Fallout: Homecoming

Last time on our adventures in Fallout, Athena was a marriage counselor, a career counselor, and a health inspector. She’s a multi-talented one, that Athena. Where will she be using those talents next? Let’s find out.

So Athena has been out in the wastes for a couple of weeks now. All her best friends are already dead. Maybe she’s feeling a little homesick. Wants to go back, chat with everyone, remind herself why she’s doing this. I mean, it’s one thing to know she’s going to save the 2000 people she’s known for as long as she’s been alive. But it’s another thing entirely to see their smiling faces. So what if she hasn’t actually saved them, yet? Athena needs her good juju!

So we head back home. Back to Vault 13. The journey takes us several days in completely the opposite direction from where we’re likely to find the water chip our vault desperately needs, but… I’m sure it’s for the best. It’s not like it’ll doom everybody. Right?

So we take Tycho and Dogmeat back to the mountain Vault 13 is built into. If Ian were still alive, he’d have some stuff to say about this place, but he’s not. Dogmeat’s not doing a great job of keeping the conversation going in his stead.

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At the entrance of the vault, we remember to loot Ed’s body this time, although everything he has is plenty outdated by now. Athena punches her code into the keypad, and the door actually works this time! Vault dwellers! For the first time, your hero has returned! Give her your adulation!

The vault is largely unimpressed. Athena responds by looting a bunch of flares from an emergency locker near the entrance of the vault. Then she talks to the doctor, who says she’s doing just fine and tries to shoo her on her way. Nobody else cares.

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In fact, everyone just complains about how late it is, and refuse to talk to her.

Woman is out there, risking her life so that they can all enjoy a crisp, cool glass of water, and they don’t have the basic decency to absolutely adore her. Maybe these jerks don’t get their water chip.

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Athena goes down to the bottom level of the vault, the primarily administrative floor. She chats with an armory guard there. The guard says the overseer only allows certain people into the armory. Athena points out that he only lets people who have need for weapons into the armory, and as the vault’s hope for salvation, she might have a little bit of need. He lets her in. We have need of taking all this stuff to sell on the outside. A bunch of weapons, but nothing that we don’t already have. Not quite what the armory guard was expecting, but we’ll keep the spirit of our business here intact by selling these to get a bigger gun. And maybe a new car. And a nice night out on the town. All official vault business.

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We chat with the vault overseer, letting him know we haven’t gotten it all done, yet, and we have no leads and no hope, but we’re confident in our success. We also tell him that the wasteland does not suck horribly, and maybe, you know, everyone could live out there. He’s not exactly enthusiastic about the idea. He is actually supportive of our progress, telling us he knows we’re giving it our all and that means a lot to him.

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There’s nothing left for us to do now, so we rest until morning so that people will, you know, actually talk to Athena. They’re a little more welcoming after they’ve all got their coffee. Although they still don’t get her name right.

Now that it’s morning, there’s someone guarding the stored water, and we chat with him a bit. He relates that, well, things are a little tense. After they’ve sent out three people with no good news in return, vault dwellers have been getting some people desperate. The guard himself has been cracked over the head by an intrepid water thief recently, who knocked him right the heck out. He thinks it’s only a matter of time before somebody gets killed over some stolen water. Athena promises to look into it.

Chatting with some of the other vault dwellers on the residential floor, it turns out that maybe he’s not too far off. Other people have been getting their water rations stolen. Nobody’s been killed yet, other people have shared, but things have been getting tighter, frictions been building, it’s not been good.

We also talk to a dissatisfied vault dweller, who reveals that there’s a group within the vault who’s really pushing to leave and make a life for themselves on the wastes. The overseer’s been shutting them down so far, but they’re prepared to fracture off from them. They tell us that Theresa’s the group’s leader, and that they’ll be holding a meeting tonight.

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We go and talk to Theresa ahead of the meeting. She takes a moment to ask about what the wastes are like, we report that it sucks and the overseer has some reasons for keeping what’s outside out. She sees our point, and the whole group decides to just call it off and wait for Athena to…

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Wait, what? What?! WHAT?! Athena failed a speech check?! No. No, that didn’t happen. Couldn’t have happened! Athena does two things very, very well! She shoots, and she talks! If the one doesn’t work, then, well…

Nah, we’ll leave them to their doom on the outside. We’ve only got one chance at that, so no going back and trying to convince her again. If we were to hang around here, eventually Theresa and her group would leave the vault, never to be seen again.

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Out of curiosity, we do return when it’s time for that meeting. Turn’s out Theresa’s group already left, but she’s got herself a speech all ready to go, so she’s rolling through that anyways. Still doesn’t like Athena at all, but you know, she did all that hard work thinking it up. So what if it’s to an empty room? This is going through anyways.

Yeah, with the amount of glitches and weird stuff we’re starting to see, you might get the impression that they didn’t quite go over it as thoroughly as they should. Balderdash, I say. These are all completely and utterly deliberate. The fact that the game stopped shy of being finished is part of its charm.

We’ve still got that business with the water thief, though. We don’t know much about them, aside from that it was late at night when they clobbered the guard. So we stake out the water room. The three of us hide ourselves in the lounge near the room, and just wait. For a while. We break out the cards.

Just after midnight, we’re no longer alone on this floor. One of our fellow vault dwellers comes out of the elevator, scopes out the hallways for a bit, than gets himself through the security locks and into the water storage.

We confront him on the way out.

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He says he couldn’t sleep, and was just wandering around. Athena doesn’t buy this. Checks his pockets. And what do you know, we got him. The thief doesn’t put up a fight, just goes straight to the office guards and checks himself into their custody. No violence, no conflict. Just nice, peaceful, and responsible.

Yeah, these vault guys wouldn’t last a second out in the wastes.

8 responses to “Fallout: Homecoming

  1. Seriously, though. How did Athena fail a speech check?!

    Anyway, I’m glad she Nancy Drew’d out the water thief. It’s also nice to see that some criminals have high levels of integrity. Or something like that.

    • I know that’s probably a rhetorical question, but figured I’d drop some science on it anyways. Skills in Fallout run from 0%-200%, although aside from combat skills, you don’t get any significant benefit from taking them over 100%. Athena’s speech is at 75%, which isn’t perfect, but is much higher than you’d expect for your average level 5 character. To make those speech checks, you need a minimum level of speech skill and charisma in order to not automatically fail, then you need to succeed at an invisible dice roll that’s influenced by the difficulty of the check and how strong your speech skill is. This isn’t a particularly demanding skill check. As unlikely as it was, the random number generator just wasn’t kind to Athena this time around.

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