Empire of Ash

Post Reply
User avatar
Andra Hawksdaughter
Overlord
Posts: 5439
Joined: Mon May 21, 2018 12:08 am
Location: Dallas Texas area, USA
Zodiac:
United States of America

Empire of Ash

Post by Andra Hawksdaughter » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:19 pm

Teridactyl wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:28 pm
What can I say? He's my favorite subject. I have no shame. :D Goodneighbor is a pretty cool place, though. Between Magnolia, MacCready, the mob bosses, Irma, Kent, and whatever is up with Hancock and Fahrenheit (which is interestingly coded as a "parent and child" relationship in the Creation Kit), there's a lot of story there that you can kinda piece together if you do enough digging around. Far more interesting than Diamond City, I think.
Diamond City is kind of a dump to me. Not talking about how it looks, but the characters. I can't get into Nick (so far as I've tried, a long time ago) and haven't done a thing with Piper except letting her back into the city when my character shows up. Most of the side quests are meh...I do however, have fun with the whole Vadim-Travis thing. :D I much prefer Goodneighbor! :evil_laugh:
Image "Life is short, eat dessert first."

User avatar
Brambleberry
Jarl
Posts: 3605
Joined: Sun May 20, 2018 6:18 pm
Zodiac:
High Rock

Empire of Ash

Post by Brambleberry » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:53 am

I've traveled with Nick just long enough to get his crappy perk. At first it was boring until I realized so much of what he says has Shades of Mercer written throughout. He also can't stop talking like Mercer when you're trying to do a bit of sneaking! :roll:

User avatar
Serethil
Site Administrator
Posts: 14934
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:34 pm
Location: The Back of Beyond
Zodiac:
Hammerfell

Empire of Ash

Post by Serethil » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:03 am

Brambleberry wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:53 am
I've traveled with Nick just long enough to get his crappy perk. At first it was boring until I realized so much of what he says has Shades of Mercer written throughout. He also can't stop talking like Mercer when you're trying to do a bit of sneaking! :roll:
Um.... Mercer.... Frey?
Loving fantasy since 1960 or so, FRPGs since 1975 (appx), and CRPGs since 1985....

When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back,
Three from the Circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone:
Five will return, and one go on alone.

User avatar
Brambleberry
Jarl
Posts: 3605
Joined: Sun May 20, 2018 6:18 pm
Zodiac:
High Rock

Empire of Ash

Post by Brambleberry » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:27 am

Yes, same Voice Actor.

User avatar
Serethil
Site Administrator
Posts: 14934
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:34 pm
Location: The Back of Beyond
Zodiac:
Hammerfell

Empire of Ash

Post by Serethil » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:05 pm

Ah. *wince*
Loving fantasy since 1960 or so, FRPGs since 1975 (appx), and CRPGs since 1985....

When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back,
Three from the Circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone:
Five will return, and one go on alone.

User avatar
Teridactyl
Knight
Posts: 302
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 7:41 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Zodiac:
Contact:
United States of America

Empire of Ash

Post by Teridactyl » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:04 pm

Awww, I :heart: Nick Valentine. He's the heart of the game. They weren't even a subtle about it--I mean, it's literally his name. I go on and on about Hancock, but most of his character development was admittedly fleshed out in my head. Nick had the most complete, and frankly satisfying, storyline of the bunch.

I'd never played any other games the actor voiced, so I think it works well for an old-timey noir detective. Plus, I think he's the only one who matches Sole Survivor's sarcasm match-for-match--every flip remark you make when he's around, he has an equal and just as smart-assy response to. It's hard to get the last word with him, and I kind of find that an endearing quality in my real life friends. :)

The same actor also voices DiMA, which I didn't realize until well after finishing Far Harbor. I can't even hear the same inflection when they talk to one another. I was impressed by that. Fallout 4 has some of the best voice acting I've heard in a game--it doesn't usually go too overboard or melodramatic. I mean, it has its moments, but for the most part, the voices appropriately match the tone of the game.

Except Preston. Ugh. I don't hate Preston, I think he's been unfairly hacked on, but the actor has the most monotonous delivery. I almost WANT to piss him off just to hear him get passionate about SOMETHING. I figure it's just that he's so shellshocked, he's completely turned himself off, emotionally. His backstory even supports that, but God, he's dull.

Part of my reason for this was to give these characters a little extra depth we were denied simply because of the limitations of the medium the story is delivered on. Even after hundreds of hours of voice recordings, conversation trees, and coding, it's still not nearly enough to convey a story this complex. It does a pretty good job at getting high-level information across, but that's where the role-player in me takes over and fills in some missing scenes and off-camera moments. I would be the worst film director...all my movies would be, like, six hours long.

"But the whole movie is one continuous scene, Teri!"
"So what? They had a lot to say to one another!"

Anyway, I love Nick, and I will inflict him on you plenty, so here's your fair warning. :evil_laugh:
Entropy -- it's not what it used to be.

User avatar
Serethil
Site Administrator
Posts: 14934
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:34 pm
Location: The Back of Beyond
Zodiac:
Hammerfell

Empire of Ash

Post by Serethil » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:21 pm

I just don't love VA, and I especially dislike whoever voiced Mercer Frey. I prefer games without VA - so in ESO, I mute the voices and run subtitles. Well, in Skyrim too.
Loving fantasy since 1960 or so, FRPGs since 1975 (appx), and CRPGs since 1985....

When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back,
Three from the Circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone:
Five will return, and one go on alone.

User avatar
Aireal
Global Moderator
Posts: 2154
Joined: Sun May 20, 2018 5:48 pm
Location: Texas
Zodiac:
Contact:
Skyrim

Empire of Ash

Post by Aireal » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:11 pm

I actually like Mercer's ( voice actors ) gravely voice.. Don't particularly like the character, but I like the voice!
Life is about the Journey, not the destination
Aireal's Table of Contents

User avatar
Andra Hawksdaughter
Overlord
Posts: 5439
Joined: Mon May 21, 2018 12:08 am
Location: Dallas Texas area, USA
Zodiac:
United States of America

Empire of Ash

Post by Andra Hawksdaughter » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:53 pm

I wan't sure what to think about so much of a game being voiced before I started playing FO4, but I love it, and know I will miss it when playing Skyrim again!

Bring it on Teri! :D
Image "Life is short, eat dessert first."

User avatar
Teridactyl
Knight
Posts: 302
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 7:41 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Zodiac:
Contact:
United States of America

Empire of Ash

Post by Teridactyl » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:30 pm

Image


Journal 0019 | Half-Cocked

I caught up with Codsworth again and instructed him to hang out by the edge of town and keep a low profile——or, as low as his hover jet would let him, anyway——just in case any stray bullets went flying by. With KL-E-0 the alluring Assaultron murderbot running the only major weapon store in town, he was a bit hesitant. I suggested he be a gentleman and go talk with her, maybe even flirt with her a bit and see if he could get us a discount. He didn't find my attempt to pimp him out nearly as hilarious as I did, so I left him to improvise.

I went to the State House to chat with the good mayor of Goodneighbor. What a character... Underneath the fancy coat and tricorn, though, he's still a typical politician: he talked a whole lot, but didn't tell me much. Most of it wasn't worth keeping the recording, but there were moments.

I caught the end of a conversation he was having with his bodyguard/assistant Fahrenheit when I walked in. They were going over some plan to fend off Super Mutants that've decided to set up camp right around the block just on the other side of the town walls. Goodneighbor seems to be well fortified, though, so she didn't recommend an all-out frontal attack. Smart move. Their Neighborhood Watchmen seem to be effective, so long as they're holding defense. But they're dads and husbands and regular Joes, not honed infantrymen.

Image


Hancock: So, what? We just turtle up? That's not my style...

Fahrenheit: The only thing that's "not your style" is losing, Hancock...


Well, that seemed to be on par with what I'd seen and heard about him so far. My goal was to see what else I could get out of him. When I interrupted them, Mayor Hancock welcomed me in and tolerated some of my questions.

I'm curious about the ghouls in this town. One of them, Daisy, owns a shop when you first walk in, is apparently a pre-war ghoul. I chatted with her a bit about "the good old days." She thought I was full of it at first, since I didn't go into a whole lot of detail, but she quickly warmed to me. I asked her what it's like to be a ghoul, and she was kind of annoyed by that, but she humored me anyway.

I learned that many ghouls do deteriorate over time, but there are plenty that just "woke up this way." The truly horrifying thing is not watching your face rot off over time, or even living with the abhorrent bigotry that targets them. It's that there is physiologically nothing that separates the intelligent ghouls from the feral hordes like the ones Danse and I fended off, other than an advanced state of mental decay. The deterioration never stops. Any one of them could potentially go feral, and once you have, you're gone, or at least everything that made you you. No coming back. Some people just take a really, really, really long time to get there.

It doesn't seem like anyone knows how this whole ghoul-thing works, least of all the ghouls.

Not Hancock, though. He is——unsurprisingly——a whole 'nother thing unto himself.

Image

"I came into this town about... a decade ago? Had a smooth set of skin back then. While I was busy making myself a pillar of this community, I would go on these... like ... wild tears... I was young... Any chems I could find, the more exotic, the better. Finally found this experimental radiation drug. Only one of its kind left, and only one hit. Oh man, the high was so worth it. Yeah, I'm living with the side effects, but hey, what's not to love about immortality?"

So, like a super-concentrated chemotherapy formula, maybe? I didn't ask, nor did I tell him that pharmaceutical companies weren't exactly known for manufacturing euphoria. Heck no, that'd be bad for business. What he'd taken had been designed to kill him...or a part of him anyway. If it had that kind of effect on him, it must have hurt like hell——for days and days, if not weeks or months, poisoning him and eating him from the inside out.

Mom's "treatment" was bad enough; nothing about it was euphoric. The nausea, the weakness, the hair loss, the wasting away, the emotional and mental stress of seeing the uncomfortable and pitiable looks on the faces of loved ones when they look at you, no matter how hard they try to hide it... In the end, it wasn't even worth it. No high would be. Why would anyone willingly put themselves through that?

I wanted to call bullshit on him. His story was too rehearsed, too cocky. In fact, it sounded like he enjoyed telling it, like it made him a daredevil or a hero. Whatever.

"All that chem use definitely prepared you for a career in politics," I said, tongue firmly planted in cheek. He wasn't amused. I didn't feel like hearing anymore about it, so I changed the subject.

"Did I hear you talk about the Institute?" I said.

"Oh, you like my little speech? I do it every once in awhile, in case they're listening in. I want those Synth-makers to know that Goodneighbor is off limits. No one gets 'replaced' in my town."

"I'm still fuzzy on this whole Synth-thing," I admitted. "What do you mean 'replaced'?"

"Don't tell me we have a pair of virgin ears? You just made my day. Synths are just like you and me. Only they didn't get created the natural, fun way. No. They were built. By the Institute. Some of the older ones are basically just robots, but the new models? Your own mother couldn't tell the difference. So that's why me and mine gotta stay extra-special close to one another. Any slight change might be a clue that someone's been replaced."

Ugh, again with the "mother" thing, just like Danse had done. It's starting to sound like paranoid folklore, like old stories of fairies and changelings stealing people and replacing them with...something else. A high-tech version of it, anyway. I had to avoid rolling my eyes. But I prodded a bit, see if I could poke some holes in his logic. I asked him why they would replace people? Was there an age limit? Could anyone be a target, say, a baby, for example? That got me a very weird, vaguely horrified look.

"Hell if I know. Mess with people's heads? Control us from the shadows? Or maybe they do it just because they can. No one knows where the Institute is, what kind of people they are, or why they've decided to engineer their own slaves, but there it is."

In the long run, he didn't tell me anything new I hadn't heard or pieced together myself.

They say there are only five types of fear: fear of death, fear of physical pain, fear of losing control, fear of separation, and fear of identity death. Whether you're afraid of the dark, afraid of spiders, afraid of being audited by the IRS, or afraid of losing a loved one, they all fall into one of these categories. Hancock's summary pretty much covered 'em all, I think. Of course people are scared.

It sounds like propaganda, except nobody's capitalizing on it, as far as I can tell. You don't just spend that kind of raw material to effectively weaponize people——or at least our perception of people——just "because you can." It makes no bloody sense! They have to want something. And if stick to my own theory, that all wars boil down to one of three conflicts of interest: territory, resources, or opposing moralities (which is usually who controls the other two). This Institute——if they even exist——could be after any or all of those.

I wanted to storm out of there, yell that this was all a waste of time and nonsense, but I forced myself to keep it cool. After all, he had four armed guards outside his door, plus whomever this Fahrenheit person was. She didn't look like someone I want to tangle with. So, I changed the subject again.

"Know of any work around here?" I asked him, hoping he'd mention this Bobbi No-Nose person.

"You looking to make a few caps? I'll tell you what. I got reconnaissance needs. There's a lot weird talk coming in about a place called the Pickman Gallery. It's Raider territory up there, but they've been quiet. Like, uncomfortable post-coitus quiet? Snoop it out, and give me the word."

That wasn't what I expected to hear, but his description was amusing. I told him when I'm in the area, I'd have a look around.

He said, "Be thorough, okay? I'm not paying for a look-see. Find out what's really going on there."

"So, is this another Institute set-up?" I asked him, wondering if I even have the firepower or muscle to even take something like that on. Danse and I barely made it out of the last one, though he might be up for another op if it involves the Institute. Danse, Codsworth, and me...maybe I could even corral Preston into the fight, if I needed... "What can you tell me about it?"

He frowned. "Nothing. That's why I'm paying you."

Well, at least he gets to the point. He said his standard payout is 200 caps, but he'd give me 250 because he likes me. Don't I feel special.

Hell, I can't help but like him. Hancock's probably high. He's undoubtedly crazy. But he's brighter than he lets on, I think, and there's...something else there, too...

I asked him if I could walk around the Old State House a bit after we were done talking. He cautiously agreed with a warning not to take anything or make too much noise. I told him I wasn't looking for anything in particular, I was just genuinely curious about the old landmark; it had been a while since I'd been there, back when it was still a museum. There wasn't much to take——pretty much every inch of it had been looted ages ago——and some of the structure was damaged, but the building is still in pretty good condition, considering it's, what...almost 600 years old, now? Kind of amazing.

But the building wasn't what impressed me. It's what he was doing with it.

Image

Upstairs in the loft area was a scattering of mattresses, as well as a random assortment of medical equipment and furniture. A handful of people were sleeping up there, one of them, another ghoul. She looked pretty beat up, too, even for a ghoul, and not in a way she probably could have done to herself. She'd been bandaged, maybe even stitched a few places; I thought I recognized the distinct zipper marks underneath some of the dressings. She was wearing a set of plain, but clean clothes. She had a nice little care kit on a dresser behind her——a clean towel, hairbrush, some toothpaste and a toothbrush, a stimpak, some water, a couple of snacks... She wasn't just another strung out junkie sleeping it off, she was sleeping because she'd been running. And with the reinforcements the Mayor had set up in this little sanctuary of his, she'd definitely run to the right place. Or maybe the right place had even run to her...

A soft cough behind me alerted me I was being watched. I turned and there was Fahrenheit standing in the doorway, smoking a cigarette.

Image

"Oh, hi," I said, trying to sound friendly...and clueless. The first rule of infiltration is that confidence will get you into almost anywhere; but if you're caught, humility might get you out. I walked over to her. "Got lost. Thanks for checking up on me."

"Enjoying your tour?" she said, unfazed by my little white lie.

I shrugged. "Eh. You see one ad hoc infirmary, you've seen 'em all," I hedged.

She didn't respond with so much as an eyebrow twitch.

"My wife used to volunteer at a shelter for abused and battered women," I said. "It was..."

Heart-breaking? Excruciating? Rage-inducing? Nothing I'd ever seen on the battlefield prepared me for that kind of brutality. At least war has rules.

"...enlightening."

"Hm. She sounds like a saint."

Oh, haha, hell no. I didn't tell her that most of Nora's "volunteer work" was providing free counseling to the victims, urging them to press charges against their abusers...so she could rain hellfire on the despicable son-of-a-bitch in the courtroom. She was every bit the vindictive, bloodthirsty shark that lawyers get such a bad reputation for——terrifying and awesome in her element——but for all the right reasons. She knew how to manipulate a jury, pull heartstrings you didn't even know you had, wring every drop of retribution permitted by our legal system for the crime. Frankly, it still wasn't enough, it was never enough. More than once I apologized to her on behalf of my entire sex. But I also loved watching her work, so eh...I wasn't that sorry.

"She had her moments," I said. Quickly changing the subject, I asked, "So what's it like working for The Man?"

She narrowed her eyes at me. "Are you always this nosey?" she said.

I flashed her a dopey grin. "Yeah, pretty much."

She grudgingly gave into a little smirk and shrugged. "He has his moments."

I nodded over my shoulder to the sleeping "patients" in the room. "And what about them?"

"What about 'em? They come in. They rest. They get better. They leave. Rinse and repeat. We don't ask a lot of questions," she said. "Now, if they volunteer information, well..."

"Let me guess——you suddenly have an open spot for occupancy in Goodneighbor?"

Image

She nodded to the ghoul woman sleeping near me. "Exactly one. As of this morning, in fact. I believe you were there to witness the Mayor delivering the, uh...final eviction notice."

I was a bit surprised by that, and I guess it showed. Fahrenheit was clearly amused by my honest reaction. "Ah... I'd had a feeling capital punishment was a bit of an...extreme sentence for extortion."

"He always has his reasons," she said, throwing her cigarette butt on the floor and crushing it to dust with her heavy, spiked boot. It was the first time I've ever felt sorry for a cigarette butt. "Sometimes, it's because they're a waste of oxygen, like Finn. And sometimes the reason is that they're just stupid."

"There's no crime in being stupid," I said.

She studied me for a few seconds. I decided to withhold any further comments. Clearly my legal advice wasn't appreciated. Or...up-to-date, probably.

Finally, she said, "Did you just crawl out of the Vault yesterday?"

"Last week, actually," I said. She gave me a hard, doubtful stare. I held her gaze steadily. "I had a craving for pizza. No one in the area was delivering."

She sighed in a way that people often do around me. "Well, don't be one of 'em. Just keep a watch out for who you hustle for, and use your head. We wouldn't want any conflicting interests."

"I'll keep that in mind," I said.

She turned and started down the stairs again. "Now, what say we leave these people to sleep in peace, and you finish your tour elsewhere. Outside, preferably."

"Funny...I was just thinking the same thing. Thanks for the suggestion."

She grunted and disappeared around the corner.

I started my way down and overheard her talking to Hancock back in his office. I stopped on the stairs out-of-sight and listened for a moment. I wasn't eavesdropping, since it's clear she was speaking loud enough for me to hear. The whole building, for that matter. Maybe it was her way of letting me know where I stood with her boss. Or maybe she just wanted to insult me in a completely passive-aggressive way.

"What was he up to?" Hancock said.

"Just looking around, I guess. He's kinda...weird," Fahrenheit said.

"What, like pervy weird? Or..."

"No, no. Nothing like that. Just...weird, weird. Like...old-fashioned, or something."

"Nothing wrong with that," said Hancock.

"Out-of-touch."

"Well, he's from a Vault. What do you expect?"

"You ever heard of Vault 111?" she asked.

"No, but Vault types don't exactly appreciate the diversity I have to offer in their comfortable little concrete bubbles," said Hancock, dripping sarcasm. "So, I don't exactly stay up on Vault happenings. But if he figures out what's going on with that 'Pickman Gallery' thing, I don't give a fuck how weird he is."

"I could take a few guys and go check it out," she said.

"No, you won't," he told her sternly. "It's too dangerous. I need you here."

She scoffed, and I could almost feel the accompanying eye roll through the wall. "Aw, dad. You never let me have any fun."

"Hey. Don't you dare compare me to that ass-clown. I would kill that motherfucking slave-trading twat-mongering knob-sucking shit-brained failed-excuse-for-a-coat-hanger-abortion cockweaseled fuckstick all over again if I could," he said in one breath.

Fahrenheit giggled. It didn't hit me until later how uncharacteristically girly of her that seemed, because I was pinching my nose and holding my breath trying not to burst out laughing. Hancock's certainly got an...interesting command of the English language. As well as an impressive lung capacity.

A couple of the Neighborhood Watch guards standing around the staircase laughed. "Tell us how you really felt about him, boss," called one of them.

"Oh, don't worry. I'm just getting warmed up," Hancock called back. He sounded amused with himself. I think it was well-deserved.

Image

I would have loved to hang around and listen to more of his stand-up routine and continue to enrich my vocabulary, but as Fahrenheit had already suggested, I'd reached the end of the tour. Hancock's clearly a busy man.

As I was leaving, I glanced over from the top of the spiral staircase to his office again and caught his eye. I gave him an upward nod. He looked surprised to see me and he glanced over at Fahrenheit for a second before he looked back at me. She knew I was still here, but apparently he hadn't.

"Ciao...friend," he said, more as a caution than a farewell.

"Ta-ta," I sang and waved at him, strictly as a farewell than a caution. I know when I'm a little fish, whatever the pond size.



______________________________________________________________________________________________________________




Image

Back out in the main street, the scene was distinctively less festive. Two Neighborhood Watchmen stood over a dead man. It was clear they'd been the ones to take him down. Everyone else had pretty much scattered.

I heard one of the guards say, "Poor Sammy. Can't believe he got taken."

As I approached, the other watchman said, "Looked just like him, too."

"What happened here?" I asked them.

"Ah, poor Sammy got snatched up by the Institute. Then those bastards send this low-rent double in his place. Pathetic."

"He was a Synth?" I said. "How do you know?"

"Yeah. Unbelievable, huh? Sammy was fine a few days ago and then BAM. He's acting funny, gives up cigarettes, the booze, stops cheating on his wife..."

"Sounds like he was an improvement," I said, and instantly regretted it.

"Hey, back off, smoothskin," the first one said, pushing his rifle toward me. "I don't like your tone. I'm very sorry you haven't had the lovely experience of killing a man who's wearing your friend's face. Sammy might've been a douchebag and a drunk, but in a town full'a douchebags and drunks, he was one'a my favorites. I ain't feeling too happy right now, 'cause after we clean this up, I gotta go look his mother in the eyes and tell 'er her only son is dead, and I'd rather shoot myself in the kneecaps, if she don't do it first. But I got no fuckin' problem taking down a total buttinski knucklehead know-it-all punk like you. So, beat it, Vault-boy, before we decide to make you an 'unfortunate bystander.' Capeesh?"

Ouch... What I'd meant to say was that it sounded like he was just trying to make some improvements in his life for the better. What had come out was...something a totally insensitive dick would say. For all my previous ranting about everyone's lack of remorse or compassion, I'd just done the same thing. I guess the constant looking-over-your-shoulder, kill-or-be-killed, anarchic madness of the Commonwealth just becomes another...Tuesday. But whether they were right or wrong to take him down now was irrelevant. A man they knew and clearly cared about was dead.

"I'm...I'm sorry," I said. "I'm sorry about your friend. I know that had to have been hard."

The other watchman shook his head as he stared down at the body. "Goodneighbor takes care of its own, you know? Needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or some such shit. It still ain't fair."

I looked down at the body again. He looked like an average guy, average appearance, average dress... This body-snatching rumor still bothered me. He didn't seem like a commodity worth investing in, especially taking into account his apparently winning personality.

I mustered as much sympathy as I could and said, "Tell me about him. What was he like?"

"We pretty much already did."

"Yeah, but what did he do? For a living, I mean?"

"Oh, he was a locksmith," said the watchman. "Best there was. Wasn't a lock in town he hadn't fixed or replaced himself. With all the break-ins around Goodneighbor, it certainly kept him busy. Heh heh, some of us even teased him that he was the one keeping himself in such high demand..." Both guards chuckled.

"Huh. Do you think that could be why they replaced him?" I asked.

The two guards immediately fell silent and traded uneasy glances at one another. It was obvious neither of them had bothered to consider the why.

The first watchman turned and glared at me through inky-black eyes. "Hey, didn't I already ask you if you got somewhere else to be?"

"All right, all right. I'm leaving," I said. I backed away with my hands up and looked for the first exit away from the grisly scene.

My choices were pretty limited to the remaining three public access doors: The Rexford Hotel, which I'd already checked into and was a pretty beat scene in and of itself; the Third Rail bar connected to the Old State House (in more ways than one); or the mysterious Memory Den.

It was pretty obvious which door to choose.

Unfortunately, it was the wrong one.


Image
Last edited by Teridactyl on Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:32 am, edited 7 times in total.
Entropy -- it's not what it used to be.

User avatar
Teridactyl
Knight
Posts: 302
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 7:41 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Zodiac:
Contact:
United States of America

Empire of Ash

Post by Teridactyl » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:11 am

Oh yeah. There's some light swearing in this one. Forgot to mention earlier... ;)
Last edited by Teridactyl on Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
Entropy -- it's not what it used to be.

User avatar
Brambleberry
Jarl
Posts: 3605
Joined: Sun May 20, 2018 6:18 pm
Zodiac:
High Rock

Empire of Ash

Post by Brambleberry » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:16 am

Wonderful Teri! And you're right that WAS light swearing. My dad cursed worse than any sailor my whole growing up existence, so nothing much phases me. Funny thing is I seldom swear and when I do friend tend to be VERY shocked. :lol: I'm with Andra, keep 'em coming! :heart:

User avatar
Serethil
Site Administrator
Posts: 14934
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:34 pm
Location: The Back of Beyond
Zodiac:
Hammerfell

Empire of Ash

Post by Serethil » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:46 am

Oh Teri.... I LOVE this. I know you get I don't play the FOs, and why. So I really enjoy your take on "playing FO". Um. Swearing.... not to worry. I have a mouth like a sailor....
Loving fantasy since 1960 or so, FRPGs since 1975 (appx), and CRPGs since 1985....

When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back,
Three from the Circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone:
Five will return, and one go on alone.

User avatar
Teridactyl
Knight
Posts: 302
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 7:41 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Zodiac:
Contact:
United States of America

Empire of Ash

Post by Teridactyl » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:58 pm

Eh, my language warning was tongue in cheek. When Hancock's around it's fairly compulsory. I did have fun coming up with that sentence, though. :lol:

I've seen some great storytelling starting to happen for Fallout 4 very recently. More people are experimenting with animated camera movements, attaching props to character models and importing them into the game, all kinds of cool shit--much like that "Dream" video I posted on the other thread. I'm so glad the creative energy hasn't died down for Fallout 4. In fact, I think it's getting a second wind. I kinda feel like I'm cheating by following the game almost scene-for-scene and just playing the "nice-guy" scribe, so I'm glad you're enjoying my take on it, because most of my original story arc ideas don't come until after the main quest. But there's so many permutations to the game, no one game is identical to someone else's. Even mine is varying quite a bit from my first play-through and I'm intentionally trying to stay on track.

I got some surprises in store, though. One of them coming up fairly soon. Can't wait to share! :mrgreen:
Entropy -- it's not what it used to be.

User avatar
Brambleberry
Jarl
Posts: 3605
Joined: Sun May 20, 2018 6:18 pm
Zodiac:
High Rock

Empire of Ash

Post by Brambleberry » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:11 pm

Anytime now . . .

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

User avatar
Serethil
Site Administrator
Posts: 14934
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:34 pm
Location: The Back of Beyond
Zodiac:
Hammerfell

Empire of Ash

Post by Serethil » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:37 pm

Soon.... TM
Last edited by Serethil on Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Loving fantasy since 1960 or so, FRPGs since 1975 (appx), and CRPGs since 1985....

When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back,
Three from the Circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone:
Five will return, and one go on alone.

User avatar
Andra Hawksdaughter
Overlord
Posts: 5439
Joined: Mon May 21, 2018 12:08 am
Location: Dallas Texas area, USA
Zodiac:
United States of America

Empire of Ash

Post by Andra Hawksdaughter » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:28 pm

Damn Teri, I nearly spit my water when Hancock was talking to Fahrenheit! :lmao: (at least it didn't go up my nose!) This was hilarious and somewhat sad too, Hancock may be kinda nutso, but he's a good man...err, ghoul/man. Love him!! You're not cheating at all, as I see it, because everyone's characters, and how they react, are unique. Yours are fantastic, and you're a master at dialog!! Yep, keep it coming. :7:
Image "Life is short, eat dessert first."

User avatar
Brambleberry
Jarl
Posts: 3605
Joined: Sun May 20, 2018 6:18 pm
Zodiac:
High Rock

Empire of Ash

Post by Brambleberry » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:37 am

New species Goumanites :D

User avatar
Brambleberry
Jarl
Posts: 3605
Joined: Sun May 20, 2018 6:18 pm
Zodiac:
High Rock

Empire of Ash

Post by Brambleberry » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:59 am

Image

User avatar
Teridactyl
Knight
Posts: 302
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 7:41 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Zodiac:
Contact:
United States of America

Empire of Ash

Post by Teridactyl » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:24 pm

Image


Journal 0020 | Artifacts - Part I

The moment I walked into the Memory Den, the overwhelming combination of old cigarette smoke, incense, and perfume nearly knocked me over. My first instinct was to turn right back around and go anywhere else, except that I was pretty sure the Neighborhood Watch guys hadn't disposed of their doppelgänger friend out in the street yet in the 2.5 seconds I had last been out there. I didn’t want to bother them, and they made it damn clear they didn’t want me bothering them, either. So I squared my shoulders like a man and bravely carried on into the frilly, velvet upholstered boudoir...

When I turned around the corner, I braced myself for any number of possible things I’d see...except for what it actually was. And even then, I still wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking at.

Image

For a second, I thought I’d walked into a very eccentric car rental. Three mini-car sized bubble-domed pods lined the room. Each had a seat for one person with a small monitor that hung right in front the end-user's face. Some shabby-looking guy looked like he was sleeping in one of the bubbles, and then it dawned on me what it was.

Image

Virtual Porn.

Civilization has lost the ability to refine raw materials, to manufacture the combustible engine, to build structures sturdier than a house of cards, and yet we’ve apparently made great strides in porn technology. Good for us. At least we know our priorities.

I know I'm not exactly pure white driven snow. I'm gonna have to do a lot of 'splainin' to do to whomever's on watch at the Pearly Gates when I get there. But if ever I was not in the mood...

"I think you've stepped into the wrong place, sweetheart. You don't look like you need the Memory Den. Do you even know what we do here?"

Image


ONE WORD: PLASTICS.


"Er...does it involve a back room and a handful of singles?" I said.

"Oh, no. You have the wrong idea, honey. I don't sell skin. I sell memories."

Image

"Oh. Yeah. That's...way different." I looked around at the nearest open pod and briefly cringed when I wondered how many times a day they have to clean the glass. "Just to be clear, do you mean your memories, or someone else's."

She smiled. "Well, not mine. Not many people could handle that."

"I meant the, uh, royal...'your'," I said awkwardly.

She chuckled. "I'm just teasing you sweetie. We're not a peep show, either. We sell your own memories. And let me tell you, reliving an experience? The right experience? It's far more intense than anything else. But it's not for everyone."

"Why not?"

"It's no secret that reliving a memory can be about having a good time, or helpful in remembering something you've forgotten or lost. But like anything worth doing in life, honey, it's got a kick to it. And the first time can be a little...disorienting. So I keep the client list very small. People I trust. It helps us avoid a lot of... unpleasantness."

I should have dropped it there, but I still wasn't ready to head back out in the street. And, admittedly, she had me curious. "How does it, um... how does it work?"

"Oh, it's extremely technical. I just run the show," she said. "The doctor back there is responsible for lifting the curtain... so to speak."

Image

The woman in the back typing on a terminal spoke without looking up. "It does a surface scan of the hippocampus for the densest cluster of neurons and synapses then stimulates that area to intensify the memory imprint."

She’d said that all in one breath, practically all one word, even. I’m sure she didn’t expect me to have followed any of that, and I could tell she sure as hell didn’t expect any follow up questions. "Er...non-invasive, I hope? Like an MRI scan?" I said.

That got the doctor to look up from her console.

"Somewhat," she said slowly as she coolly evaluated me from head to toe. She had an accent I couldn't quite place——German? Austrian? I wondered if it was fake. I imagine immigrating from another continent isn't exactly easy these days. "The imaging output relies a special algorithm that decodes the image from the occipital lobe and projects it to the monitor. You don't need the monitor, per se, but it helps...focus the experience."

"Neat. Like a pilot aircraft simulator, then."

"A what?"

"So, does it change the memory?" I asked, taking a different tack. "Can you control it, like lucid dreaming? Or experience it from another person's point of view? Or maybe even overwrite a...traumatic...memory?"

"Well... Like any piece of technology, people have found uses for it that it wasn't strictly designed for," said the bombshell back on the chaise lounge. "Some clients have been able to do some very...creative things. We don't encourage that, though. It's meant to be more observational." She smiled genuinely at me, and for just a moment, dropped her carefully poised Madame Guru schtick. "You are a curious one, aren't you," she said.

I shrugged. "Well, yeah. I'm a bit of a technophile."

"That's not exactly what I meant, but we'll go with that."

"I don't suppose you'd let me take one apart to see what's inside, would ya?" I said, going for my best charming boy-next-door look. Nora always said it was the best Alfred E. Neuman impression she'd ever seen. Yeah, she said that, but it worked on her more than once, too, so I wasn't worried. "You can trust me. I'm great at taking things apart."

She laughed. "It's not taking it apart that's the problem. I'm pretty sure even I could do that. But... you're the first person who's ever been more interested in how they work than what sort of kicks it'll give you. I guess there's no harm in giving you a trial run if you'd like to experience it for yourself. It's not as if I have a line at the door right now, anyway."

That really hadn't been my goal. I was genuinely curious about the technology——or rather, what was inside it——now that I knew what it was supposed to do. I'd rather see the control room for the roller coaster, than ride it. But if she was offering...

I looked back at the pod again, then back at her. "I'm not gonna have a seizure or stroke or anything, am I?"

She arched a thin, exquisitely groomed eyebrow. "Have you ever had a seizure or stroke?"

"Not yet."

"Then you should be fine."

I sighed theatrically. "Oh, all right. You talked me into it."

She smirked. "Hardest sell I've ever had," she said, rolling her eyes coyly. "And I'm not even charging you."

She——Irma——suggested I remove my armor and anything that might otherwise distract me from "the experience." She glanced at my wrist, and it took me a second to realize she was looking at the Pip-Boy. I hadn't realized until then that I barely feel it anymore. I take it off to shower, of course, and sleep, because the few times I didn't I woke up with the logo imprinted on my face. Otherwise, I don't go anywhere without it.

I thought about this journal——not my biometric data, or settlements I've been, or map markers, or contact list, or the running list of locations I've broken into (and how), or sensitive data I've collected——just this journal... My own little private therapist. I inwardly cringed at the thought of leaving it out in the open for someone else to read. I shook my head and told her it stays with me.

I've become a 13-year old girl fiercely protective of my diary. Just add unicorns and glitter.

"Memories involving other people are easiest," she said. "Recent events involving loved ones. Does anything come to mind?"

I thought of all the memories I'd had with Nora——the day we met, the day I proposed, that time I surprised her by showing up for her graduation...

Our wedding day... She was so beautiful. At least until I "accidentally" dropped cake down her cleavage... Clumsy me. (Best. Cake. Ever.)

Or that one time at the lighthouse. Or that other time at the lighthouse. Or that other, other time at the lighthouse... God, I loved that lighthouse, heh...

Or something a little more family-friendly and wholesome. Like when Shaun was born...

Well, I don't know if "wholesome" describes it. More like a comedy. But I thought, what the hell?, I could use a good laugh. And perhaps a little...motivation. The very first moment I saw her holding our tiny, newborn son... I'd give anything to feel that again.

I wasn't sure how much detail I had to go into. But I figured she didn't want to hear my life story, so I gave her the very, very, very abridged version. "My... wife died recently. If I could just see her one last time..."

"Oh, honey, I'm so sorry. It's never easy losing someone that close to you. But I think we can help. Have a seat in the lounger and we'll see what we can find."

I walked over to the bubble-domed clown car and gave it a skeptical looksee. "Any suggestions on how to get in this thing?" I said over my shoulder.

Image

The grin in her voice was obvious. "You're young and fit. You'll figure it out. Don't worry, we won't laugh at you."

Yeah right. At least not out loud. I got the feeling that I has just become her entertainment for the day.

I awkwardly climbed in and shifted around to get comfortable, triangulating the most comfortable position between my feet, butt, and head, while Irma gave a couple commands to the Doctor still typing away on her terminal in the back.

Image

The bubble dome came down over me, the monitor hovered in front of my face, and the only sounds I could hear were the static from the test pattern on the screen and my own heartbeat thudding in my ears. I tried to force myself to relax. As the pod hummed to life and the picture came into view, a sudden paralyzing chill and feeling of familiar dread washed through me...

Even in an economy based on rubbish, the old saying is still true.

You get what you pay for.


Image
Last edited by Teridactyl on Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Entropy -- it's not what it used to be.

Post Reply