So, I have to say that Fallout 4 is a pretty amazing game, at least in my own personal opinion, for the very few hours I have been able to manage to play it.
And here is another chapter for this own fallout story that is a long time coming. While of course the events here do not tie in with what happened in the Commonwealth, I am already thinking of how to tie in those events in some unique and interesting ways.
Anyway, enjoy and if you enjoy please follower or favorite I always feel free to drop a review, even if its simply saying why you did not like it.
The flash set off warnings on John's display. 'What the hell?' he thought as his finger hovered just above the button that would jump the Dawn and end his journey.
"It's the Pride," reported Aria in such a way that John thought she may have actually shown some excitement.
The Pride had jumped in on the Dawn's port side. While there were no real windows on the bridge so various displays were fashioned in such a way that it gave the appearance of such windows allowing John in full view to watch as the last of human built dreadnoughts sprayed laser beams and plasma bolts onto the enemy fleet. Within seconds the heavy fire of the mighty ship engulfed two ships in twin explosions as their defenses fell and their crews burned.
"Let's get the crew back on board," said John to Aria urgently. "I think it will be wise if we help the Pride as soon as we can." Of course they could begin to help the Pride then and there, but John was not about to risk losing any of the crew because they were stranded in space on his orders.
"We do not have much time," said Aria with something of a hollow ring to her voice. "The Pride is not in the best condition and will not hold out for very long."
"Will it be able to do the job?" If it could not bring down at least the Citadel dreadnought, then the situation would still be hopeless.
"Maybe," was all Aria responded with.
Five minutes later all the crew of the Dawn was on board. The bridge hummed with activity as the bridge crew reacquainted themselves with their stations.
"I'm glad you didn't leave us out there too long," joked George as Liara let go of a quick hug with John.
"Yes," said Liara, a sly smile on her face. "It is quite cold out there."
"My pleasure," said John with a smile of his own on his face. But within a second the smile slid from his face and from the faces of the other two. Enough time had been spent. There was pressure little that they had left.
John took his seat in the captain's chair. George sat in his seat to John's right and Liara took the seat to the left.
"Alright," started John as he spoke to the crew. "Our girl has taken a bit of a pounding so we need to keep to the outside. Pick off those we can and let the Pride handle those we can't." George gave a solid nod, for which John was thankful for. He had little experience commanding a ship and a nod in approval from the veteran general meant the world. "Then let's get to it!"
A few minutes later a bright blue bolt of plasma slammed through a Citadel destroyer courtesy of the Dawn.
"Another one down!" shouted in triumph Stephen Carpenter, the ship's weapon's master.
John sang out a quick praise and encouraged them to keep it up, but his eyes were on his main display. On it statics appeared and disappeared of a live feed of the Pride going head-to-head with the Citadel dreadnought. Never before had he seen such a sight. Each dreadnought's fire was reserved exclusively for the other. The Pride had stopped targeting the other ships at it turned its full attention to its main adversary and the enemy dreadnought was too slow and busy to worry about the Dawn. So as the two ships traded blows the Dawn and her crew did there best to keep the smaller ships off of humanity's last hope.
Another kill was hollered by one of the crew and this time George answered with the praise. John's mind was racing as he watched the battle unfold. Racing because according to Aria, the Pride was losing. He screamed in his head for some answer to manifest. There had to be something he could do. He looked over to George and saw concern in the man's eyes as he too watched the battle. He knew if the old general knew of some way to help he would have said so. His silence on the matter showed he was racking his brain just like John.
Suddenly an alert flashed on the screen. "Captain, I am detecting an energy spike within the Pride," reported Aria as quickly as the alert had appeared.
"What is it?" asked John with alarm. The information that was being displayed registered it unknown.
"I do not know," answered Aria. "It could the Pride has taken too much damage and is beginning to fall apart."
"Damn it!" cursed George. "If we lose that ship now then-"
Another alert caused George to not finish his sentence. The energy spike had quadrupled. It was still unknown. John's knuckles went white as he gripped that are rest of his chair with stressed anticipation. He feared the ship was losing it. That is what it had to be. It was just like an old pre-war nuclear power car that would catch fire and blow if it was damaged enough. Time slowed and with all his might he glued his eyes to his display holding his breadth.
But if it was not for staring so intently then he would have missed what happened next. Faster than it had come, the energy reading fell to almost nothing and as it did the course of the battle between the two dreadnoughts changed.
As the energy was discharged John watched as the Citadel ship shuddered. Half of its guns went silent and it only took John a second to see why. Where the ship a moment ago had been whole, now a glaring hole appeared on the starboard side of the ship. Flames and small explosions danced around and within the opening on the ship as a plethora of stripped material was flung into space.
The ship began to list down and spin as what guns were still left continued to fire at the Pride. But it was not enough. Whatever the Pride had done had given it an exclusive advantage and this advantage it did not waste. Every gun that it had targeted the ship, towards the exposed hole in the hull. Seconds passed as wave after wave of energy fire rained down onto the opening. The enemy's ship's shields were broken and it could nothing to fend off the attack. The damage it had already sustained grew as greater explosions rippled throughout.
The guns of the Citadel dreadnought went quite and for a second the ship just listed in space. John could imagine the terrified crew. A few moments ago it had held victory in its grasp. Now they were probably in full panic as they tried to get their ship under control. But that moment did not last long.
No more than three seconds after the guns ceased to fire a great flashed ripped through the ship shredding the portions of the hull that remained intact. John watched in awe as the force of the explosion ripped the ship into large thirds. Smaller explosions continued breaking smaller pieces off of the larger ones. On his display John could see a countless amount of debris flying off into every direction. Briefly he wondered how much of that debris were the bodies of the crew rather than dislodged pieces of hull.
"All other Citadel ships have begun to retreat towards the gate," reported Ryan Bishop from his navigation station a few seconds later.
"Captain," began Aria. "I have remote access to the Key installed in the gate. Would you like me to prevent those ships from escaping the system?"
John thought on it a moment before answering. "No, let them go. Destroying them won't add very much to what we have done here today. As long as they leave the system they them go unmolested."
"So I guess that's it then," said George who's seemed to be in a small state of disbelief. "After twenty years, we're free."
"Yes. Yes we are," said John to the old general with a smile. The crew on the bridge and throughout the ship began to cheer in triumph. Their emotions reverberated through the hull. Finally, humanity could begin to truly rebuild once again.
Reports flooded into the control room in the center of the Colonial Administration Building in Red Valley from various Coalition forces as the panic that had so recently gripped Mars in panic under the shadow of death began to fade. The flagship of the Citadel Fleet had been destroyed and the rest of the fleet routed. Across the planet people cheered in triumph. They poured out into the streets in the thousands. Nearly every man, woman and child had cause to celebrate. They had thrown off the yoke of their oppressor and now they would begin to build a future of their own making.
While Kernell was with them in spirit he still had a duty that he could not deviate from at the moment, though he and his men would surely want to nothing better than to do so. Small Citadel holdouts were scattered around the planet. These were few in number and to their knowledge not very large, but any remaining Citadel force had to be removed. Currently one such holdout was being removed currently and he watched it unfold via a live feed as he stood behind Corporal Jessica Torres who was observing the operation on her station.
The feed showed a team of fifteen or so lightly armored Coalition soldiers surround a small administration building on the outskirts of Red Valley. Suddenly their commander gave the command and the assault began. Those Citadel forces inside had been offered a chance to surrender peacefully. They had refused and now they would have to suffer the consequences.
Laser fire began to pelt the small building as the soldiers aimed around the windows allowing a small group to have the cover necessary to advance to the main entrance. Kernell watched as they placed something on the door then quickly stepped away from it. A second later a flash blinded the feed for a moment eventually fading and revealing a hole where the doored entrance use to be.
Soldiers rushed into the newly created opening with their rifles at the ready. Enemy fire began to emanate from inside and bullets met the assaulters. The soldiers responded with their own weapons but nearly as soon as it had begun one of the Coalition soldiers fell to the ground on his knees. He grabbed his throat and Kernell could just see the blood flowing through his fingers. A second later the soldier went still and fell limply to his side. The death of their comrade seemed to enrage his fellow soldiers even further. Minutes passed and weapon's fire was exchanged between the two groups until at last the Citadel forces surrendered.
Those that had been defeated were marched out of the building at gunpoint and those unable to walk but still alive were unceremoniously dragged. They were lined up outside. Kernell could see their eyes. They were the eyes of those that they had known that now, for them, everything was different. He could also see that not all of them were alien. Unfortunately some of them were his fellow humans.
It was not unsurprising. Many people, although they were still a very small minority, had thrived underneath Citadel rule. Their lives and fortunes were due to their colonial overlords in some way or another and so when the time came they took up arms in defense of their new masters even if it was against their fellow man. Kernell could understand the majority of the aliens doing what they did in supported the Citadel. After all it was their people. But for a human to go so far against his fellow? It caused anger to boil underneath his skin.
"They will get what they deserve, lieutenant," said a new female voice to the control room. It being behind him Kernell turned around. There surrounded by her own guard of soldiers stood Director Diane Nelson. She had a scornful smile on her face as she watched the same feed that Kernell had been viewing. "All of those that have side against us will suffer. Especially those of our fellow man." He could feel her own anger at those traitors radiating from her.
"I look forward to that day," responded Kernell as he gave her a quick salute.
She gave him a nod and smiled. "You have done a tremendous job in capturing this building," she praised. "And it has not gone unnoticed how in the face of what we thought was our final destruction you retained your cool and tried to keep what you could under control. People like you and your men will be sorely needed in our future."
"Thank you, ma'am," replied Kernell earnestly. "I can speak for myself and my men that it was our honor to do our part in giving the Citadel what they deserved."
"And I think that for that you and your men deserve some rest and relaxation," she said with a few hoots from his men quickly following. "The men her with me will be taking over this station. Help them familiarize themselves with whatever is needed then take the rest of evening off. You all deserve to take part in celebrating our liberation." A cheer went up from the men as their replacements moved to their stations quickly being assisted by Kernell's own men who brought them up to speed.
"Lieutenant," said Nelson. "If I could have a word privately." She turned and moved to the empty far side of the room with Kernell quickly following.
"What can I do for you, director?" asked Kernell.
"If Colonel David had survived today then I think he would have been proud of the your leadership and the success that it led your men to," said Nelson. "So I would like to offer you this position as a permanent one along with the rank of colonel, that is if you willing to give up your intelligence post. The choice is yours."
Kernell was slightly taken aback by the offer, though he did not show it. He looked around to the men that for the day he had led to victory and he had to admit that there was something enjoyable about their companionship and the fight they had gone through. He turned back to Nelson.
"I would be honored to take up your offer, director," said Kernell confidently.
"I am happy to hear it, Colonel." Take your men back to base then you and them have the rest of the evening off. Make sure you and they enjoy it.
"Yes, ma'am," said Kernell jubilantly. With a salute she dismissed him and he went about to gather up his men.
A few minutes later his men inside of their power armor were ready to go. With the situation in the room fully under the control of their replacements they began to make their way to exit.
They exited the building. Crowds surrounded it kept far enough back by Coalition soldiers. The mood was one of triumph for most. The only ones that did not share in it were the ones under guard and kept away from the crowds near the front of the building. There a few hundred members of the Citadel races sat with the look of fear and defeat on all their faces. Kernell was sad to see that there were a good number of humans there with them and on their face was an even greater, almost panic level of fear.
But one of those prisoners that was grouped together caught his eye. It was an asari. Her cloths were ripped and minimally burned but she was nearly the only of the prisoners standing. What made her really stand out to Kernell though was the fact that she was shouting and nearly hysterical with tears easily seen in her eyes as she pleaded with a Coalition guard that was quickly losing patience. Kernell was far enough away that it was only thanks to his power armor he was able to clearly see and hear her.
"Please," yelled the asari. "I saw her go in there. You must let me speak to her!"
The soldier her told her to quiet down and sit down but the asari refused. Instead she just began to scream louder. Please let me see her! Diane. Diane please help me! It's me, Nyxi! Please!"
The last part really caught Kernell's attention causing him and his men to come to a stop. He wondered if she was calling for the director.
The soldier that was attempting to control her finally lost his patience and he raised his rifle readying the strike. But the strike never came for as just as he raised his rifle Director Nelson stepped from the building flanked by two heavily armored men.
"Bring her to me, soldier!" bellowed Nelson. All that could see, including the crowd, eyed the short woman that was gave the director. She had all of their attention and although most knew, due to secrecy of the Coalition's command structure, who she really was, all recognized that she was the one here clearly in charge.
The soldier grabbed the asari by the arm and pulled her to the director as everyone watched. Of course for the soldier it was not a very difficult assignment as the asari went from being hysterical to being nearly jumping for joy. In fact the soldier had to do all he could from not letting the prisoner run ahead of him. But try as the soldier might when they were but a few meters from the director the asari wrangled herself free and rushed towards the director, her blue arms stretched out in front of her and a smile on her face.
Whatever the asari was expecting, what she got must have assuredly been a shock. Before she made it two close to the director, the soldier to Nelson's right moved in front of her. With his heavy fist he punched the asari cleanly in the middle of her stomach. The joy went out of the aliens eyes and she fell to the ground holding her stomach and gasping for air that had been knocked out of her.
Director Nelson stepped forward and stood over the downed asari. "Let it be known," she shouted to all those present but put specific attention onto the prisoners which she stared down. "Failure for any alien to follow the orders of any member of the coalition will not be accepted. If you do as your told then you will receive a fair trial. But let it be known that those who fail to listen, those that do not will be punished." She gestured to the asari at her feet. "This pathetic creature thinks she knows me. She thinks that gives her some right to not do what she is told. Well she is wrong!"
Nelson pulled a pistol from its holster on her hip. "And she will pay for her insolence!" She pointed the gun at the asari's head. The alien's eyes went wide. Tears and confusion took the place of what had so recently been certain join."
"Please, Diane," said the Asari Nyxi as the wind came back to her voice. "I thought you were my friend. I thought we-"
A shot fired from Nelson's pistol, though it did not hit Nyxi, but rammed into the ground just to her right. Kernell watched intensely as did every other person and alien present.
"You were used, fool," said Nelson. "You, like many others, were lied and played in service to the Coalition. To me, you are nothing more than trash."
Then for a final time Nelson pulled the trigger of her gun. This time the round was not aimed away and the asari dropped to the ground as she lost her life as the bullet ripped through her head. Nelson re-holstered her weapon and turned to leave. Her message had been delivered.
As Kernell and his men watched he realized that he did not know at all who that woman truly was that had so recently given him his promotion. A shiver ran down his spine as various thoughts ran through his head. But he clamped down and turned back to his men. They had their orders and Kernell knew full well that people in service of the Coalition had done many things to bring this day to a reality. As he and his men marched back through the crowds that had begun to cheer in triumph over the spectacle, he had to wonder to what extent things had been done.
Within the conference room on board the Dawn John scanned the various information being spouted by holographic display floating above the center of the table. George, Liara and Jason Brandy fresh from the Pride sat their with him.
"The Pride is in one piece, but not by much," said Jason tiredly. "It is going to require a good amount of work over these next few months to get her in good shape and that's only if we can get the necessary facilities operational."
"The Dawn is in a similar position, though not quite as bad," said John with a nod coming from George.
"These past few days, not to mention the relative neglect she has had is going to need a good couple of months before she is up to her full potential," said George.
"For the people of Mars, these next few months will be interesting one," chimed Liara. The others sat quietly for a moment in the room thinking about how interesting it will surely be. Humanity was once agree free, but what shape that freedom would take was still far from certain.
"I have heard from some of the chatter down below of those already calling for elections," said George. "It will be interesting to see how far the higher-ups in the Coalition will be allowing such things."
"Humanity is in a precarious situation right now," said Jason. "I think that if the Coalition tries to hold to tightly on what power they have for the moment have really attained, well they regarded in the best light."
"Yes, and one of the pillars of the Coalition's propaganda has been allowing for free elections instead of the joke we had with Citadel rule," said George. "For them to go against that now, or even push it off for to long would risk them losing what legitimacy they have attained both today and since they were founded."
"Then I suppose we will to wait and see what comes next," said John. "Though these ships are another matter."
"Yes," agreed Liara. "But as you all have said, they are both in need of repairs I don't think there is really only one real way to get them and that is working with the Coalition as it stands now. But trusting them should be something else entirely."
"I agree with you, Liara," said Jason. "Unfortunately we don't have the resources we need to do this ourselves so we will have to let the Coalition do it for us. George, what are your thoughts on this?"
"Well," said the old general. "I think there are a lot of good people in the Coalition, but those that the top are hard to trust, especially with what we have seen recently. Regardless we need their resources. Plus, by working with them there is a good chance we can gain some control ourselves, especially as long we keep these ships under our control. And if elections do come up, then we could see more favorable changes occur."
"We will just have to do our best," said John. The others nodded in agreement.
They spoke some more but knew what they had to do.
"The results are in," reported the announcer on the news feed. John held his breadth as did many of the other crew members of the Dawn as they stood around the display in the spacious apartment in Red Valley.
"Following the parliamentary results we had reported early this hour," continued the announcer, "the following people have been elected to the Executive Council of the Coalition: Dan Wright, Diane Nelson, Lorrie Baker, Samantha Evans and Jason Brandy. These individuals, as per the Coalition Constitution will meet two days from now to elect their the Prime Director of the executive council and our first parliamentary session will official began. Now let us turn to Joseph Livingston who is here to give us a break down of this historic election and its implications."
Someone muted the feed and the room broke to life with conversation among its occupants. John took a seat on one of the sofas. Then news was not too surprising. Four of those that had been elected were previous directors of the Coalition won four of the five seats on the new executive council under the new constitution. They had played their cards right in the three months since the liberation of the Sol system and when the elections began they were they sat upon a very strong campaign. Their party, the Defenders party, also won many seats in the parliamentary elections with Jason Brandy's party, the Unionist, coming in a close second. Neither had managed an absolute majority and word was already beginning to spread with the Defenders party allying up with a few of the smaller ones to form a majority with the Unionist shaping up to be leading the opposition. Though while this would give the Defenders a strong amount of control, at least Jason had managed to get a seat on the council.
While he had been a shoe-in for winning a seat, especially due to him saving Mars from the Citadel fleet, those that were his political allies running with him did not have the same opportunities and they lost to those former leaders of the Coalition who had done their best to show to the people of Mars what had been done by them since the beginning and leading the revolt against the Citadel.
Liara sat down next to him. "It could have been a lot worse," she said patting his leg.
"I know, but I don't imagine all of this will make it easier on you."
"No, it probably won't," she said with a small air of sadness. The Defenders party had been rather xenophobic in their rhetoric. Their had been many of the Citadel races left on Mars that had never done anything against humans. Those that had been instrumental in humanity's oppression were imprisoned and mostly executed. But others, though strictly monitored, were more or less allowed to go about their way, not that they were exactly treated fairly by many of the people the fellows had for so long oppressed. Liara was often treated like this, even though he had done more than most to secure humanity its precious freedom.
But things were improving bit by bit. The news feed on the display did an arial view of Red Valley. People were rebuilding and real industry was beginning to take root. They even showed a glimpse of the new facilities on the far west side of the city. Only finished one week ago, these facilities were advanced cloning facilities. Apparently, some time after John had gone into stasis, House along with the other two nations begin to construct these facilities to increase the population past what was possible by old fashioned methods. It had led to a very much needed population boom and it was hoped that it would do so again.
John held onto to what hoped these few things offered. Things would get better. He stood back up and with Liara at his side began to liven up the gathering. Tonight, though not as much as what they had all wanted, was still worth celebrating and that was exactly what the crew of the Dawn was going to do.
Two days later in the chilly air of a bright morning the five members of the executive council were sworn in and Dan Wright, as expected, was elected by the council as Prime Director with everyone but Jason voting for his installment to the position. More celebrations followed and soon the members of the parliament began their deliberations on what project or bill they wanted to advance first.
Though John had little time to worry about that as he was soon summoned to meet with the council in the old Colonial Administration Building which had become the officially capitol building of the now formal Coalition including the council and the parliament.
John, Liara and George made their way through the recently refurbished capitol for their meeting. They eventually came to the council's entrance with security at each side. They were expected and quickly let in.
The five members of the council were present already sitting at a crescent table with Dan Wright at its head. Jason sat at the far left clearly the odd man out. And then there was Captain Lorrie Baker who sat on the other side of the table. She could only glare at John. She, as much as before, was still no fan of his and her look showed it.
"Thank you all for joining us, Courier," welcomed an very tired and stressed looking Dan Wright. John thought the man's demeanor was interesting and figured the man would be very happy to have achieved what he just did.
"It is our pleasure," said John as he and his fellows took their seats before the council. "Shall we get down to business?"
"Indeed we shall," said Jason. "As you well aware the Dawn as of this morning is completely repaired and armed and we have come to agreement with what we would like to ask of you for your next mission."
Ask indeed. The Dawn was his and John had made it clear that this was never to be questioned. Aria and done her job protecting the ship from the very few attempts to go behind his back on this by some fool or another and those in charge had been at least reliable in respecting his position.
"Anything to serve the Coalition," said John.
"Thank you, Courier," said Dan Wright. "As it stands right now the Dawn is one of our only few ships that is operational, and the only one currently that has your FTL capabilities. Your help will be invaluable."
"As you know," began Diane Nelson, "since our liberation our communication with outside of this system has been nonexistent. With the Citadel not able to use our mass gate it seems they have resorted to keeping us in the dark and hoping we simply fall apart in the mean time without outside supplies. We aim to disappoint them and the Dawn is how we can begin to do this. So we want you to go to Omega."
"And what is Omega?" asked John.
"It is an old mining station in the Terminus systems that is currently the center of just about every nefarious activity you can think of in the galaxy," answered Jason. "It is technically outside of the Citadel's zone of jurisdiction so it should be a good place for you to make contact and begin building some type of outside relation. We don't intend to stay locked inside this system forever and Omega is as good of a place as any to get a glimpse of what is going on in rest of the system."
"All you really have to do is make contact with our agents already there," said Diane. "Fill them in on what has happened, or at least what they don't already know, and beginning to set up secure communications between us and them. Now that we can operate in the open here in the Sol system we can operate with them on a different level and don't have to rely on the back door methods we once did."
"Well I think we will be able to do that," said John with a nod.
"There is also something else we would like for you to do," said Samantha Evans speaking of the first time.
"And what is that?"
"It concerns what you came across when you assaulted the Enclave station a few months ago," she answered. "Do you remember the creature that you fought?"
"I do," said John as he thought back to the battle where a very angry and naked Jason Brandy successfully defeated it onboard the station.
"Well we have have examined the data you retrieved from that mission thoroughly, and one word kept coming up: Reaper."
"Reaper?" asked Aria, her eyes going wide.
"Yes," said Dan Wright. "Do you know anything of it, Liara?"
"As you know," said Liara looking around the room to each of the directors. "Before being traveling to Earth I was assigned in the Prothean archives here on Earth. We had just begun working on a heavily encrypted section of the archives and this word was one that we ran across almost as immediately as we begun decrypting them. Though as we reported these findings orders came from higher up that we were to change our objects and research into that particular set of archives was shelved."
"It is the relation to those archives that we would like you to help us with," said Jason. "Before the war with the Citadel we had begun digging even deeper into the archives as well, most likely even into the same section as you Liara, and that word was one we found as well. One of our best scientist was investigating it and had a lead that had taken him to one of our colonies as part of his investigation. It was so reported just a few days before the liberation of the Sol system that this same scientist had been found living on Omega operating a small lab. We need you to make contact with him and see what he has to say on this 'reaper' question. The creature we saw was something that could prove to be a threat if there is more of its kind out there, and obviously it's one we need to know about if it does exist."
"Then," said John as he stood to his feet followed by Liara and George. "If there is nothing else here to say I will begin my preparations for this mission."
Dan Wright looked to each of his fellows then gave a nod to John. "No, we have said all there is. We have transferred all relevant information to the Dawn. Safe travels, Courier."
John returned the nod and turned to leave. The next leg of his journey had begun.
Another chapter down. I hoped it was a good one for you all!
Please follow or favorite if you liked it and until next time!