Fallout: Denver and area

Past tragedy and understanding. Episode 3

Once the initial shock and wariness brought on by the appearance of Tag had passed, preliminary conversations had, and the one wound that was endured in the firefight tended too, the explorers turned once again to salvage. Any and everything that was thought to have trade value was examined and packed away. Though once again, as was pointed out by Melvin ‘Tag’ Taggart in their initial meeting, the fledgling explorers passed on the foodstuffs, being mildly irradiated as it was.

In the course of these explorations of the shattered ‘interior’ of the house, it occurred to Quin, the crossbow wielding member of the team, that in a lot of the old movies that they had to watch on Vault Movie Night, Farmhouses like this often had a storm cellar or root cellar. Certainly the one in that Wizard of Oz movie did. He went out to walk the house full circle, just to see. Finding a suspect looking unexplained mound of earth and grasses butted up against one side of the house, they cast about for some digging tools, scrabbling a bit by hand in the meantime. Success! There was a grown over cellar entrance!

They checked for traps as best they could, not really having the skills to do so, and not really sure what to look for. But sure it was still a wise thing to do. Who knows, they may be right! As was beginning to become a theme, after some discussion, they ordered Mr. Handy to take the lead. He did so with his usual mindless obedience, throwing open the doors. When nothing happened, Mr. Handy was ordered down the packed earthen ramp, into the depths of the cellar.

There being, a short while later, no explosion or gouts of flame, the team joined by Tag, ventured down to see what their robotic lackey had found. The answer? A Vault! Well, more accurately, a Vault-Tec Home Bunker door. They pressed the power switch on the inactive keypad, more out of curiosity than expectation, and were shocked to see it power up. Random numbers were tried, others looked for where the code might be hidden in the dirt floored and walled ‘anteroom’ of the Bunker.

At this point in time, with everyone down in the rather small space before the bunker, Mr. Handy spoke. ‘Oh. Hey! I’m back! Vere am I now? Vat is happenink?’ It’s head, for lack of a better term, begins to swivel, its lenses spinning into focus on various faces. ‘Oh, oh. It’s you! Good to see you’s again! What has happened while I was away? Vere are ve now? Is it safe, are dere moor bugs?’ Mr. Handy lives up to his name during all of this, becoming very touchy. This does nothing to ease the sudden tension.

The gathered humans collectively withdraw, as much as is possible in these confines. Quin and Steve begin answering Mr. Handys questions, and countering with ones of their own, all while Clint and Tag look on, then begin asking questions of their own, Tag going so far as to draw and ready his rifle, though he does not point it aggressively at the robot. His ‘What the Hell is Going On with That Thing?’ brings everyone up short. For a moment. ‘Oh, oh! Who is zis? Who are Zeze?’ the unit says, its head and cameras buzzing more still.

New introductions are made. Mr. Handy reciprocates, introducing himself as Czaba. Clint remarks over the Ruskie sounding accent(‘No, no, Bosnian’, the unit chimes in), and begins to conjecture that the unit is a foreign spy, much to its protests. Still, even with the concern and suspicion, it is filled in on events it missed! It all seems too much for Tag, who lets it be known that he’s out, and will keep a watch up top. Back to the business at hand, opening the Bunker door. Disturbingly enough, it becomes clear that ‘Czaba’ is a shoulder hoverer. Moving in close to see what Quin and Steve are doing. ‘Czaba’ is asked if he can help in any way, gathers some information and says ‘I vill be back!’ Mr. Handy says ‘Ready.’ in his standard voice, and is quickly ordered to shut down. It complies. It is decided to try to take it’s flamethrower offline ‘just in case’. ‘Czaba’ comes back online partway through the procedure, protesting and slamming the access panel shut. Things get quite heated, and a little comedic, with a real “Who’s on First” feel to the proceedings. Which move back up to the surface, then back down into the cellar in short order. It is soon established that ‘Czaba’ is a foreign national riding satellite uplinks to take operational control of Mr. Handy when the links are right. With that thought settling in to their minds, they get back to business. Steve elects to take another look around the main house to see if he can find anything that might pass as a code. Disturbingly enough, it becomes clear that ‘Czaba’ is a shoulder hoverer. Moving in close to see what Quin and Clint are doing, and chiming in with the default codes he found while offline. None of these work.

Upstairs, Tag is going through the fridge box when Steve arrives. ‘Here, you should take these, if nothing else. They’ll prove useful.’ He says, tossing two bottles of Nuka Cola to Steve. Then it’s to the business of searching for codes. drawers and cupboards are ransacked, yielding some useful odds and ends. A couple of promising dates are found and cataloged in the kitchen. Then it’s on to the family room, where Steve finds, among the brickabrack, a dated Wedding Photo!

The wedding date does the trick. They are in! They pass quickly through the decontamination chamber into the bunker proper, and are confronted with a dimly lit room.(emergency lights only) Moving in, they call out…. No one answers. Quickly enough, between the emergency lights, Czaba’s mini spot, and the Pip-Boy lights, they see three bodies, and one very old, destroyed bot, apparently a Mr. Handy precursor.

With some investigation, it becomes clear that the father of this little family went a little stir crazy, resorted to drugs to get through the confinement, and shot his family and the family robot while in the depths of withdrawl, the wife and daughter having hidden his stash in an attempt to clean him up. All agree it is a horrible tragedy. Czaba in particular seems touched by it. The little bunker is gone though, looted for supplies, and it is decided to remain for the night. Czaba insists on a burial for the family, and takes the lead in preparing the grave. Sadly, as what little ceremony there might be is about to begin, Mr. Handy states: ‘Ready.’ Czaba is gone.

Out of the Vault Episodes 1&2

Three young Vault dwellers from Vault 29 are summoned to the Overseers office. Entering with some apprehension, they settle into the offered seats. They are then informed that they have been chosen, thanks in part to their G.O.A.T. scores, to go out into the wasteland. The first opening of the Vault in over 100 years.

Their objective? A replacement Water Chip. The most unreliable piece of tech in the whole Vault. The last chip in stockpiles was already deteriorating. “Can we quit? Is there someone else? Anyone? What if we won’t go?” all of these questions had very unpopular answers. They were issued basic supplies, maps, and weapons, and told they would be expected to leave in the morning…

What followed was a combination of wake and farewell party. The cautious member of the team used the opportunity to score with an old crush, and was presented with a vintage baseball bat as a going away gift. It was happily accepted, as close combat weapons were not on offer from the Overseer. The second member of the team used the opportunity to head to the bowels of the Vault and talk to the tech in the water treatment plant. Got eyes on the chip, learned his Pipboy could read the chips and their viability, and was told what evolution’s of chip to avoid, and which to covet. Spying a large pipe wrench off on a side table, he asked if he might take it. He too was conscious of the lack of close combat items in the issued kit. The last team member? Was missing all night, and found only in the early part of the morning and escorted to the Vault Exit with the others first thing in the morning.

Shortly after leaving the vault, upon exiting the cave that covered its entrance, the cowardly teammate was rendered catatonic by the vastness of the outside world, and was left in the cave mouth to follow when he recovered (if he ever did). Travel towards Denver began.

Some time around noon, as close as could be reckoned, the twosome heard a ruckus up ahead. Moving to investigate, they came upon 4 Radscorpions of alarming size attacking a Mr. Handy unit, which was, quite unusually, swearing and speaking with some kind of Ruskie accent. Reasoning that a Mr. Handy might be a valuable asset, they joined the fight, using the bow and crossbow they had been issued in order to remain unnoticed by the beasts. A quick and brutal combat ensued, with the twosome and the robot prevailing in a flurry of arrows, bolts and fire.

Mr. Handy introduced itself as ‘Czaba’, amid profuse thank you’s. After a short conversation that vastly confused the twosome, and made clear only that the ‘bot ’Didn’t belong to anyone!‘, it seemed to revert to a more normal Mr. Handy model, though obviously with a milspec chip in there somewhere, from the first words it utters in a more standard tone: ’Friend or Foe?’

Late in the day, they are caught up to by their formerly catatonic companion, in time to make camp for the night. This offers its own challenge once night falls, and another member of the team succumbs to a catatonic state once the full grandeur of a cloudless night settles in.

The next days travel sees the team and it’s new robotic servant face and triumph against a small group of giant ants, salvage components from an old vehicle, and, late in the day, spot the first human they have laid eyes on since leaving the Vault. They were being watched! Following the rapidly retreating figure as best they could, they are able to trail him to a ruined farm, complete with a ruined outbuilding and grainary. Approaching the farmhouse the Team attempts to initiate dialog, hoping to be able to further their quest for a water chip. However, two things soon become clear: They have no real trade goods, and the occupants of the farmstead(they perceived movement around the grainary) have no interest in trade. But much interest in looting their Corpses! The combat is a frightening affair. Bullets fly, one team member hits the ditch while ordering Mr Handy to attack. Mr Handy moves forward along with another team member. The last of the team flanking around the Grainary where movement was detected. In short order, all the aggressors are down, thanks to some stealthy work around the grainary, and a shot into the back, a couple shots through the window lintel and a little flame as well, and another well placed back shot to the man using the doorway as cover. A general search of the area is instituted, and when all of the team is in view of the remains of the second floor, an enraged voice screams “You killed My Boys!” and arising from behind various furniture is a crazed raider wielding a Submachine Gun. The party reacts swiftly. Two shots ring out, and the raider is dead. But only one shot was from the Team!

The source of the second shot is soon clear. A figure stands on a distant hill, waves his rifle above his head in a sort of greeting, slings it, and heads down to the farmstead. What looks like a stocky man in the distance soon resolves into a stocky little man! Some kind of Dwarf! He introduces himself as Melvin ‘Tag’ Taggart. He then proceeds to inform the little group that they have been making rookie mistakes, and that they will have to up their game if they are to survive in the wasteland, and answers some questions for them.


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