A/N: Getting right into it!
Chapter 4: Lexington
I woke up the next morning on my cot next to Nora in the basement. Dogmeat was sleeping soundly on the free cot, that would have been reserved for Shaun.. I briefly recalled the previous days of setting out to find Shaun with my wife and coming across a group of ambushed survivors in Concord. With the group in my house temporarily until we could get this place built up, I knew better than to make a lot of racket. I could hear Codsworth floating around topside. Everyone was asleep right above us in the living room. Nora was still sound asleep, no doubt still full from the meal the night before and the Hypquil. I truly hoped that she could move pass what she had to do. Your first kill is always the one you remember. She killed several people yesterday.
I got up and washed off. The shower down here wasn't much. With the plumbing being destroyed due to years of neglect, there was hardly any use in it other than the drains. Somehow, those were still intact. The water lines? Destroyed. The shower up top was the same way. We needed to find some pvc pipe, connectors, pipe glue, and pipe tape. There were maybe a few salvageable pieces around Sanctuary. Concord had a hardware store. Maybe it had some.
After washing up, I went upstairs, and walked through the living room maneuvering around them all before going out into the makeshift workshop. I inspected my Power Armor, which had a buildup of surface rust on its outer coating of paint. Model A's of all power armor were notoriously known for this. It didn't really affect the durability of the armor, because the rust itself was on an outer coating of spray on the metal, not the actual armor. Power Armored paint had traces of metal in it. Sanding it down and repainted would remedy the situation. I tinkered with the armor a little bit, working on the subsystems of the helmet. I had to make a few minor adjustments to the fusion core charge meter, and the ammo count was tricky. I had to rerun circuits and reprogram the hand sensors for the armor. Hand sensors are how the ammunition meter worked. They sent out jolts of information once the weapon kicks, or fired, when the trigger finger is pulled. Calibrating the sensors was the toughest part. This took around an hour, just in time for the sun to rise over the forest. That meant that I spent two hours working on this thing. Dogmeat explored Sanctuary Hills, while Codsworth obeyed instructions I had given him while I worked, to move my weapons workbench, armor workbench, and chemical station to under my garage against the side of my house.
Preston and Sturges were the first ones to wake up. "Early morning riser?" Sturges asked me.
"Yeah," I replied, "Figured I'd work on this Power Armor a little. Is my wife up?"
"Not yet," Preston replied, "Or at least I haven't seen her topside. So, what's the plan for today?"
I sighed. How was it that these people needed my help figuring out what to do? They had a lifetime of experience in the Wasteland. Me and Nora barely had a week. "I'm going to ask you this once," I said, "Are you a leader or a follower?"
"Pardon?" Preston asked.
"Are," I repeated, "You. A. Leader. Or. A. Follower?"
"I apologize," Preston said, "I wasn't that high up in the Minutemen. I was just an everyday soldier, though I was always there with my commanding officer listening to his orders and he'd explain why he issued them. He wanted me to learn as I was different from the other Minutemen. I didn't know what he meant until….never mind."
There was more to this. I could tell. I sighed again. "One day," I said, "I'm going to ask you what it means to be a minuteman. And I want you to answer me truthfully and with everything you have Garvey. I want to know everything. I have several years of combat experience in me. I have led a battalion into battle and Spec Ops missions with some brave souls, fighting the Chinese every step of the way in Anchorage. I have seen soldiers come and go. I've seen them driven insane by the stress of combat zones. You act like you're on the verge of that right now. If you're going to lead these people, you need to snap out of it and take R&R. You have two turrets guarding Sanctuary as well as Codsworth. Relax a little. I'm not saying drop your guard completely. But just relax."
For his part, Preston kept his composure. "Very well."
"Sturges," I said, "If he doesn't get one day of relaxation while Nora and I are gone, take his Laser Musket."
"Sure thing." Sturges said, "Hey Preston? Why not just let me hold on to it for a while?"
Preston gave him a look. He wasn't letting go of that musket to save his life. "There is something I am curious about though," I said, "You thought we were this group called, aw what was it again? The Gunners? Is their uniform what I'm wearing right now?"
"Similar," Preston said, "Their uniforms are all green and most of them wear military fatigues. Their Power Armor, Vertibirds, and equipment are all green. They operate like a gang and take on mercenary work, but they have the ranks of a military. "
"Like I said," Sturges said, "Well equipped Raiders."
"Sounds like they're a stereotypical bunch of wannabe soldier boys," I quipped, "Can't wait to knock them down a peg or two. So, I may have to whip out the camouflage gear, so we don't get confused with those asshats." I paused for a moment. "Since you two want orders so bad, I guess I can come up with something. Nora, Codsworth, and I pretty much scrapped a lot of junk around Sanctuary, or it is piled up ready to be scrapped. We can start there. With all of you here it shouldn't be too hard to begin. I'll leave Codsworth with you until He's been helping me so far." I pulled out a notebook on some of my Do-It-Yourself designs. "Sturges here. There's a design in here for a Water Purifier in here that I came up with. If you follow the instructions, it shouldn't be too hard to build the pieces. When Nora and I come back, which we will, we'll build it. I figured since you liked to tinker, you'd be more suited to building it. We could all use fresh water. I'd like to preserve as much purified water as I can down in the basement." I remembered that the Vault had a supply of water too. I was debating on letting them know about that little tidbit. After all, the Vault's water supply came from the surrounding lake of Sanctuary. Thankfully, it was filtered and purified. "Preston, when I return, I guess we can draw up plans to make this place a little more livable and give everyone else jobs, when Nora and I return. For now, you all are safe. Codsworth has been here for two hundred years and only deals with Radroaches or Bloatflies."
"That sounds doable," Preston replied nodding, "are you leaving to Tenpines Bluff?"
"Yeah," I replied nodding, "I had everything ready to go last night. Dogmeat, Nora, and I are getting ready to leave…..when she wakes up."
"Very well," Preston replied nodding.
"Also…." I said, "There are eight houses that are still standing here in Sanctuary Hills. Mine and my wife's home is claimed obviously, as well as the backyard and car port of this house. I had planned to use that particular house as an overall storage house, but with your arrival, you can use it to shelter someone. I'd recommend you all to stick close to my home and fortify all around us."
"Sturges and I can bunk up in the house across the street," Preston said, "It's already fitted for workshop duty and Sturges is the tinkerer. I think you took most of the tools though."
"We can share," I commented, "So long as you put things back. You might be able to use some of the scrap from the houses to patch up all of your new homes."
"Will do," Sturges said.
"Mama Murphy would probably like this house," Preston said patting the side of the house of the car port we were under. The Longs will like the other house."
"Speaking of them," I said, "What is it with them? Jun looks like he's suffering from PTSD and Marcy acts hostile to everyone who isn't her husband."
"They were settled at Quincy with me and Mama Murphy," Sturges said, "They lost their son to Raiders in Lexington. He got separated from us due to the Ghouls. They're still dealing with it." I simply nodded.
"I understand," I replied solemnly, "Losing your child is not easy." My thoughts drifted towards Shaun. Mama Murphy assured us that ours was at least alive. But Jun and Marcy's son? They had lost him forever. The woman had irked him slightly with her attitude. But at least he now understood why she was, the way she was. There was an uncomfortable pause.
Sturges remedied that. "Hey Nate," He asked, "Do you remember when you were talking about the fusion cores and Power armor yesterday?"
"Well, you never finished what you were saying," Sturges said, "We were kind of in the middle of something, but it seems like you know a lot about power armor and fusion cores."
"I'm a tinkerer," I replied, "I'm always looking to improve weapons and armor. I used to build Power Armor, gadgets, robots and weapons for fun from scratch. It's a lot easier when you have parts. But anyways, Power Armor. Each power armor frame has a power slot for fusion cores. It has a lot more systems to manage than just simply powering a generator. The HUD on a Power armor helmet, movement systems that are guided by the wearer, enhanced strength, the shock absorbers, or PA jetpack systems. Configuring it to do so, saves it from powering everything at one hundred percent all the time which depletes faster. It can micromanage much better. It is basically like leaving the Air Conditioning and lights on in your vehicle while the keys were turned on, but not starting the vehicle. I'm glad that West-Tek did start integrating power armor frames. Do you understand how annoying it was to have a few mechanics build the armor around you? I was half tempted to make a mechanical assembly stationed designed to do it faster. Also, those TX-28 microfusion packs they had originally, were sustainable, but couldn't operate as efficiently as a Fusion core. The difference was compared to fusion cores, they could only power the Power Armor systems at seventy-six percent efficiency. Fusion cores operated 24% more efficiency. There were no kinds in the power armor. It gave more strength and carrying capacity. But because most power armor were sent out being powered by the TX-28's, there wasn't enough time to convert them into frames and fusion cores."
"What the difference between the frames and already assembled power armor?" Preston asked, "Can't you take the armor off the TX-28 powered versions like the frames?"
"That's a no-go boss," Sturges said, "Technically you can, but the TX-28 powered frames don't open up like the newer ones. You can still take the Power armor off the TX -28 powered frames and put them on the fusion core frames though. It's hard to, but it can be done." He looked at me with confusion. "What I want to know is, how do configure, what is basically a nuclear battery?"
"Oh, that's simple," I replied, "With a fusion core converter. I gotta find one. Chances are, I'll be able to find one in Fort Strong or Fort Hagen. Both had Power Armor detachments there. Converters can be used for three things, "Normal, Distributed, and Overcharged. Normal is the default. It is the setting for fusion generators. Distributed is what you want to use for Power armor. Overcharged burns out quicker, but the amount of power it gives is doubled. Someone wearing power armor can already perform better in combat than a normal person. Enhanced strength, carry capacity, durability, and speed. The more you sprint, the more drain it has on your core. Using a jetpack drains it faster as well. The average sprint speed for a human is around 14 miles per hour? With power armor it is as faster than an elite athlete hitting around 29-35 miles per hour. Overcharged? Double that speed to 59-65 miles per hour. Jetpacks become jump packs and will use twenty five percent of the fusion core. This allows the power armor to jump fifty feet per burst. Now, I'm sure I can rig up something to configure the fusion cores for me, but it's either better to have a converter or an A.I to do it for you."
"Wow." Sturges said looking at Preston, "I'm pretty sure he'd give the Atom Cats a run for their money."
"Atom Cats?" I questioned.
"Power Armor nuts," Preston said, "They all treat their armor like prewar classic car collectors do vehicles. Saw pictures like that in a hotrodder magazine."
"Ah," I said understanding completely. I'd definitely have to check this group out then. I could already see Power armor shows like those old car shows back before the bombs fell. I decided to stretch my legs and walk out on the street for a moment. The sun was peaking over the landscape. There was an odd beauty to the destruction of everything I had known and missed.
I looked around envisioning what the neighborhood might've been like if the bombs hadn't fell and Nora and I hadn't had to vacate it with Shaun. I closed my eyes, wishing I could manifest what I was feeling. There were no destroyed or decrepit homes, kids would be playing in the playground, cars driving by, and the wind blowing. There were sounds of Evaline Rosa and her son Chris tinkering on the Corvega. There were the vibrant colors of fall, a pastel sunrise and the smell of barbeque from someone grilling out in their back yard. There were sounds of people conversing, laughter, and birds chirping. It was replaced by the loud sounds of cawing. I opened my eyes, bringing myself back to reality. Nope. I hadn't traveled back to the past.
When Nora woke up, I was sitting next to her. "How are you feeling?"
"Groggy," She muttered yawning. Her bed hair made her look even more beautiful.
"Sleep any better?"
"A little bit," She replied, "You've been up for a while haven't you?"
"What have you been doing?"
"I worked on the Power Armor we got at Concord a little bit," I replied, "Got Preston and Sturges something to do while we are gone. We also got living arrangements made."
"Oh," She said yawning again, "Too much information and too early. My brain hurts." She massaged her temples. "I wish we had coffee."
"Codsworth has combed over Sanctuary Hills and has yet to find any," I replied with a small smirk, "I'm surprised we're functioning without it."
"Mornings are for coffee and contemplation, Nora agreed, "Only." I remembered that phrase from somewhere. It was probably one of her favorite shows she used to watch. "Give me a few to wash off." After the events of yesterday, it was the first night we hadn't washed off.
Nora, Dogmeat, and I had geared up and were on the road. Getting to Tenpines Bluff was going to take a while as we were sticking to the roads as much as we could. The reason being was that I didn't trust the woods at all. This land had changed a lot since I was around 200 years ago. The wildlife was mutated and more dangerous than before. So far, we had seen Bloatflies, Mole Rats, and Deathclaw I had to trust my gut to stay with the road, something Nora agreed with. It actually made me want to study all the animals and get a better idea of what could possibly be out there. I made a mental note to question Preston or the others when we returned to Sanctuary Hills. Getting to Concord only took two hours, this time because we had been on the road beforehand and knew that the path was pretty much clear. It didn't stop us from staying alert though. We made sure to follow the road as soon as we got to the intersection so that we'd walk the outside of Concord's City limits, though it didn't stop us from going through the neighborhood of Concord's Northernmost limits.
"We really need to pick through that place," Nora said, "I bet there is so much scrap in there."
"Yeah," I replied nodding, "we'll come back for it one day…."
We walked pass the street that the Museum was on. I noticed the Concord Truckstop where eighteen wheelers were parked with shipping containers. But the sounds of a little girl screaming, and a gunshot echo were what really caught our attention.
Dogmeat, Nora, and I crept down the sloped road and stopped at the lot's entrance peeking out above a rusty car near a small ledge with a tree and brush on it. There were five people total, three of them were harassers. The other two were a little girl, and the older one was an older man. There was a body on the ground near them, looking like a dirty wastelander. I immediately knew that the harassers were Raiders.
"Not so tough now that you don't have any ammo in that gun huh old man?" One of them said kicking the older man down to the ground. "Beating you to death is going to be so much fun."
"Fucking that little girl's going to be better!" Another said, which caused the others to laugh.
"Maybe we should let him watch first huh?" The third said.
"Yeah," The first Raider said as the second grabbed the girl, "Let him watch while we each have a turn with his little spawn."
"No," The older man said, "Please….don't."
The group laughed. "Please," The first mocked in a false begging tone, "Please don't do it. Please don't kill me, Please don't rape my little girl." He returned to his brutal . "It's always the same with you people, nobody cares what you want. Only the badasses survive out here. We do what we want, when we want. And what are you going to do to stop us huh? Nothing. I'll tell you what though. We're going to put our dicks right in her tight, innocent‑"
A single bullet from Nora's hunting rifle blew his head off, deservingly. I approved wholeheartedly. If we weren't in a bad spot, I'd give her a kiss. "Dogmeat sick 'em," I spoke. Dogmeat barked before bounding off towards the Raiders. The Raiders immediately started to panic and began to prepare for Dogmeat with crude melee weaponry. I fired my combat rifle at another raider immediately, hitting one in the abdomen. The other was panicked so much, he wasn't prepared for Dogmeat tackling him. I made my way forward at a quickened pace with my gun trained on the Raider I shot. Dogmeat finished ripping out the other man's throat. The Raider was on the ground holding his gunshot wound.
"Please!" He begged me as I came up to him holding his hand out trying to block a bullet with it, "Don't, DON'T!" I silenced him with a gunshot to the head before holstering my gun.
"Fuck off," I muttered before turning to the two survivors, "are you two okay?"
"Yeah," The older man said, "Thank you strangers."
"No need to thank us," I replied nodding, "Just doing what was right."
"Thanks!" The little girl said. I realized she had blood splatter on her.
"Are you okay?" Nora asked the little girl, "He didn't hurt you, did he?"
"No," She replied, "I'm fine. Thank you though."
"If you need to talk," She said, "It's okay." Nora knew how traumatic something like that could be. It was probably more comforting if another female asked about the well-being, compared to another man; given what the Raiders were threatening.
"I'm okay," The girl said, "Thank you though."
"Well let me at least get you cleaned up," Nora said grabbing a rag and wetting it with water from one of her canteens. She proceeded to clean the blood splatter from the girl's face.
"Are you two out here alone?" I asked helping the man up. Their little campsite had two backpacks, a campfire, two sleeping bags, and a tarp that was built like a lean-to. It was honestly dumb in my opinion to camp out in the middle of a truck lot, like this. But I wasn't going to say anything.
"Yes," The older man spoke. Dogmeat went over to the little girl sniffing her before wagging his tail.
"Why don't you join our group?" I asked, "We're settled down over in a place called Sanctuary."
"Settled down?" The man spoke, "I didn't think there were any settlements around here like that."
"We are just starting up this settlement," Nora spoke up, "It started with me and my husband here, then we came across a group of travelers who were looking for a place to call home. They're in Sanctuary at the moment."
"Who's in charge there?" The old man asked.
"At the moment," I spoke, "I guess we are. Long story short, they made us the leader there. We're doing a favor for a friend. He wants us to figure out what's going on at a place called Tenpines Bluff."
"I see," The man replied to that, "Is there enough room for us at this Sanctuary?"
"Of course," Nora replied, "Getting there is easy too. Just follow that road through Concord and only make right turns on it. It's passed the Red Rocket Station and when you come across a wooden bridge, you've made it there. The bridge seems stable, despite its appearance. It's a prewar neighborhood called Sanctuary Hills."
"I see," The older man said, "We'll do just that. Thank you."
"No problem," I replied, "My name's Nate by the way. And this is my wife Nora."
"Clinton," The older man replied, "And this is my daughter Charlie." His daughter was currently playing with Dogmeat who was rolled over on his back as she rubbed his belly.
"Nice to meet you both," I replied as I pulled out one of the spare 10mm pistols from Concord, out of my backpack as well as a spare magazine. "Here." I handed it to him. "When you get there, ask for Preston. He was the guy who was leading the group to Sanctuary before I found them. Tell him Nate and Nora sent you and the dog was named Dogmeat just in case they have trouble believing your story; not that they won't."
"Thank you," The older man said, "We'll leave right now then. Come on Charlie. Let's pack up"
"Okay daddy," The girl replied, "Thank you so much for saving us!"
"No problem," Nora responded. We parted ways, with me continuing down the road.
Several minutes into our walk down the sloped road, we came across half a bus. Dogmeat went inside first and barked. Nora walked in to see him looking at something near the front. "Good boy," She said before opening something up.
"Hun," She held them up, "Stimpaks!"
Continuing on down the road, we took a left right where a large quarry was located. I remembered the Quarry was known as Thicket Excavations Quarry before the war. It was where they were mining for resources. I quickly updated my map by putting an icon where it was. We continued up the road for maybe another hour or so before making it up to the top of the slope at an intersection. Being keen on our surroundings I noted a large billboard with some kind of crate on it with makeshift stairs leading up to the service walkway. Curiosity got the best of me, so I ended up getting up there to discover welding goggles and a couple .45 caliber bullets.
"Whatcha got there?" She asked.
"Some .45 bullets and welding goggles," I replied, "Might need them." The welding goggles were actually in good shape, so I took it and the bullets.
We doubled back to the intersection, and instead of going North, the three of us walked up through a dirt road. The dirt road led to a dirt parking lot where many cars and trucks were around. It looked like someone tried to set up came here a long time ago. The rusted fence was basically the barricade to the Hunting Club, in which some kind of large vehicle or more had plowed through it and became trapped in the area below. We saw several crates, old refrigerators and other junk down there. But there was also some wildlife down there in the form of dogs. Wild mongrels were what they were. There were about six of them. One noticed us and barked before bounding towards us. As soon as the others spotted us, they came at us too. Nora pulled out her 10mm and began firing on them along with me. Of course, Dogmeat had to get in on the action as well. He tackled the second dog that came at us, the two locked in a dogfight. We fired at the others, dispatching them with half a magazine. Dogmeat finally got his jaws around the neck of one of the dogs and started shaking into the wild dog's neck violently. The dog finally went limp. I nodded at Dogmeat for his victory.
"Good boy," Nora said petting him and looking him over. "You good?"
Dogmeat barked in response. He was alright. "Hey hun," I said, "Let's look around for a moment. The hunting lodge is on the other side of this fence further up the road."
She looked around the area, noting all the debris and rusted vehicles. "Yeah this does look like it'd have something," She replied agreeing, "doesn't it?" I nodded in response. We got to work, combing through the area, standing on vehicles or piles of junk. "There's a lot of junk here."
"Soo much junk," I agreed looking through the debris, "We could use some of this back at Sanctuary."
"Hey, look at this Nate!" She said opening a refrigerator door. Inside was a large cache of bottle caps. This refrigerator was filled to the brim with bags of them. Each had a tag on them with 100 written on them. "Didn't Preston say these were currency out here?"
"Yeah," I replied as I pulled out a duffle bag, "This is a score hun."
"What if it belongs to someone?"
"Then they've lost it," I replied, "Normally, I wouldn't do this, but we need money and its out here abandoned in the middle of a junk pile." There was a reflection of light, which was kind of odd. I looked in the direction and all I saw was a crow with red eyes perched on an old Flea. It immediately flew off…incidentally towards the direction of the lodge.
"True," She replied, then helped me load every bag into the duffle bag, "Fifty bags of a hundred caps are 5,000 bottle caps." I zipped up the duffle bag. It couldn't hold any more.
"Yeah," I said strapping it underneath my backpack, "The thing is, I don't know how much 5,000 bottle caps are in the current economy."
"Imagine if one cap was equal to a dollar," Nora replied, "We just found $5,000 in the middle of nowhere."
"That'd be great," I replied laughing. "Ready to go?"
We continued on, noting that it was ten minutes past noon. We came across the area that Preston had marked on my map, known as Tenpines Bluff. The hunting lodge I had known about beforehand wasn't standing save a couple of derelict walls and the floor. There was a settler working a garden that was between the derelict lodge and a shanty-like building.
"Excuse me?" I spoke as the settler didn't seem to notice me, "Who's in charge here?"
"That'd be me," someone said coming from the shanty building. He had a shotgun pointed at me, "What do you want? We don't want any more trouble around here."
"Take it easy," I replied deciding it best to announce my intentions. Obviously the man was distressed, "We're with the Minutemen and here to help….with whatever it is you called for." Technically, that was a lie. We weren't really Minutemen. We were helping the last Minuteman though.
The settler's tone changed immediately. "You two are with the Minutemen?" He asked, "I didn't really think you fellas still existed. We sent word with one of them passing traders, but honestly, I never expected anything to come of it. Most people don't put much stock in the Minutemen these days, after Quincy. Bad Business, that."
I made a mental note to ask Preston what happened at Quincy. "Don't worry about that. Is there something you need my help with?"
"Oh!" The man said, "of course. I'm glad you're here. There's been a Raider Gang that's been giving us trouble for weeks. Stealing food and supplies, threatening to kill us both if we don't pony up. We know where they're coming from, but we can't go up against a gang like that."
"Where are they?" Nora asked.
"The Corvega Assembly Plant," The man said, "Over in Lexington."
"Very well," I spoke nodding, "We'll take care of them for you."
"Thank you," The man replied, "Thank you so much."
"Do you mind if we take a break hun?" Nora asked me, "That's a walk on its own."
"Sure," I replied, "We can eat something too." Our lunch consisted of few protein bars and can of dogfood for Dogmeat. There wasn't much to Tenpines Bluff's location. It was in the middle of the wilderness atop a cliff. You could look East to see a toll bridge stretch North to South. On the other side was the distant General Atomics Galleria. A Northeast, I could see a relay station tower.
Dogmeat, Nora and I doubled back towards Concord, retracing our steps. Before it got dark, we settled down into the third floor of the Museum, where Preston and the others were held up when we came across them. We made sure to take safety measures to keep our stay as safe as possible. One safety measure was by tying the entrance double doors together with a rope. We did explore the museum a little. We had been here before the war, and it was a place of history. I used to enjoy it. Nora and I set out among the ruins. I moved the bodies of the Raiders out the Museum, while Nora explored it. She would scavenge anything of use. She even found a collectable Vault-boy bobblehead and Robco magazine titled, Robco Fun Issue #1: Atomic Command. It was titled Perception. She made sure to stockpile any junk she found in one of the office rooms and even found stashes of bottlecaps. The final corpse I had to move was the Deathclaw. It wasn't happening. There was no way I could do so without Power Armor. It was bigger than human corpses. For now, we'd have to endure the stench.
After eating some rations then turning in for the night, the next morning, Dogmeat, Nora, and I set out towards the Corvega Assembly plant which was South out of Concord. Along the road, past another neighborhood, we found someone sitting near a billboard. Their companion was a…two headed cow. It was a woman with a blue jacket, green pants, and brown shoes. She had short light brown hair and dark eyes, being at least in her late forties to early fifties.
She was resting there, smoking a cigarette. "So what's your story?" She asked as I got closer," Looking to trade, rob me, or just ask directions to Diamond City?"
"You're a trader?" Nora asked eyeing the cow with discomfort.
"Yep," The woman said sounding like a parrot talking, "The name's Carla, though people call me Trashcan Carla because I come across a lot of junk that some people find useful. What's the matter girlie? Never seen a Brahmin before?"
"No ma'am," She replied honestly.
"What?" Carla squawked, "For real? Vault Dwellers?"
"Formally," I replied, "As for trading, we're kind of in charge of a community called Sanctuary. The town folk there could probably find something to trade with."
"Hmm," Trashcan Carla spoke pulling out a map, "I'm not familiar with Sanctuary. Where's it at?"
"We're just starting the settlement," I said then pointed it out on the map, "Right here. My wife and I are from Vault 111."
"Oh," Carla spoke nostalgically, "Haven't been up that way before. The closest I've been there is Abernathy Farm and Tenpines Bluff. Heard that Raiders are becoming real assholes out here. Guess I might as well see what's to this new settlement. I might even tell the other caravans."
"Thank you," Nora replied nodding, "But quick question."
"How many bottle caps would you say is a lot?"
"Come again?" Carla said confused but then realized who she was talking to, "Oh. Right. Vault Dwellers. Well, the average food cost is 3-10 caps for everyday rations. Purified water market value is 20 caps. Junk, it really depends. My wares can get up to a couple hundred. Weaponry and armor can get up there as well. Now if you're looking for high grade stuff. Several thousand caps. It really depends. Most wastelanders are lucky to have over 500 at a time. They have to be self-sufficient or have a job at one of the settlements."
"Oh," Nora said looking at me. So, we were kind of well off at the moment with caps. "Well thank you Carla. But we must be going."
"Good luck you two," Carla spoke waving us off, "The Commonwealth's gettin' more dangerous every day. Hope you finish whatever it is you're doing."
"Thanks," I replied nodding before continuing down the road. When Trashcan Carla was out of earshot I made the comment. "We definitely got to stash those caps somewhere."
Not long after that, we came across an old diner that Nora and I used to go out to eat at, around thirty minutes into the walk. It was the local Drumlin Diner. What was once a combination of outdoor and indoor dinery was converted into a fortified restaurant. The windows were boarded up. An inactive automated turret was sitting in front of the Dutch door off to the right. The top half was barred while the bottom half was reinforced with metal. Where one could sit on a barstool outside to eat at the bar, was boarded up and reinforced. There looked to be some kind of garden off to the side as well. Many crows were using the Drumlin Diner sign as a perch. There was a confrontation going on, one that kept us alert. Nora stayed back, taking cover behind an old Corvega and readying her scope.
"We had a deal Trudy," A man spoke, "Hand over the goods you owe us."
"I ain't giving you poison-shilling chem pushers anything!" An older woman yelled from within the diner, "Do you have any idea what that junk has done to my boy!?"
"He bought them fair and square Trudy!" The man argued back, "It ain't our fault if he's strung out. Now don't make me come in there and shoot up that trading post of yours." The two harassers noticed my presence. "This doesn't concern you!"
I already had an idea of what was happening. "What's going on here?"
"A simple business dispute," The man said, "Trudy is sitting on a pile of goods she owes me. I tried reasoning with her, but it looks like I gotta take what's mine by force. The name's Wolfgang. Wanna make some easy money? Help me out. I could use another gun. Or maybe you think you can talk some sense into her?" The way he was speaking, didn't really make me believe he'd let them off that easy. I knew drug dealers. They wouldn't let this slide in the old days. I doubt they would in today's age.
"If I help," I spoke playing him, "I expect to get paid."
"I'm not here to haggle," Wolfgang responded, "You'll get whatever I feel like giving yah, got it? Now what's it going to be?"
"I guess I will-" Wolfgang or his female companion didn't expect me to assault them. Wolfgang had let his guard down just enough for me to act. I whipped out my 10mm and unloaded my magazine into him. Before I could turn onto the woman, Nora shot her causing her to fall to the ground in agony. I ended her life with a bullet to the head. I rummaged through Wolfgang's backpack, finding an assortment of chems and caps. Another three hundred or so caps. I took the man's Buffout, Radaway, Addictol, and stimpaks, and an inhaler with a red tank on it. His companion had a few Frag Grenades on her.
"You alright ma'am?" I asked the older lady.
"Yeah," She said, "ha, ha, I can't wait to see the crows feeding on that scumbag. Come on over here. This is for you. You ever need to trade; my shop is open." My wife and I walked over to the fortified diner meeting her at her Dutch Door. The inside was like a narrow hall-like lobby. There were two reinforced doors on either side and a service booth, reinforced with bullet proof glass and bars. My guess was, the right side of the diner, which was where the food was cooked and served, now served as the store, while the left which was the dining area, was now a living or storage area.
"You got things covered from here?" I asked taking a bag of bottle caps.
"Yeah," Trudy replied nodding, "It's going to take my son a while to get off the Chems, but we'll make it. We always do. Now let's get back to business. You need anything for the road?"
"No ma'am," I replied pulling out the addictol, "We're fine. Here. This should help your son. Curtesy of that man lying in his own pool of blood."
"Thank you," She replied.
We continued to loot the Chem dealers before continuing on our journey. Eventually we came across a small house off to the right and a derailed train further up the road around another mile or so. Before we completely passed it, I stopped Nora.
"Hold up darling," I said looking at the train. It was a military grade. "Look's promising. This is a military grade train."
"As in weapons or tech?"
"Yeah," I replied, "I wanna check it out."
Inside the train cars which were locked, were a lot of military grade barricades, several crates of ammunition and I almost crapped myself when I came across a security cage with a few Power Armor Frames inside and it looked like there were crates inside which held the armor. I saw that it was marked T-45a armor. There were three sets of T-45 Power armor. If it were someone else, they'd wonder why I'd want it if I already had a set back at home. The reason was simple. I'd rather have it in our hands than someone else getting their hands on it. Looking at the terminal that it was connected to, I could tell that I'd need to come back. You'd have to be a hacker who was used to advanced security programs.
"How has no one come by and claimed these things?" Nora asked mouth agape.
"I don't know." I replied, "But looks like we got you a set. There's three of them." I can't tell what else is in there though." I marked this location on my map, due to the fact that this was some technology that we could have use for later. "Come on." We continued until we spotted Lexington. It sure had changed.
Lexington used to be a thriving city, having all the amenities of functioning town. The highway entrance to the town had a Red Rocket Station between a laundromat, a place called Slocum Joe's, a large Hardware store, and several apartment buildings. I noted a parking garage and the Super-Duper Mart as well. One of the many overpasses that had once arced over that town had collapsed in many places. On the other side of the overpass was the Corvega Assembly factory. Even from this distance, you could see specks of people walking the tops of the massive plant. We were looking at them through the binoculars from atop the hill near an eighteen-wheeler with trailer. There was only so much one could see though without entering the city itself. Lexington was pretty big. Not as big as Boston, but it was definitely sizeable.
"That looks like trouble," Nora said, "Did we bite off more than we can chew?"
"Fuck," I grunted almost depressively. Dogmeat tilted his head. "Don't worry boy, just working through some things. Looks like we're going to be doing some recon."
"That's going to be fun," Nora commented sarcastically.
We had spent the better part of the day circling the Factory and town walking counterclockwise, discovering that all the entrances were pretty much sealed up or guarded. The front entrance, which was the office entrance was fortified with three Raiders and two automated turrets. We could see that from the street. Below the street was a parking building. We circled the factory, noting that the loading bay at the rear of the factory was sealed shut. Various metal containers were out there, none looked as if they were never opened. Surprisingly, we hadn't be spotted from above. We followed the road that went back around the factory from the loading bay lot. We followed it down into the city, being extremely cautious. At the intersection, there was a road that led out of the city into one of the many neighborhoods of Boston. A large pharmacy building was the most noticeable building. There was movement in that direction, but we were going to avoid it if we could. To the left, we began to walk through the Lexington bus station. There were various skeletons lying all over the place, of long dead people who probably fell victim to the radiation. From the bus station, the urban area split off into three different directions from our original path. One led out into the suburbs on the other side of the overpass. Another led down a street lined with many, many apartment buildings and a few warehouses. The winding overpass made this place seemed to make the street look dark and ominous, akin to a true apocalypse. Trash lined the streets with dilapidated vehicles everywhere. The last street, led to downtown Lexington, but looked as if someone had tried to fortify it.
Our first ghoul up and close wasn't as bad of an experience I was expecting. I thought it was a zombie at first. It reeked, moaned, and hissed. Its movements were staggered, like a malnourished walking corpse. It shuffled from an alleyway between the streets that led to downtown and the apartment buildings. It stopped shuffling and bent over, crouched, like it was staring at something right at its feet. Located just on the other side of the bus station, it sat there alone. Dogmeat let out a low growl. Its head snapped up, revealing pale white eyes. It let out a raspy howl, stood up, and bolted right towards us. It was in a full-on sprint. I shot it in the head with my combat rifle, it crumpling to the ground, slightly skidding towards us.
"That's disturbing." Nora said, "Did we just enter a horror movie?"
"That's just one of them," I spoke.
"We're not going to turn into one of those are we?" She asked me.
"I don't think we can be infected like a zombie plague dear," I replied, "Come on. Let's go." I started down to walk down the street towards some makeshift wooden junk barriers that staggered along the street. Fortifications from the Raiders maybe? I read a sign on it, that said, "Stay Quiet! You'll live longer!"
"Hun!" Nora said panicked but as soft as she could. She pointed in the direction of the street of apartment buildings that were built under the winding overpasses. My heart stopped for a brief moment. Shambling down the street, coming out of the many apartments, were a sea of feral ghouls. They weren't in a full on sprint, but they were making their way towards us. I stood there dumbfounded for a moment before realizing that we were in their path. Dogmeat barked. That created a chain reaction. I inwardly cursed. Stupid dog! The Feral Ghouls howled and started to shamble faster towards us. Some of them got toppled and trampled on by their own horde.
"Dogmeat!" Nora said worried and reprimanding the dog.
"Run," I said, though you could barely hear me due to the loudness of the feral ghouls. We started to go back the way we came, only to discover that the ruins of the homes in the surrounding fields and suburban area had the same shambling movement coming our way. We went the only direction we could. Towards downtown. We zigzagged between the barriers, then kept close to the factory-side buildings. I looked all around. The street to the right was a no go. I saw movement as we passed by. It was more Ferals, but they hadn't seen or heard us. We had to keep breaking line of sight. After we had gotten pass that street, I stopped and turned around while walking backwards, to get a quick looked I glanced back to notice that the horde of ferals hadn't gotten around the barricades, so I knew they couldn't see us yet. They had to have seen us run away though.
"Nate!" Nora quietly and waving me over to an alleyway on the other side of the street near the factory. Down an alleyway was a chain-link fence and gate. The fence had a fence blind on it, used for privacy. A rolling dumpster was on the side of the alleyway. She opened the gate, and Dogmeat went in. I sprinted across the street towards her. As I ran, I glanced in the direction of the barriers to see that the first of the Feral horde had just come through. I had no idea if they saw me or not, but I didn't waste any time going towards the dumpster. It was large enough to be used as a barricade, or to at least break the line of sight of a possible exit. I yanked it as hard as I could to move in front of the gate. The gate didn't have the same privacy blinds, but now that the dumpster was in front of it, maybe the gate wouldn't be noticed. I closed the gate behind us and got as low as the stairs on the other side would allow us. We were below street level. It wasn't long before the horde of Feral Ghouls began to shamble passed the alleyway. We stayed quiet for a while. Nora had clamped Dogmeat's mouth shut with her hands. He whimpered slightly. I may have alerted the feral ghouls of our presence in the city, but Dogmeat had nearly gotten us killed twice due to his inability to be quiet. We'd have to work on that.
When I didn't hear any more shambling and moans of the feral ghouls, I relaxed. That was, until the sound of something whistling through the air, and an explosion right after. The explosion shook the ground. That sounded like a mininuke. What the hell was the owner firing at? The horde?
Dogmeat finally wrestled himself from Nora's grasp and walked over to sniff a large pipe. He barked, looking back at us. We both shushed him, but he walked into the pipe regardless. It led into the underparts of the Corvega factory. The pipe itself had something drawn on the inside. There was an "X" with three marks above and below it. The outer marks were diagonal while the inner marks were vertical. I ignored it. It was probably graffiti of some sort.
"Should we go in?" Nora asked hesitantly.
"This is probably the sewage of the factory," I replied, "It's got to lead to the interior. It beats trying to fight our way in from the top with all those raiders up there."
"What if we get trapped inside?"
"We've got our way out," I replied, "We're going in quietly." I replied, "Close quarters. Your rifle won't be much help."
"So what?" She asked, "Combat knifes?"
"That and pistols if it gets loud," I replied, "We can do it."
"I don't know if I can kill someone like that," She replied.
"Slitting a person's throat is the same as shooting them," I said, "Just messier. Be prepared for that dear. We've got to do this."
"We're fighting an army though."
"I know," I sighed, "Ready?"
"No," She replied, "But, it doesn't look like I got a choice." That was the second time she mentioned that. I wondered if she did have a choice. I believed she did, but she wouldn't just sit back in the safety of Sanctuary while Shaun was out there.
Dogmeat, Nora, and I carefully and quietly followed the pipe. There wasn't much choice as there were only two directions. There was light up ahead and gunfire by the sound of it. It sounded like an automated turret. I nodded to Dogmeat and Nora who kept quiet. We eventually came across a destroyed section of the pipe. A Feral Ghoul as laid out with bullet holes in it. A bright light shone into the pipe. I could hear the automated turret now and the shuffling of someone. I got quieter, pulling out one of the frag grenade I had picked off of Wolfgang's companion.
"Damn ghouls just keep coming," I heard voices, "Wish Jared would get this second turret up already."
"Yeah," Another spoke.
"Oh well," The first said, "Let's see what they had in their clothes pockets." I could hear them wade through water sloshing around. I pulled the pin and tossed the frag Grenade in the opening. The explosion killed the two Raiders and destroyed the turret.
"Thought we were going for stealth?" Nora whispered after the ringing of the explosion ceased.
"We'll wait and see if we alerted anyone else," I spoke back peering into the room.
I made it a point to look through everything in the room before moving on. There was a terminal in a workshop-like area. It had various entries from a Raider talking about needing a new turret, the ghouls, and Jared, the Raider boss. Afterwards, we went through a service tunnel lined with tin can alarm traps. When we got down the tunnel and up a flight of stairs, I noticed there was a split in our path. I decided to take the door instead of the maintenance hall. Winding up in a firefight with Raiders and a turret inhabiting the room was not planned. Using cover tactics that I had been trained to use in my time in the Military, we easily won the firefight as these Raiders were severely untrained. I heard several gunshots behind me from the hallway, seeing Nora firing down the hall we had opted not to go down. "He's down," She uttered as we moved in the room, "So much for stealth!"
We were in a furnace room and it looked as if they were experimenting with building fire-based weaponry. There were also several crates full of molotovs near the canisters. I knew if we survived this ordeal, we could easily come back and start scavenging the place. We just had to make sure every Raider in Lexington was dead first. We crept up the stairs behind some double doors in the other entrance of the room. We wound up in what looked like a crew room with various lockers and an elevator. We quickly dispatched two Raiders before nearly being surrounded in three different directions.
"Nora," I said, "Keep in Cover!" I grabbed Dogmeat and put he got on the elevator before engaging in the firefight alongside Nora against the Raiders.
"We're going to need better equipment," I muttered to myself at our situation as I fired a few rounds down the hall.
"That power armor would come in handy right about now." Nora said firing blindly around the corner, somehow hitting one. They had us surrounded.
We continued to dispatch the Raiders as they held positions around us. Nora shot a Raider that randomly decided to charge with a machete. He was probably stoned out of his mind. We held them at bay, letting them waste their ammo before firing in whichever direction had stopped. It was a long and tedious process, taking about ten minutes to actually finish off the Raiders, but we finally managed it. We made sure to check out every direction, learning that one would lead us in a circle back to the service tunnels, another led us to where hubcaps and engines were built, incidentally being the location of all of their munitions inside a cage, which I had a key that was marked CSK that I got off of one of the Raiders back in Concord. We had finally got into the Car assembly room at the top of the interior where we fought tooth and nail against unorganized Raiders and two of their turrets.
There was one who survived our attack, and after reaching him by activating a walkway bridge to extend to the other side, we found him in the last office room trying to lean up in the middle of the floor
"That old bitch…." He said looking at me as he backed away from us, "She told me I was going to lead a lot of men to victory when I grew up…" He had pressed himself against one of the desks "…she never mentioned being wiped out by two wastelanders. She was always right! The sight was always right!" I shot him in the head. With the room seemingly clear, I made note of all the valuables. Finishing up with clearing out the factory was more tedious than ever once I reached the roof. The Raiders were in all directions on walkways that were suspended around smokestacks and silos. Between Nora's marksmanship skills and my combat rifle, we had taken them out without much of a fight. They may have had the high ground, but their aim was complete shit. We even cleared the office doors at the front of the factory. When it was all said and over with, Nora and I retrieved a very anxious Dogmeat from the elevator and walked to the the tallest point of the factory, outside looking out over the commonwealth. It was getting dark, but the factory lights were still on.
"Look hun," Nora said from where she was leaning against the railing, "You can see Fenway Park's stadium lights." The ballpark's lights were still bright to this day. Even from here, I could tell there was something different about it. What that was, I didn't know at the moment.
"Wonder if they're playing a game tonight," I joked.
She chuckled. "You know we're not going to make it back to Tenpines Bluff right?" Nora asked.
"Yeah I know."
"Do you still have that storage key?"
"Yup," I replied.
"We can scavenge anything useful for the night," She said, "Lock everything in that storage room. After that I'm pretty sure we could find a spot to sleep in the factory and then head back in the morning."
"Sounds like a plan," I replied nodding.
We started scavenging everything we could, putting it all in piles, mostly in the storage room. Whatever was able to be carried we put it in there and in the carts all around the storage room's entrance. I started with mostly armor, weapons, and ammo, storing all of that in the storage cage and locking it up with technological junk such as military grade motherboards. Anything that could be salvaged was soon put in the storage area; hubcaps, connecting rods, gears, tools, any kind of adhesives, etc. I piled as many bodies as I could in a cart inside and wheeled them out the front door of the factory and dumped them on the road. When we finally turned in for the night, Nora felt safer sleeping in the office area where the cars were assembled. She had scrubbed the blood from the body with abraxo cleaner, while I took care of Jared and his dead buddies. I made sure to disconnect the walkway with the push of a button afterwards. Dogmeat did not like that. He whined a little when he realized that he was trapped up here with us.
The next morning, we got up at the crack of dawn. When I awoke I saw that Dogmeat had slept right beside us and a neatly folded an old comic book "Grognak the Barbarian in The Bosom of the Corsair Queen" lay next to the old mattress we had slept on. We left through the front entrance, and walked down the road, passing the pile of bodies I left. We didn't cut through Concord again just to get back to Tenpines Bluff, to save time. We took an alternate road, passing Starlight Drive-In Theater. Following this road would eventually lead us right back to the Thicket Excavations Quarry. The trip was uneventful save large, mutated deer crossing the road every now and then. But there was a small camp with an actual intelligent ghoul that was stirring something in a pot over the fire. I waved politely.
"Whoo boy," He said, "You may want to keep your distance."
"Just passing by," Nora called back.
When we arrived back at Tenpines Bluff, everything looked normal. The settler who asked me to take care of those Raider's was in the garden picking some kind of tomato-looking vegetable.. "We took care of them," Nora called out, "Wiped the place clean of Raiders."
"No kiddin'?" The man said dusting his hands off and getting up to greet us, "That's the best piece of news we've had around here for a good long time." He pulled out a bag of bottle caps. "Here. This is for you."
"Thank you," I said. We didn't do it for the money. That made me feel like a mercenary. I'm not opposed to that kind of work, I just didn't what them to think that.
"One more thing," The settler uttered.
"What?" I asked.
"We've been talking," He spoke, "My wife and I that is. We decided that if you came through, we'd join you as Minutemen."
"If we want things to get better, then we've got to start looking out for each other. You can count on us if you need help down the line." I guess we were minutemen now.
"Very well," I replied nodding, "We'll keep you in the loop. What's your name?"
"Adam," The settler replied, "And my wife is named Denise."
"Adam and Denise," I repeated, "Okay then. You two are the only two out here right?"
"Yeah," Adam replied.
"Setting up defenses wouldn't be a bad idea," I spoke, "And maybe find more settlers to help you guys out. Okay?"
"We'll look into it and send word with a Trading Caravan," Adam said.
"There is safety in numbers and fortifications," I replied spoke, "We'll check back in some time." We left Tenpines Bluff after that with Dogmeat in tow. We got back to Sanctuary when the sun had passed behind the trees, and the sky was orange. Preston was speaking with Sturges in the middle of the street out in front of our home. Even being back in Sanctuary, I noticed that everyone had been hard at work. They had claimed their homes, like I had suggested.
"You're back," Preston said in acknowledgement.
"Yeah," I spoke, "Tenpines Bluff is okay. I took care of their problem. Speaking of which, we'll have to head over to Lexington to get a lot of scrap and weapons. Nora and I gathered some loot and junk to put in the Corvega storage room. It's all looked up."
"Plus, the settlers at Tenpines Bluff decided to join your minutemen Preston," Nora spoke.
"Good news," Preston replied, "You two have been on the road all day. Want to have dinner over candlelight?"
"You asking us on a date Preston?" Nora asked with a laugh.
"Sure," He replied, "I'd like to talk to you both. It's about what we talked about a couple days ago." He looked at me when he said that.
"We can talk then." I replied nodding.
"Hey Preston," Nora said, "We met two people on the road to Tenpines Bluff. We told them where Sanctuary was. Did they make it here?"
"Clinton and Charlie?" Preston asked, "Yes they did! They're bunking in Mama Murphy's home for the moment. We're…stilling trying to come up with other living arrangements."
"We can figure that out tomorrow," Nora said, "I'm starving."
"We got to feed momma," I agreed, "She gets hangry really quick." It had been a long three days as well.
We continued to our house, being greeted by our Robotic Butler.
"Ah Good evening mum and sir!" He greeted us, his bright light optics almost blinding us?
"Good to see you too Codsworth," I said putting my hand out in front of his lights, "Turn the lights off bud. You're blinding us."
"My apologies Mr. Walker," He said immediately turning off his lights, "Would you and the misses like some food prepared?"
"Yes Codsworth," I replied, "And for Preston here as well. We've got some things to talk about."
"Right away," the Mister Handy said. Preston, Nora, and I sat at a table in our living room. A gas lantern sat in the center.
"Have you heard of the Quincy Massacre?" Preston asked.
"I've heard you and Sturges mention Quincy," Nora replied, "And the settler at Tenpines Bluff mention the settlement, but that's it."
"You've been avoiding the subject too," I spoke, "I figured you'd tell me, when you were ready."
"I should have told you sooner," Preston said, "I'm actually surprised Sturges didn't say anything. It's important you know about the Commonwealth's history." He let out a sigh, looking like he was mentally preparing himself for reliving horrid memories. "The Quincy Massacre is where the Minutemen betrayed each other, and the people they were supposed to protect. I was with Colonial Hollis's group. The Gunner's were planning an assault on Quincy. Mama Murphy had a vision beforehand about it and she told Sturges. Sturges in return, told the mayor. He convinced him to call upon the Minutemen for help. We were the only ones that came, and we set up defenses for the impending attack. The other groups…..they just turned their backs. On us, and the folks in Quincy. It was all because of a former ten-year veteran had lost faith in the Minutemen. He betrayed Colonel Hollis and personally executed him in front of Gunner commanders. Only a few of us got out alive. I ended in charge of the survivors. We never found a safe place to settle. One disaster after another…..you saw how it ended in Concord."
Nora looked horrified. "I understand." I replied nodding.
"Yeah," Preston replied," I guess you do."
"Dinner is served!" Codsworth interrupted and gave everyone a Salesbury steak dinner, heated up as well as fresh water.
"Thank you Codsworth," Preston spoke.
"Proud to serve!" He said before leaving the room.
"As long as you don't give up Preston," Nora spoke to the man, "The Minutemen will survive. You've got two who pledged support of your group as Minutemen over in Tenpines Bluff. That's got to count for something Preston."
"I'm not about to give up," Preston spoke, "I can't protect the Commonwealth all by myself and two new people off in the woods. Hell, I could barely protect these people. That's why I'm talking to you. I can't rebuild the Minutemen…but I think you two can."
"I'm not so sure about me," Nora said, "But my husband sure can. He's led men into battle before."
"I was a Major," I spoke, "I didn't lead an Army." This could work in our favor though. I could continue my mission from General Chase and find Shaun.
"You two saved us in Concord," Preston pressed on, "There wasn't anything in it for you. You've got your own problems to deal with, but you did it anyway. That kind of selflessness has been in mighty short supply around here for quite a while. We need someone who can bring the whole Commonwealth together in a common cause." He looked at Nora. "I think Nate has it in him to be a leader." He kept looking between us. "The minutemen themselves are citizen soldiers, the people of the Commonwealth banding together to protect ourselves and decide our own future. That was the original idea, and it was a good one. The minutemen fell apart because our leaders forgot what it was we were supposed to stand for. I think you're the one who can bring the minutemen back and bring the whole Commonwealth together. You said you were once a soldier and you had been in many situations where you led people. Tactically, you would be the best choice."
I let out a sigh. "I'll do it," I spoke finally giving in.
Preston sighed in relief as well. "Good," He spoke, "Good. I feel like this is a whole new start for us then. It's good for us and the Commonwealth. I'll be right beside you all the way….General."
"General?" Nora commented.
"The leader of the Minutemen is always known as the General," Preston replied, "Our last leader was General Becker. After he died back in '82, nobody could agree on who would take his place. The one good thing about being the last Minuteman is there's no one to argue with me when I say that Nate is the new general."
"Don't let it go to your head," Nora joked with me. I gave her a look.
"Now it's your job to make it more than just an empty title."
"I'll do my best," I replied, "But know this Preston. I'm only agreeing to this because I'm looking for my son. He is our priority. We will help as much as I can, but if we get even a whisper of where he's at, I'm going to investigate it."
"I understand," Preston replied, "I don't blame you." With that conversation over with, the group decided to call it a night.