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Fallout 4: The Tale Of Bloody Nora

I'm ambivalent to setting the world on fiiiiiiire...

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This week’s RPG Scrollbars is a diary charting the player’s first moments with Fallout 4. Therefore, there are some spoilers for the game’s introduction and setup. Note: If you’re reading on iPhone, flip the screen horizontally and it should be fine. Fingers crossed, on Android too, but didn’t have one to test that on directly.

Hi there. Um. People. You’re tuned to Diamond City Radio, and this one’s, uh, going out to anyone currently listening to ironic music in the middle of a gory post-apocalyptic killing spree.

Please! Crazy gun lady, stop! You don’t want to do this!

Sweetie, two hours ago it was two hundred years ago. Since then, I’ve not shed a single tear for my child, my husband, or the world I knew. How many do you think I’m going to waste on you?

You’ve changed your hair. I like it. New style?

Yes. I thought about also giving myself all kinds of hideously disfiguring bruises just in case I needed credibility in some kind of post-apocalyptic wasteland. But what’re the odds, eh?

Yeah, I’m almost positive that’ll never happen. I love you, Nora.

I love you too…

…Nate.

Right, right. I swear I will never forget you… uh…

…Nate.

Oh, listen, baby Shaun is crying. You handle that, sweetie, because this isn’t really the 1950s. On second thoughts, our murderbutler can handle it. I knew we bought it for a reason.

On my way, mum!

Codsworth, we talked about this. I made threats.

Ah, my most indubitable apologies, “my queen and empress of all”. I cannot believe my creators forgot to add that most crucial entry into my name bank.

Probably too busy making sure you could say ‘Boobies’. Programmers…

Maybe in a patch they’ll teach him to call his masters ‘Shaun’. Such an odd omission. Isn’t that right, Shaun? Ah, Nora, my scented dove. What do you think he’ll grow up to be?

Well, since Bethesda generally writes with the subtlety of a sledgehammer introducing itself to a box of eggs, I’m guessing some kind of villain.

What?

Sorry, forgot where I was there. Maybe he’ll be Head Stroking Officer at a Kitten Cafe. Or the first winer of the Nobel Prize for Cuddles.

I wiw destwoy the worwd!

Ah, listen to that. His first words…

Sorry to interrupt, my queen and empress of all, but I do believe there’s a fellow at the door, rather urgently ringing the bell and checking his watch.

I’ll deal with him.

Good morning! Vault-Tec calling! You can’t begin to know how happy I am to finally speak with you. I’ve been trying to speak to you for days. It’s- where are you?

I got bored of you and decided to watch TV instead. Are you still here?

Okay! Okay, I get it – point made. Listen, I just wanted to let you know that you and your family – except the filthy robot – have been pre-selected for a place in Vault 111.

It’s okay, I don’t see the apocalypse happening in the next five minutes.

No, no. No. Definitely not in the next… uh… five minutes. Ahem. But… listen, I’m offering you the once in a lifetime chance to survive! You really have to-

I also want your pen.

But it’s mine! It’s got my name on it!

I can slam this door right now.

Fine. Okay. You’ll need it to sign anyway, right? Right? NO PRESSURE!

I also want to wear your hat for a while.

Anything! Look, just agree that if anything happens, you and your precious child will survive. And your husband, if he wants, I suppose.

Give the poor guy a break, honey.

Fine. But if this turns out to be some convoluted social experiment designed by an evil sociopathic shadow government, I will write a most stern letter to the paper. The sternest!

I’m almost positive that won’t be necessary, ma’am. Thank you, ma’am. I need to get this back to Vault 111 as quickly as possible!

Then why aren’t you taking the Vault-Tec van across the road!

I need to get this back to Vault 111 almost as quickly as possible.

What a strange fellow. Thankfully, we don’t really need to worry about nuclear war. Speaking as an expert, the odds of anything starting now are at least a hundred squillion billion to-

We interrupt this episode of Leave It To The Saints for an important message from President Hellboy. War. War never changes. But it has just been declared. So that’s new. Also, we’ve got lasers now.

Well, darn. And to think I just wasted all that time putting the bins out. I could have seen one last football game! Or we could have had awkward but wholesome 50s sex!

I can’t believe I just told that guy I was naturally lucky. Well, I suppose we’d better go to the Vault. Codsworth, you know what to do.

Affirmative, my queen and empress of all. Consider Sir’s porn hidden.

Wait, what-

NO TIME WE HAVE TO GET TO THE VAULT. It’s pandemonium out there! Look – our interacial lesbian neighbours aren’t even actively reminding us how open-minded we are!

Not open-minded enough that they’re getting into our bloody Vault though.

Hi there, I just wanted to comfort you with the knowledge that I’m definitely going to survive this. I know you were worried about that.

Nora!

Coming, coming. Seriously, thanks for making me a better person. Oh, and Codsworth? Good luck out here, melting in the radioactive heat and cursing your creator for letting you feel pain.

NORA!

Oh, ssssh. Unlike civilisation, the Vault’s not going anywhere.

What do you mean, I can’t come in! I AM Vault-Tec!

Sorry, but rules are rules. Unless you have something to prove you work here-

Wait, my official company biro! That’ll- OH NO!

Coming through, coming through. I believe you’ll find our papers in order, despite them only having been dropped off five minutes ago by a guy who wasn’t allowed in.

Well, you’re entitled and white, so I don’t see any reason to assume you’re lying- Oh, and you’re on the list too. That works. Go on through. Try to remember us when you’re busy down there. Being alive.

Wait! If it wasn’t for me, you’d be dead! You have to tell them-

No time! Vault be waiting!

I wonder what he wanted.

Won’t matter in a few minutes either way. Come on.

Wait, is this a trap door? If this thing just drops us-

QUICK! EVERYONE INTO THE VAULT!

Oh, calm your tits. It’s not like it’s the end of the-

Oooooooh, right…

I hope we didn’t just get a faceful of nuclear explosion there.

As the Ink Spots once sang, it’s all over but the crying. But hey! Welcome, white people, to Vault 111 – your new home. There may be a couple of black folks already inside, I guess. Any questions?

A few. If we’re meant to live in this place for the rest of our lives, why’s it so sterile? Couldn’t we at least have some fake plants in the corridors? Also, how does the Vault door close with those pipes-

Those are excellent questions. And they and all others will be answered once we’re through induction. First things first, welcome. In event of starvation, remember we eat Fat Barney first.

Everything else will be explained… later. Yes. At a party, where there will be cake. I’ll just need you all to strip naked in the corridor and put on these Vault suits. Yes. Slowly. One button at a time…

I envy the dead.

Ah, so you already know the Vault-Tec motto! Okay, we’re here. We just need you to step into these personal decontamination chambers so that we can… check your readings.

Where are they, behind the obvious cryogenic pods?

Cryo- No, pay no attention to the freezing cold booths surrounded by temperature knobs and gusts of frozen air. This is all for… decontamination.

I don’t know. Something about your words doesn’t fill me with confidence. I think it’s the fact that they’re complete bollocks.

Look, between us, which would you rather? A lifetime here eating snack cakes so that your kid’s kid might one day see the sun, or waking up in a happy new world? Just get in the pod.

Come on, sweetie. Get in your ‘decontamination’ pod. I’ll take Shaun with me. You’ll be able to see us from across the way, with the only catch being that you’ll be totally helpless if anything happens.

I’m almost positive… it… won’t… Zzzzzzzz….

Oh, goddamn it.

Whu… Is it the future? Are we safe?

Half right! BANG!

SHAUN! Uh. WHATSHISNAME! NOOOOOOO! They’ll pay for this! They’ll… ugh. Damn, I wish I was a morning person. Okay. I’ll get right on this. Just another… few… years…

Right, I’m up, and the next person in a blue suit is getting this baton forcibly inserted into them. What the hell happened here? Where’s… Urgh. Nobody around. Maybe this terminal will help.

Those… those shitweasels! Right. When I get out of this place, I’m going right to their head office and getting busy with this baton! Let me just first get this PIP-Boy so I can open the door, and-

Huh. The makers of this thing built in a graphic to illustrate my exact situation. Pity the actual build is just cheap plastic. And these buttons don’t do anything. “Special Edition” my defrosting blue butt.

Time to see the world, I guess. I wonder how it’s changed over the centuries. Oooh, maybe Star Citizen is finally in beta!

Well, at least I remembered to wear clean underwear.

Have at you, roach! And you, and- My queen and empress of all? You’re alive! Goodness. You appear to be almost in the altogether. Did the Vault not provide you with one of those snazzy suits?

Yeah, after everything that’s just happened to me, I’m totally going to go around giving bloody Vault-Tec free marketing. What’s happened here, Codsworth? How long have I been gone?

Why, two hundred years, give or take, my queen and empress of all. You’re looking well. I am afraid I am out of your brand of hair-dye-

I told you, this is my natural colour.

Of course, my queen and empress of all. WINK. In any event, I have been well, as you would know had you chosen to ask, but did not. No matter. No matter.

Good. Now, I need to find Shaun. My only clue is that he’s somewhere in the entire world, probably. He might have died of old age while I was dreaming about George Clooney. Any ideas?

Concord, ma’am. A town near here. They will have the best idea of what to do, I am sure. I shall stay here, and secure the home-front.

It’s worth a try. Pass me one of those roaches. I need a snack.

You’re still tuned to Diamond City Radio. Diamond City Radio, playing all the hits of the last two Fallout games, because it turns out there’s not as much ironic 50s music as people hoped back in 2008.

Hey, anyone here?

There ‘aint nobody here but us raiders, lady! We’d ask for whatever you’ve got on you, only its pretty obvious you ‘aint packing much! What’re you doing-

Hey, I’m wearing more than the guy in the gimp harness there.

Well, yeah. Only it’s all… frilly. And rude.

Fine. Just give me a minute to kill this guy and rip some clothes off his corpse.

Looking good! Only now… we’re REALLY going to kill you!

No, sweetie, you’re going to TRY.

Mercy!

Sorry. I don’t speak French.

Hey! On the off-chance that you’re not an indiscriminate killing machine, get that ass up here! I have people I promised to help, but I reckon if I have you do it, I still get partial credit!

It’s the Ladies Knitting Circle all over again. Right. Fine. Die, scum!

Actually, I’m just a regular Raider. Takes years to be promoted to Raider Scum.

Eh, whatever.

No! Stop! Who are you who splatters brains with such cold efficiency?

Your worst nightmare. A housewife with a gun. And a law degree.

Wow, this is good stress-relief. Glad to see they’ve maintained the museum so that everyone can learn about the Boston Tea Party in the irradiated wasteland where America no longer exists.

In our hearts, it still does!

You made it. Preston Garvey, of the Minutemen. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, we’re named for how long we typically last when shit goes down.

I hope you feel much shame.

Every day. But enough about me, what’s your story?

I just woke up 200 years in the future and it sucks. I’ve-

Yeah, everyone’s got problems. Back to mine. There’s a suit of power armour upstairs. I’m too much of a wuss to use it, so you think you can-

Do I get to keep the power armour?

Will I be able to tell you that you don’t when you’re wearing the aforementioned power armour?

Point. I’ll go get it. Wait, just a second. Will this involve a shitty lockpicking mini-game?

I can’t promise it won’t. Probably the same one as Skyrim.

Bethesda. Bethesda never changes. Fine. As long as it leads to some really sweet gear, I suppose I don’t mind taking a few minutes out for a quick…

Oh yes. I AM… IRON WIFE!

OH YEAH, YOU GET THE MINIGUN AND YOU GET THE MINIGUN AND YOU GET THE-

Graaarh! I’m a Deathclaw!

MINIGUN FOR EVERYONE!

I HAVE LET DOWN MY ONCE PROUD SPECIES!

Well, that was energetic. Now, to see-

Hey! Die, bitch!

And it’s official, this year’s Biggest Balls in the Wasteland trophy goes to the raider chick who just saw me blow away an army and Godzilla’s nephew, but still figured… sure, I can take her!

I MADE POOR LIFE CHOICEEEEEESS!

Don’t bleed on my new power armour. Rude.

Right, right. Well, you’ve now become the deadliest thing in the Wasteland since the bombs dropped. Here, have some bottlecaps.

What?

You know, currency. Like Pre-War Money, only much more inconvenient, heavier, not available in multiple denominations-

That’s silly.

Then why have you got a whole bag of them right there?

Turns out my OCD is going to come in handy. So what next, Big Iron?

I need to get these people to safety. Somewhere big, unused, full of potential…

Okay. Well, there’s this giant, empty Vault I know of. Bit of a fixer-upper, but all things considered it’s in pretty good shape. It’s got plumbing at least, which is more than-

I was thinking a town called Sanctuary. It’s just ruins, but if we throw up some rickety guard towers, maybe a “Thank You For Not Raiding” sign…

Yeah, the neighbourhood’s really gone downhill lately. But hey, you know what’s pretty easy to defend? A big concrete Vault with a huge door nobody but me can open. We’d have to mop up, but-

I just hope we can grow enough crops for winter…

The damn Vault even has freezers! Kindof! Even some fresh meat, if you’re not picky! Only an idiot wouldn’t immediately snap it up as a base before raiders show up and-

Yes, Sanctuary will be our new home. It’s okay, a drug-crazed psychic told me it was a good idea. Right. I’ve got a long list of jobs for you now. Killing raiders, finding people, building houses-

Oh, no you don’t. I’m not working my ass off just because you bastards have spent generations being too lazy to even take the corpses out of the bathtubs! The bathtubs, Garvey!

Well, we’ve been busy. Fighting… raiding… drinking radioactive water despite purifying it being about the second easiest scientific thing to do after disproving homeopathy…

Are you shitting me? You’ve had time for two industrial revolutions! There should be cities here! And not made out of scrap metal! You have laser guns and robots! Where is civilization?!

Well, now we’ve got you, maybe we’ll get around to it. Sturges, show her how to craft. You’ll want a mod to get rid of carry limits. Don’t ask what that means, just-

Pffft. You want crafting? I’ll craft! Here! I crafted you this lovely box, so that when you finally get your shit together, you’ll have somewhere to put it. Now get out of my way.

Wait! Stop! Where are you going?

Back to my bloody freezer. Wake me if Obsidian makes a sequel.

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