of indulgence and weakness. It’s a sleazy overgrown shack of a bar in the G-District, nestled between abandoned buildings and run-down housing centers. Liquor licenses are normally extremely difficult to secure anywhere outside of A-District, making alcohol something only the rich normally indulge in. But The Green Fairy is about as far from “normal” as you can get, and alcohol is the least interesting product on the market. Continue reading “Gynoidsaph #1”

Gynoidsaph #1

Kill Kellogg

[Image: First-person view of Kellogg, a bald white man with a large scar across his eye wearing leather armor in a run-down war room. Caption is Dorian Mooneyham: I'm going to make you suffer.]
[Image: First-person view of Kellogg, a bald white man with a large scar across his eye wearing leather armor in a run-down war room. Caption is Dorian Mooneyham: I’m going to make you suffer.]
October 29th, 2287

After escaping Skinny Malone and his bumbling goons, Nick Valentine and I ran back to Diamond City under the cover of night. Thankfully, with targets harder to see, people get a lot less trigger happy. Of course Ellie was ecstatic. She’s a cute kid, and I’m fairly certain she has a crush on our mutual robot friend. He was all business though, and wanted to take down my case as soon as we were back at his office.

[Image: Nick Valentine's Detective Agency. From left to right, Nick Valentine, a synth private eye in trench coat and hat; Dorian Mooneyham, our Mary Sue in Blue vault suit, white with a dirty blond ponytail; and Ellie Perkins, brunette assistant with a wasteland-but-cute skirt and top with converse sneakers. Caption is Ellie Perkins to Nick Valentine: Hmph, you keep laughing at death, some day, death's going to laugh back.]
[Image: Nick Valentine’s Detective Agency. From left to right, Nick Valentine, a synth private eye in trench coat and hat; Dorian Mooneyham, our Mary Sue in Blue vault suit, white with a dirty blond ponytail; and Ellie Perkins, brunette assistant with a wasteland-but-cute skirt and top with converse sneakers. Caption is Ellie Perkins to Nick Valentine: Hmph, you keep laughing at death, some day, death’s going to laugh back.]
Reliving that moment when my baby was stolen was…rough. To say the least. But I gave them every detail I possibly could. What the man and woman were wearing, how they talked, what they said. And his face. With that bald head and that nasty scar across his left eye. Not dissimilar to the scar I have now from that monster that attacked me in the power suit. As soon as I mentioned the scar, Ellie and Nick both went quiet.

“You don’t think–?” Ellie trailed off.

“What? Who is it? Give me a name, goddammit!” I demanded.

Kellogg. Continue reading “Kill Kellogg”

Kill Kellogg

It’s No Emerald City

October 27th, 2287

It’s only been four days since I woke up from the Vault, and I’ve already had to kill 78 men in order to survive this horrible world. That’s right, I’ve kept count. I thought I would forget after the second dozen or so, but I can’t. The killing doesn’t get easier, but I hate to admit I’m getting better at it.

Dogmeat and I left the Red Rocket early in the morning and made our way south toward Fenway Park. Or “Diamond City”, as I suppose it is known now. Before we even got far we saw two goons who looked like they were trying to rob an old lady and her son at the Drumlin Diner. I tried to be diplomatic. He stuck a gun in my face. Without thinking I tackled him, threw him over my back, and stabbed his companion in the neck, then stomped his head in before a single shot could be fired. The old lady, Trudy, was grateful. If a little frightened. Turns out they were pushers and had gotten her grandson hooked on junk, squeezing him for cash. (Sorry, “Caps”. Apparently bottlecaps are currency now.)

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Continue reading “It’s No Emerald City”

It’s No Emerald City

Lost in Time

Last known date: October 23, 2077

My name is Dorian Mooneyham and I am starting this journal because I have just had the worst day possible. In what feels, to me, like less than 24 hours, I’ve seen the world destroyed by nuclear annihilation between America and China, been frozen in an underground vault for god knows how long, watched my newborn kidnapped and my husband murdered, and woken up to find nothing but giant cockroaches and dead neighbors and a nuclear wasteland.

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I used to be a counselor, before the bombs fell. Ran a youth center with my husband once he came back from the war. We finally adopted a kid of our own after clearing countless amounts of red tape and citizenship screening. Technically, women like me have every right to adopt as other women in this day and age, but in reality we have to lay on the femininity pretty thick to get through the gates. But we did it, goddammit. And after a bright flash and a cold nap, it’s all been stolen from right in front of me. Continue reading “Lost in Time”

Lost in Time