Monday, January 12, 2009

The Wasteland Way Of Life

Note: This is the first post in a series this week themed around Fallout 3. In it I tell some of the story as told and experienced by the character in-game.

Growing up in Vault 101 with my father and friends meant that I knew nothing about the outside other than what the Vault locals mentioned in passing. The Tunnel Snakes tried to make it sound scarier than everyone else but deep down I knew that they didn't really know for sure what was out there and that all they were doing was putting on a tough-guy act. So when my father suddenly left the Vault and I realised that I needed to follow him, I abruptly left it behind and entered into the unknown. Walking outside, with the sun shining brightly in my face as it rose over The Wastelands, I couldn't help but hesitate as I saw how huge the place was. Dad could have literally gone in any direction and I had absolutely no idea where to start, so after admiring the vast area to the South I looked around and saw a nearby suburb. After raiding through the bins and listening to President Eden talk about the "Enclave" via a flying robot, I noticed a sign saying that Megaton wasn't too far away. Figuring that it wouldn't hurt to check it out, I followed the direction it was pointing to and came across the city of Megaton. A few hours spent there was beneficial to me as I was able to earn some Caps -- the supposed currency of The Wastelands -- by doing a few small jobs for the local townsfolk like fixing a few broken water pipes. The Caps I earned then allowed me to stock up on some weapons and medical supplies to aid me on my search for my father. Speaking of which, Colin Moriarty was able to point me in the direction of my father's whereabouts after bribing me and my Caps for the information. After staying the night in Megaton I spoke with Lucy West who was worried about her family in a small town called Arefu. She asked if I could go and check on them, so figuring that it could be ages until I knew more about where my father was, I accepted and proceeded to go to Arefu.

Along the way I came across many Raiders all of whom wanted to kill me as soon as they saw me. I also came across some Giant Scorpions and a Robot, all of which also tried to kill me. Upon reaching Arefu, all the way on the end of a broken bridge, I was once again shot at. This time however it was a mistake as a reasonably paranoid local of Arefu thought that I was from a group of people known as 'The Family'. After apologizing, this local told me more about The Family and then asked me to check on the rest of the Arefu residents who had locked themselves inside their houses. An hour or so later, the residents had all been accounted for except for the Wests, whom had been attacked and killed and who were also the family I was there to look for. Speaking with the paranoid guy again and after telling him the news, he sent me on a quest to find The Family. Heading North-East, the direction I was told to search, I came across an old cinema complex, a train station and the Meresti Trainyard. Searching through the subway tunnels of this trainyard, I eventually found The Family and also found that they weren't hostile towards me. In fact, they were quite welcoming to me after some initial hesitation and even offered me to stay the night to recover after fighting the Feral Ghouls that were in the subway tunnels. After some conversing with The Family's leader, I managed to convince him to let me see Lucy West's brother who was holed up by himself in a locked room. Speaking with him, I convinced him to head back to Arefu. He gave me a letter to give to Lucy and said that he would return as soon as I spoke with the leader. I did and managed to convince him to stop pestering the Arefu locals and even protect them from Raiders and the like, so long as The Family were supplied with Blood Packs in return. The Family were cannibals meaning that they enjoyed the taste of blood. This compromise meant that The Family got what they wanted, blood, and Arefu wasn't being hassled anymore so all in all it was a win-win for the both of them. After staying the night in Arefu, I decided to return to Megaton.

Along the way back to Megaton I was once again shot at by various Raiders and other inhabitants of The Wastelands making me soon realise that it is every man for themselves out there. I kept this in mind as I arrived in Megaton, stocking up on some more weapons, bullets and medical aid with the intention of being prepared the next time I headed out. I delivered the letter to Lucy and was sad to see her reaction to losing both her parents. Her mood soon improved once she realised her brother was still alive and well though, so that was something I suppose. After seeing her cheer up I headed outside to disarm the bomb in the middle of town, something I wanted to do earlier but wasn't quite confident enough to do so. After disarming some mines and traps while exploring the subway tunnels earlier, I felt I was confident enough to give the bomb a try. Luckily it was quite easy in the end. With the bomb disarmed, the locals (save for a few) were happy and offered me gifts for saving their town. I was also offered an unused house by the local Sheriff, which was quite a nice and unexpected surprise. It wasn't much, with only the bare essentials inside but it was better than nothing. At least now I had somewhere to go and hey, I also had a helpful robot who could dispense purified water when I needed it and tell me a joke or two when I was feeling down. Things were looking up for me in The Wastelands, which is certainly not something I expected after leaving The Vault behind so suddenly. With this feeling of comfort came a feeling of hesitation though as I knew that I had to venture back out into the hostile Wastelands, unsure of what I would find next and the knowledge that it could be ages until I found my father, dead or alive. So with a disheartened sigh, I rest my head upon my pillow and drift off to sleep unaware of what could happen tomorrow...

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