Pip-Boy 3000 Interactive Menu
Amata Almodovar: Level 3
Big Guns: 18
Energy Weapons: 25
Melee Weapons: 10
Small Guns: 50
Skill Points Added: +7 Small Guns, +5 Barter, +5 Energy Weapons
Perks Added: Swift Learner (Faster Level Up)
Crippled Limbs: Legs, Head, Back Rads: 2 Effects: N/A
Equipped Weapon(s): Combat Shotgun, 10mm Pistol
Equipped Apparel: Vault 101 Jumpsuit
Ammo Remaining: 24 Shotgun Shells, 48 10mm Rounds
Current Location: Springvale
The stars... blanketing the endless night sky with their brilliance, the clouds... wisping in the gentle breeze, the moon... shining through the darkness, lightly bathing the cracked arid earth with a soft pale hue of moonlight. It was... breathtaking... a vastness beyond description. It made her feel insignificant... powerless, standing beneath the infinite scale of the universe.
She watched a shooting star streak across the sky above, marveling at its splendor while listening to the nighttime sounds of the Wasteland. The chirping of crickets... the singing of birds... a squirrel rummaging for food in the brush... distant mating calls, echoing through the chilly evening air... there was so much life here.
It was a scene of natural beauty, so out of place in such a desolate landscape... and yet so perfect. Even in a world that men had destroyed, nature lived on... despite everything.
Amata smiled in pain, wondering if anyone ever stopped to appreciate such things. The people out here were probably used to it all, but for one who had never seen the outside before it was... mesmerizing. Such a radical departure from a lifetime of confinement in the dull, lifeless halls of Vault 101.
Life in the Vault was merely existing, but this... this was the world, this was living.
This is what she had been missing for the last 20 years. A life of freedom... fresh air... sunshine... nature. Her father had thought he was protecting them by sealing the Vault, but through his ruthlessness, paranoia, and lust for power he had become the very threat he had thought he was protecting them from. Yes, there were dangers out here, obviously, but isolation would never be the answer. Interaction was.
She knew this was where they belonged... out here, making a difference, using their technologies to help improve the lives of the people. By aiding them in their struggles they would be helping society as a whole, which would in turn eliminate the dangers of the outside world, and make it safer for the Vault.
Her experience with the Raiders had only strengthened her resolve, despite the deaths of her survey team and the gruesome injuries she had sustained.
The gash on her forehead was still bleeding down the side of her face and neck; her throat was sore and bruised from being choked; she had deep, bloody lacerations on the palms of her hands and knees; dozens of other cuts on her arms, legs and torso; and her back had taken the full brunt of the missile launcher's damage, a blast that had tossed her like a rag doll and showered her with blocks of rubble and debris. And those were just the surface wounds! Her head was killing her, and she could barely even stand due to the pain in her legs. There was no telling what other injuries she had sustained.
Amata closed her eyes for a moment, the searing pain beginning to return through the fading adrenaline. She raised her trembling arm and turned off the Pip-Boy's radio, then switched over to the 'status' screen and began to read the health display, wincing at the true extent of her injuries.
She had suffered a severe concussion from head trauma, first and second-degree burns from the explosion, tibial fractures in both of her legs, a few cracked ribs, deep shrapnel wounds, internal damage, and massive blood loss. Amata blinked and read it again, unable to believe what she was seeing. How the hell was she still alive?
She shook her head as her vision started to blur again, then reached into her back pocket and pulled out a stimpak. She fumbled the cap off and was about to inject the hypodermic needle into her arm, when she noticed that the syringe part had shattered and leaked all of the healing substance inside. She quickly threw it aside and pulled out another, but it too was broken. She frantically went through all of the stimpaks she had, but none of them had survived the blast; nor had any of her water bottles, radaway packs, or food rations.
Here she was, stuck in the middle of nowhere—at night—with major injuries, no stimpaks, no medical skills to speak of, and no knowledge of any doctors in the area.
Yeah, that was about her luck...
"Amata!" She looked up as her friend called her name and exited the school building. He quickly came over to her with Dogmeat and looked her over in alarm, seeing her tattered jumpsuit and the grisly wounds that were covering her body. He, on the other hand, was completely unscathed... he wasn't even out of breath.
"Good Lord! Are you alright? I heard the explosions! What the hell happened up there?"
Amata looked at him for a moment, then pulled her arm back and slugged him in the face... hard.
It probably wasn't a good idea to punch the only person who could save her life... but damn was it satisfying.
She smiled as he staggered back, then closed her eyes and surrendered to the warm embrace of unconsciousness.
"One more time Mrs. Almodovar. Push!"
"It's... it's a girl! A healthy little baby girl!"
"A girl... we have a daughter Alphonse! A daughter!"
"Yes we do. What shall we name her?"
"A... Amata... Amata Almodovar, like her father."
"Amata. Come on honey, say your name!"
"No, no! It's Amata."
"Well done! Now who am I?"
"Very good sweetheart!"
"Here, I want you to have this." She took out a small heart-shaped pendant and placed it around her daughter's neck.
The child looked down at it wonder. "Wha?"
"It's a locket." The woman opened the heart, revealing a picture of her with her child. "See?"
"This is a symbol of my love for you Amata. As long as you have this, I will always be with you."
'You're S P E C I A L!'
Amata opened the book in curiosity, laughing at the pictures she saw inside.
'S is for Strength, and that means I am strong! I can carry more toys and swing stuff all day long!'
"A-ma-ta!" she pounded the page with her young fist until the number 3 appeared at the bottom, then she turned the page.
'P is for Perception, a long funny word! It means what I tasted, smelled, saw, and heard!'
"Ception! Haha!" she pounded it as well, setting the display to 8 before turning the page.
'E is for Endurance, and that's how long I can play! I'm always really healthy, and have energy all day!'
"Durance?" she smiled as she smacked the page, putting the number at 7.
'C is for Charisma, it's why people think I'm great! I make my friends all laugh and smile, and never want to hate!'
She left this number at 5 and turned to the next one.
'I is for Intelligence, it means I'm really smart! I use my brain for lots of stuff, like science, math and art!'
"A-ma-ta!" she hit the page again, putting the number all the way up to 7.
'A is for Agility, that's how I get around! I move real fast and easy, and I never make a sound!'
Amata giggled at the picture of the boy balancing on a bottle with his finger. She smacked the page until it went up to 7 as well.
'L is for Luck, and it's simple, you see! It means that good things always happen to me!"
"Kitty!" she hit the picture of the cat, lowering the number to 3 in the process.
"I am sealing the Vault, and that's final. There will be no further discussion on the matter."
"But what about-"
"We have lost too many due to the folly of the previous Overseers. I will not have the safety of this Vault compromised any longer."
A ten year old Amata waited for her eyes to adjust to the sudden light, then looked around at the diner in stunned surprise. It was full of balloons, party streamers, and wall decorations; with a cake and presents sitting on the bar, and a big banner that said 'Happy Birthday!' hanging from the ceiling. Her father, the grown ups, and all of her friends were present, most of them wearing red cone-shaped party hats.
"What's all this?"
"Don't act so surprised Amata, it is your birthday after all! And your tenth!"
"You mean this is all for me? I can't believe it! Thank you daddy!"
"Well I can't take all the credit. It was your friend's idea after all."
Amata looked over at Jack, her best friend and son of the Vault's resident doctor. She smiled and was about to thank him, when her father continued speaking.
"And as you know, down here in Vault 101, ten is regarded as the coming of age! As a mature and responsible Vault citizen you are ready to take on your first official duties for our humble community. So here you are! As Overseer I present you with your own Pip-Boy 3000."
Amata took the Pip-Boy in excitement, thrilled to finally have her own! She quickly slid it onto her wrist and winced slightly as the biometric seals automatically activated. She looked down at the display screen and went through the various settings; maps, inventory items, health, personal notes, schedule, and a radio feature to tune in to the local Vault broadcasts.
"Wow this is so cool! Thanks daddy! Thank you so much!" she went over and hugged her father.
"Don't mention it. Now go and entertain your guests. You'll be getting your work assignment tomorrow."
Amata frowned at that, and then saw him turn to leave.
"Wait, you're leaving? Already? But we just got here!"
"I'm sorry Amata, but I'm afraid I can't stay. There are pressing matters that require my attention as Overseer."
"But it's my birthday!"
"My duty to the Vault must come first Amata! You may stay and enjoy your party though. I will see you later tonight."
Amata watched him leave with sadness, thrilled with the Pip-Boy he had given her, but deeply upset by his departure.
Even on her birthday...
"Happy Birthday Amata!" She quickly hid her disappointment and turned to her best friend.
"Jack! I should have known you would be the one behind this!"
"Haha, got you didn't we? And you said I was easy to fool!"
Amata laughed with him, remembering his own surprise party.
"Yeah, yeah... so where's my present?"
"Present? You mean this fine surprise birthday party isn't enough? Why Amata, I'm offended!"
Amata tapped her foot impatiently and fixed him with a mock glare.
"Alright, alright! Well... as you know it's kind of hard to find things in this place, especially stuff that a girl would like. But uh," he scratched the back of his head nervously "well, here you go." He dug around in his pocket and pulled out a small heart-shaped pendant.
Amata gasped as she saw it, her heart instantly drawn to what he was holding.
"Well, I kind of asked your father for it after that crap that happened with Butch. I'm still not that great with fixing stuff, but Stanley helped me out with it. It's not much, but I know what it meant to you."
Amata took it from his hands as if it were fragile porcelain. She opened the clasp with trembling hands, revealing a picture of her mother... the only picture that she had ever had of her. A single tear slipped down her cheek as she looked at it again, burning every feature into her memory.
A while back that jerk Butch and his stupid gang had ripped it from her neck, breaking the thin chain and the glass inside. She had been devastated for weeks after it happened... but now it was perfect again... exactly as it had been before.
Amata slipped it around her neck, deeply touched by the gesture. Then she kissed her friend on the cheek and hugged him tightly, united by their common bond.
The party had gone off without a hitch! Jack had made sure that Butch and his gang weren't invited to ruin it, and he even stopped Andy from ruining her cake! She had gotten some great gifts as well! Susie had given her a copy of 'Tumblers Today' magazine, Christine had given her some holodisks for her new Pip-Boy, and she had gotten a stethoscope from James, some bobby pins from Jonas, a pre-war bonnet from Stanley, a sweetroll from Old Lady Palmer, and a rather... odd poem from Miss Beatrice. But the most precious gift she had received had been the locket. It was her most cherished possession...
'As long as you have this, I will always be with you.'
Her mother had died when she was little, leaving her with vague memories of a kind, caring person who was vibrant and full of life. Her father had told her that she had died from some unknown illness a few years after she was born, but he would always become angry and distant and try to change the subject when she asked for more. The most she had ever managed to get out of him was that she had been a beautiful woman who had loved her very deeply. He wouldn't tell her anything else and neither would any of the other grown ups, afraid of making him mad she guessed...
It just wasn't fair! She had never gotten the chance to know her mother. Couldn't he understand that? He was always throwing himself into his work, spending all day in his office and blowing her off when she tried to talk to him. Even when he did talk it was always something about the value of hard work, the Vault, or her classes with Mr. Brotch. He couldn't even make time for her on her own birthday!
'My duty to the Vault must come first Amata!'
Argh! She pounded the door to the room where their apartments were.
'We live in the Vault, we die in the Vault.'
The Vault, the Vault, the Vault! She was sick of it!
Sure it was her home and all... but she often found herself wondering what it would be like to go outside. To see the sun... to travel to new places... meet new people. The war had happened centuries ago, so why did they have to stay in the Vault forever? Would she really have to spend her whole life down here?
Amata let out a sigh of disappointment and opened the door. As curious as she was about the outside, she didn't dare voice any of these thoughts around her father. She knew it was the forbidden subject of Vault 101. He had made that abundantly clear to her.
She walked by the operations and reception areas of the office, lost in her thoughts. She was about to go into her room for the night, but stopped when she heard muffled voices coming from her fathers. She chewed on her lip for a moment and made sure no one was watching, then crept over to his room and placed her ear against the large metal door.
She could hear her father inside... speaking through the console that was mounted against the wall. She listened intently, trying to make out what he was saying, and who he was saying it to.
"Have I not given enough already? How many more can you possibly need?"
"The others were an acceptable offering, but I'm afraid there were certain... problems that arose in the process."
"There are always problems, results seem to be slow in coming however."
"Yes, well, the work we are doing is of a very... delicate nature. Perhaps if you had a greater knowledge of biomedical engineering you would be able to understand that."
"How dare you insult my intelligence! I can put an end to your research right now! In fact I see no reason why I should even continue supporting this project of yours. It has bore little fruit and at a very high cost!"
"Please spare me your moral indignation. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement, it always has been. I make your troubles... go away, and you... you ensure I have the means to continue my work for the betterment of mankind. We both win here Overseer. The only question is how far are you willing to take this?"
He pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. "Fine. How many do you want now?" he snapped.
"At least three, preferably four. I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding the appropriate specimens."
Research? Project? Specimens? Who was this person? And what the heck were they talking about in there? She had never heard that voice before, it sounded so... cold and calculating... laced with malice and deceit. It gave her the creeps!
She listened for a while longer, but their conversation grew less and less audible until she could no longer hear them. She pulled her ear away from the door and leaned against it in confusion, trying to make sense out of what she had heard.
It sounded like her father was helping this person with some kind of experiment or something, but how? And why? Since when did her father even care about that stuff anyway? He had never been the science type. She had heard him berating James for the same thing once, so why would he suddenly care now?
Amata was so caught up in her thoughts that she didn't realize they had stopped talking, nor did she hear the sound of approaching footsteps from inside. She was trying to place the voice she had heard, when suddenly the door slid open, reveling her now agitated father. She shot to her feet in surprise, cursing herself for not paying attention.
"Amata? What are you doing out here?"
"I..I was just passing by..."
"Were you eavesdropping?"
"What? No! I was just.. uh..."
"How dare you spy on me!" Amata started backing away, startled by his outburst.
"But dad I wasn't-"
Alphonse raised his hand and slapped his daughter across the face in his rage, snapping her head to the side and stinging her cheek. Amata brought a hand to her face and looked at him with teary eyes, but he wasn't done yet. He drew his hand back and and struck her again, this time with enough force to throw her off balance and send her falling to the floor. She smacked her head on the table as she fell, dazing her and blackening her eye.
She looked at him again for a moment, then jumped to her feet and ran into her room, locking the door behind her.
Sorry about the delay between chapters. I've always had a bit of a problem with writers block. I'm still working hard on this though, rest assured. Your reviews encourage me, and I hope you enjoy the fic.
I've also added skills to the Pip-Boy menu upon level ups. I'm calculating these through the SPECIAL system and the math formula used in the game. I went back and added it to chapters 2 and 4 as well, and fixed a few minor spelling and capitalization errors.