Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to the Fallout universe nor the intellectual property that surrounds the games, those released or not released.
The Lighthouse Perspective
Chapter 1: Fiat Lux
The fire burnt in an old dumpster in front of the former Alexandria Arms Hotel, it's new inhabitants simply referred to it as the Alexandria, the column of smoke billowing down wind. The noxious contents no one wanted to smell, as burning flesh and hair was unpleasant and difficult to remove from your mind. There had been several pyres like this one in the last week, however, those always had someone that collected the ashes and stored them for a memorial. This pyre, like several beforehand, were for those that no one claimed, they're ashes would be forgotten in the wind.
The on lookers returned to the Alexandria, breaking apart into their duties to return the former hotel to livable conditions. The lobby had already been taken care of, the bodies from the rafters had been removed and disposed of in the pyres along with those that had killed them. The concierge desk held a terminal to serve as a welcoming desk and, if the need arose, a defense position against invaders. The support columns had been reinforced. The top of the twin stairway now had a sandbag defense, again for when the need arose. It was a fortress, it was home, it was the headquarters for the Brotherhood Intelligence Operative Services.
Elias still had limp, granted a gunshot wound to the leg would do that, luckily enough it didn't break any bones. He was forced to hobble around, relying on an old crutch for support as he tried to keep weight off his leg in attempts to complete his new duties. It had been a week, but he was in for many months of recuperation. He made his way back to the servant quarters, one of the suites in the back hall had three bunk beds along with a shared bathroom. His bed was easy to spot because of the urn he kept on his bedside table of his departed wife. None of the other servants were present, they were occupied with their duties.
He turned his head to the doorway as he heard footfalls in the hallway, in his mid thirties he still had the hearing of teenager despite being middle aged for the Capital Wasteland. There was a knock on the door to the room, Elias asked the person to enter. LaCroix walked through through the doorway, she wore her combat armor but without a helmet. Her long dark hair was tied into a pony tail that hung behind her, the caked dirt and dust that had been on her skin was washed off to show her deep and dark complexion. She sat down in the chair next to Elias bed, her hand in her lap as she looked the man in the eyes with a sad smile.
"Will you pray with me today, Anna?" Asked Elias with a kind smile as he placed his crutch on the bed and took out a small scrap of rug as he unrolled it on the ground.
LaCroix got up and helped the man kneel onto his mat, "not today, Elias, I'll just watch."
"Ana fahim," said Elias in a language foreign to LaCroix, "maybe tomorrow."
In the cafeteria, most of the other operatives found themselves busy. It was a morning food break for them and the servants as the cleaning process continued. The multiple boxes of abraxo cleaner and detergent proved the most useful find when it came to cleaning the tile rubble. The cages were now moved outside of the building, along with the old dumpster, and the mailboxes. The tables were cleaned off and turned right side up, the chairs restored to their utilitarian purposes.
The right hallway off of the cafeteria had been opened. The former raider occupants had barricaded this wing of suites due to structural damage. Some of the extra timber and Schieber's handy ability allowed for several wall and roof bracers to be erected. This opened the right wing of suites for use, now with twelve useable rooms. The operatives were two to a room, with Newton and LaCroix as room mates due to their gender. The other parings were Zimm and Pop, J.R. and Schieber, and Alvarado with Roe. Knight Captain Galeas, along with Ban, Bors, and Star Paladin Bael all had their separate rooms.
Scribe Yearling had a room, but most of the week had been spent in Arlington Library looking for manuals on home repair. The two remaining rooms housed the knights from Arlington Library when they were off shift. Alexandria was a fort, home, and port in the stormy seas of the Capital Wasteland. There was still a lot of work that needed to be done to maintain the building and fortify it better. Elias, the appointed leader of the servants to Alexandria had been helping in that category.
The operatives sat with the servants among the many little tables, talking and exchanging food. The unease was clear, but both groups attempted civility because they knew their mutual survival depended on it. The food was simple fair, warmed meats with some starch. Roe turned the powdered mash potatoes over with his fork letting it plop onto his plate. He sat a table, the catatonic raider girl was with him. She had not fared better in a weeks time; however there was some improvement as she was able to eat on her own now. Granted it was at most four fork fulls and then staring through wall for the rest of the time. She had yet to say a word the whole week.
Roe knew she was trapped in her mind. If she wasn't able to get herself out of her state, then there would be nothing anyone could do. He could get her attention sometimes, but then her eyes would look past him and she'd be gone. Roe knew this raider would be his albatross if her state remained the same. Perhaps shocking her system, like a scare of some kind, he thought as he played with his instamash, no, that might make her worse....
Zimm squeezed Roe's shoulder, "I say you take her to Grayditch and drop her there," he said, "or put a bullet in her and finish the job I started last week."
"That's a horrible thing to say," commented Roe, contemplating it himself.
"She did try taking my head off," Zach said as he bit some brahim jerky.
"More like knocking some sense into you," Roe repeated under his breath as he got up and helped the woman up and guided her to the servant quarters, "I'm taking her to sleep, maybe that will help."
"Certain won't have her complaining to much," laughed Zimm at the quip; Roe shook his head, only Zimm can joke about someone in this condition, I couldn't stand to see family like this... but she's not family.
J.R. was sitting with one of the servant women eating food. She was in her twenties, close to the age of J.R., and had short hair that was raven black. Her skin was tanned from the constant sun exposure, the areas around her eyes and nose were extra dried out. She now wore a faded zip up hoodie, cargo pants, which were tucked into calf high boots; less protection than raider armor, but more appealing to the eyes. He ate his food and made small talk.
"So what do they call you," he asked the cram was half in his mouth.
"My name is Kimi Mahal," she as she twirled her noodles.
"Family name?" Questioned J.R. in interest, "didn't realize raiders had families."
"I did till you killed them," she replied coldly looking him in the eyes.
He stared back, no emotion in his eyes, "I'm sorry."
There was a long silence before she addressed his originally question, "Mahal is not a family name."
"Then what is it," he said his interest still on his food.
"A name," she said hiding her smirk from him.
"Call me J.R.," he said.
"I rather not," she said as she got up and left, "I need to go back to cleaning."
"I won't stop you," J.R. commented as he continued to eat.
"Don't put a bullet in my back," she said as she walked away.
"I wouldn't want to waste the ammo," he said under his breath.
Ban and Bors were downstairs in the game room playing a game of pool. The two of them were out of their power armor and in simple brahmin skin overalls with a t-shirt. Ban was a toned dark man in his late thirties with a jagged scar across his jaw line and a shaved head. Bors, on the hand, was a thicker set white man with a full beard that was chestnut brown like his medium length hair that covered his ears. He swung his elbow like it was on a hinge and shot through the cue ball with a enough force to eject it from the table.
The cue ball stopped as it was caught by the foot of Knight Captain Galeas. Galeas wore similar brahmin coveralls with a shirt, her reddish brown hair was tied up. Her skin was porcelain, cheek bones pronounced, and of Asian descent. It was an oddity to see someone of Asian descent on the east coast since most people with bloodlines to Asia were rounded up in detention camps prior to the Great War. Some in the Brotherhood speculated her great great grand parents had been Chinese spies, detention camp survivors, or special agents for the USA. All Galeas knew was that her grandfather was in the Brotherhood of Steel, her father was in the Brotherhood of Steel, and now she upheld that familiar honor as well.
"Assemble the Operatives. Meet in an hour in the briefing room," she pointed behind her to the blackboards to remind them where the briefing room was now located.
"Yes, ma'am," they both said, laid the cues on the table and walked up stairs to tell the others.
Star Paladin Bael sat in his new office. The elevator had been out of commission, but a crowbar easily opened the doors. The cables were strong and still supported the car in side, the carpet wasn't worn, and there was ample lighting. It afforded him the ability to see the front door, and if need be, to close the metal doors of the elevator as panic room protection. He moved in one of the free large desks and a terminal.
He had finished his report on the take over and preliminary defenses of the Alexandria. He gave vague details that recalled the outcomes more than the means utilized to achieve them. Likewise, he also listed the names of new personnel along with needed inventory. What Bael failed to mention was the weapons cache that was discovered. His report was finished and sent to Scribe Jameson's terminal. He brought up a map of the Capital Wasteland examining it and righting down some notations on a clipboard with a pencil.
There was a knock at the door, Bael looked up to see one of the new servants at the door. She was the young one, barely out of her teen years. He looked at her and waved his hand, motioning her to come in. She walked in but did not sit at one of the chairs.
"Yes," said Bael, his voice gruff as he put down the pencil.
"Madame Galeas has asked for everyone to come to the meeting room," she said.
Bael stood up and smirked, "she would kill you if she heard you call her madame," the young servant didn't take the jest well and had a mortified look on her face; the Star Paladin looked at her and then realized his mistake, "perhaps not the best chosen words...forgive me. Knight Captain Galeas would not appreciate being referred to as madame. Just stick with Knight Captain or Galeas from now on."
The meeting room had multiple chairs for everyone to sit down. The operatives all wore their combat armor, while the Knights and Paladins were out of their power armor and donning brahmin coveralls. Three of the five servants were also in the room, until a nod form Yearling dismissed them to go back to their cleaning duties. Yearling wore her scribe robes, the maroon billowing as she walked. She turned to the chalk board that had a list of names and locations.
"It's been a week and we've continued to secure the area, it is time for us to fulfill our mission," she said as she wrote out three words on the board, "communicate, observe, report. That is our mission right now. Do not introduce yourself as a Brotherhood of Steel Operative, there are some out there that do not appreciate our organization and we are looking for intelligence, so use your own.
She turned to look out over the crew, "I do not want any heroics; just good, earnest, intel. There are several areas that need to be observed, but we can't hit them all at once. Likewise, you do not go solo. You are all a part of team, but when you go solo you will risk your life. You will back each other up, report to each other, and become well versed in your areas. You are not to stand out from the communities, you are to be a part of them, blend into them. Is that clear?
They all replied yes, Yearling continued on, "Pop, Alvarado, you are to go back to Grayditch. You know the area better than most, and have already talked with several people. Keep up those relations, talk with the locals, check with the immigrants there. Likewise, connect with the Brotherhood members there, get situation reports from them. Should be a walk in the park.
She turned to the next group, "Newton, I want you and Knight Ban to go to the Mall outpost, there has been word of a runaway slave settlement there. Find more information about them, their society, their intentions. A war between runaway slaves and slavers would not be a good thing to occur in the Mall outpost. Suit up with power armor, but don't use your name in that case, just let them know that the Brotherhood has heard about them.
She turned to the next assignment, "Operative Schieber and LaCroix, I'd like you to check back with Friendship Heights Settlement, see how they are doing. Before you head over, make your way to Project Purity, secure a brahmin and two fifty-five galleon drums of aqua pura. They'll be more welcoming with a gift, remind them who you are, just gain some information and work from there.
She handed them a aqua pura shipment request form to be given to Scribe Bigsley, "Bors, you will remain here for security along with Bael, there is still paper work that needs to be completed. Operatives Roe, Zimm, and J.R. you are to go over to Megaton; again just communicate, observe, report."
J.R. stood up and walked out the room, "fuck that, I'm not going to Megaton."
"Get back here, Operative," ordered Star Paladin Bael.
J.R. slammed the door and walked out of the room, Roe chased after him and caught him before he could climb the steps. Pulling him back by the shoulders. He looked him straight in the eyes.
"What the fuck was that," said Roe.
"Get your hands off of me," J.R. pushed Roe's arm away.
"Tell me what it is," Dan pressed further.
"Fuck Megaton," he replied, "I don't want to go back."
"Operative, what is your malfunction," ordered Bael as he stepped out of the meeting room, "get your ass back in there. Now!"
"Fuck," said J.R. as he looked at the stairs.
"We'll be there too," said Roe as he held J.R.'s shoulder and motioned with his head to get back in.
"Fuck Megaton," was all J.R. could say as he got up slowly to go back to the meeting room; he sat next to Roe as thoughts rushed through his head.
"What's the problem with Megaton," asked Roe from the corner of his mouth in a whisper as Yearling and Bael not went over weapon differences and maintenance.
"I was born there," replied J.R. in a seething whisper, "and ran away when I was thirteen because of father."
"What did he do," asked Roe.
"I don't want to talk about it," said J.R. with an empty look in his face, "I just can't go back there, where he is."
"What about your mother, doesn't she miss you?" Roe was concerned for the mental state of his colleague.
"She's dead," he said with a grim look on his face, "my father killed her, and got away with it."
Roe was speechless. The man he fought side by side with at two major battles he had to admit, he hardly knew. Who the fuck are you, J.R. he thought as looked over the empty face and eyes of the soldier next to him.
"Fuck Megaton," said J.R. with determination.