Amata stopped at the gates of Megaton and wiped her brow, despite some strange looks the journey from Vault 101 had been surprisingly short and easy. People living in Springvale had told her and her caravan that Megaton had increased its patrols of late, keeping the surrounding area relatively free of bandits and looters. Something was going on the surface world, Amata could sense it. This was a time of change, the major players in the region were suddenly all on one side, and they were all exerting more influence than ever before.
This is the perfect time she thought the perfect time to establish relations
That was the point of this caravan, they didn't have much to offer, but trade was secondary in all this. What they really wanted was to establish an economic and political relationship with the surface world. And this, this was the start. Amata had become overseer due to her willingness to explore the outside world after all, it had been two years since that day and now she was finally making some solid head way on that promise. Officer Gomez was speaking with one of the guards, she had sent him out before, as a scout. Amata wanted to know if Megaton would even accept their trade. To her surprise, they seemed rather indifferent and Officer Gomez believed they accepted any all trade that passed their way. How different this world is to what she expected. He finished talking to the city guard and just as he began to make his way back over the large gates started to creek open. Christine ushered the Brahmin forward and vault 101 took its first steps into the big wide world. But there was one person Amata wanted to see most of all, one person she wanted to set the record straight with.
They had departed on a sour note, understandably so because Amata had just banished him from the vault. He didn't go quietly either, he was essential in resolving the vaults problems with minimal bloodshed, but people still blamed him for the vaults ills, so Amata was forced to banish him, for the sake of unity. Lucas got angry, they argued, before he stormed out.
That was two years ago, and to Amata's surprise, he was apparently a big deal out here. The Lone Wonderer they called him. She had heard the man on the radio talk about him, and her scouts had reported stories, bordering on almost reverence.
And we dedicate this next song to the Lone Wonderer, who has reportedly secured a large deal of clean water for the Wastelanders in Megaton.
She'd hear things like this constantly, Amata was curious if this was the same shy, bookish nerd she had grown up with. Once inside Officer Gomez came and stood alongside her.
"The guard says there is an inn where we can procure rooms for the next couple of days, and there is a place to store the Brahmin."
Amata nodded and looked out at the wide open city. "good, keep Christine with the Brahmin, you go and get us some rooms for the night. I need to uh-"
Officer Gomez just smiled and patted her on the shoulder. "Don't worry Overseer, I know. It's been a while since we seen that smiling face." He leant in closer "I hear he has...changed since his days with us. Be careful. He wasn't exactly happy the last time we saw him."
Amata nodded slowly, before spotting a man observing the traffic with a Sheriffs star attached to his breast. She turned back towards Officer Gomez. "Don't worry, he's had two years to calm down. And he could never stay mad at me..." she looked down at the ground and gave a half smile, almost as if she was trying to convince herself more than anyone. She had to do it, there was no way around it. She kept telling herself that.
She walked past Officer Gomez and approached the man with the Sheriffs star. He stood quietly, before straightening up at her approach. He eyed her vault jumpsuit up and down as Amata got closer.
"Hello sir." She began "I was wondering if you knew where my friend-"
"His house is just to the left of here." He interrupted in a gruff voice, before raising his hand and pointing. "That one."
Amata gave him a blank expression. "Oh um...thanks...how did you know I was looking for him?"
"Your jumpsuit says Vault 101, everyone knows he's from Vault 101."
"Oh...wow. I knew he was a little famous but I had no idea his...history was such common knowledge." Amata raised an eyebrow, wondering what kind of fame her vault had procured.
"Heh. A little famous." The Sheriff spat a little "He's a bit more than that darlin', we owe that boy more than we can ever repay. He's a hero."
Amata laughed a little, before the Sheriffs dry expression made it evident that he was deadly serious. "Lucas? Lucas Stocks? James's son?"
"From Vault 101. Yeah. You're not here to cause trouble for him are you?"
Amata raised both her hand. "No, no, God no. I just wanted to...say hello I guess. After so long...why would you think that?"
Sheriff put a hand to his chin. "I don't know why he left your Vault, but I always got the feeling from him it wasn't because of how pleasant you all were. If your here to settle some score, well, let's just say me and half the wasteland may just have a problem with that."
"I promise you sir, we have no intention of causing trouble with him..."
The Sheriff nodded and pointed back towards the house. "That one there. I don't know if he is in, but he is around somewhere. If he isn't in his house he is probably at Moriarty's, drinking."
Amata thanked the man and made her way over to the house he had indicated. He had really got defensive, had her decision to exile him somehow earned her Vault some infamy? The place that had exiled their hero. Maybe she had underestimated just how...influential Lucas had become.
She knocked on the door and waited a few moments before it was answered by a Handy robot. It hovered gently and peered at Amata, who was by now accustomed to the strange robotic creatures.
"May I enquire to who wishes to visit the master of the house?" the Handybot said in its strange metallic voice.
"Oh I...my name is Amata and I was wondering if-"
The door suddenly swung open and the bot began to usher her inside. "Ah, please do come in. I am sure the master would be delighted to see you."
Amata raised an eyebrow and slowly moved inside. "You...know me?"
"The master leaves a list of people who are to be, in his words, always welcome in his home. Amata Almodovar, Overseer of Vault 101, is on that list."
Amata couldn't help but smile, Lucas not only remembered her, but had put her name on some list on the slight chance she ever dropped by. Maybe he wasn't still mad, this was a good sign. Although the outside of the house had seemed rather mundane, inside it was another story. The rooms walls were a metallic colour, the lights were bright and glaring and everything had that cramped vault feeling to it. Lucas had been trying to recreate his Vault surroundings. He really did miss it, even after everything. Amata suddenly felt a pang of guilt for forcing him out, for keeping him away from the place he obviously still considered home.
Amata's mind shot back to the Handybot. "But, how do you know I am Amata Almodovar?"
The Handybot buzzed a little before it began to play a recording. It was Amata's voice, her message that had lured Lucas back to Vault 101, to help. "THIS IS AN AUTOMATED MESSAGE FROM VAULT-TEC: VAULT 101. MESSAGE BEGINS: -it feels like you left home a long time ago, but I know you're still out there. I just hope you're still alive to hear this. Things got worse after you left. My father's gone mad with power. I changed the door password to my name. If you're hearing this, and if you still care enough to help me, you should remember it. MESSAGE REPEATS: THIS IS AN AUTOMATED-" the bot seemed to almost cough a bit before its normal voice resumed "Voice recognition is a hundred percent match. The master enjoys playing this message when he is at home."
"my lord." Amata said, a slither of pride inflaming her chest. It was for the best she exiled him, it may have been the hard thing to do, but if she hadn't Lucas wouldn't have been forced to stay out here. To become a hero. "I need to see him. Is he here?"
"No, he is out at the moment, although he is likely to be home soon. He expressed his wishes that I should make dinner ready for five o'clock, implying that he is to be coming home soon. He has been travelling with one Butch DeLoria."
Amata raised an eyebrow "Butch? He's been travelling with Butch? But those two hate each other."
"To the contrary, Butch Deloria is on the list of people always welcome in this house, as long as he is not intoxicated or planning to become so. These extra rules were added after some...accidents."
Amata found herself laughing so hard she had to sit on one of the nearby sofas "Butch and...Lucas?! The surface world is certainly...different."
The bot didn't respond, instead it casually floated off to the kitchen where all manner of clanging and banging ensued. Amata looked around the house, there were photos, lots of photos. Some of them she recognized, they were of his time in the Vault. She recognized the one of his tenth birthday party and smiled to herself, before standing from the sofa.
"I'm going to go to the inn and see how my people are getting on...please tell Lucas that...Amata stopped by and is in town."
"Of course madam. I always inform the master of visitors."
Amata nodded and exited the house.
Moriarty's bar was a strange place. It smelled of stale alcohol and had many different people lazing around the area. There was a strange creature serving drinks, it looked like a corpse! But moved and talked and everyone else just accepted it as if it was normal. Officer Gomez sat at a table with Christine and waved her over.
"So, how's Lucas?" Christine asked with a smile
Amata shook her head "Wasn't home. But he has decorated his house to look like his old vault dorm."
Officer Gomez laughed "That kid was always too sentimental about things."
Christine looked down. "I think it's cute, he never really got used to life out here...I must admit I do feel a little guilty for making him leave. I know at the time I was more than happy to see the back of him but...people out here seem to think he is some kind of hero. Makes you wonder..."
Amata gave a half smile. "I know what you mean, but we have to trust we did our best"
With that they pushed the issue of Lucas to the back of their minds and began making plans for the next day, Christine had heard the Sheriff was the closest thing to a leader around here and if they wanted to make their presence known should have a meeting with him. Amata kept their earlier encounter to herself. She didn't want it to seem like their Vault had a bad reputation already. If there was one thing Amata had learnt being the Overseer, it was that morale is important.
After a couple of hours the three were getting bored of the tedious task, and as if on cue three drinks landed on their table. They looked up to the figure standing over them. He had a cigarette in his mouth, a large grin on his face and ran a hand through his slick greased back hair. Amata's eyes widened.
"Well, if it isn't my old Vaulties." He said with laugh, before exhaling a cloud of smoke.
Amata immediately stood and hugged him. The two of them had never really got along, but during the final years of Amata's fathers reign as Overseer, Butch had become a highly dependable follower of hers. He had been instrumental in her rise to power and despite their teenage years, she did appreciate this. Christine also rose and gave him a hug, Officer Gomez just smiled at the man and thanked him for the drink.
"My, my girls. Never expected to see you guys outside the vault." He said, pulling up a chair next to them.
Amata and Christine retook their seat and sipped at the alcoholic beverage. "Why not? Its why I became Overseer."
"Yeah but...that was two years ago. Figured you guys had given up on that little venture."
Amata shook her head. "Just playing it safe."
"Does Lucas know you guys are here?"
"Not yet." Christine interrupted "Amata went by his house earlier but he wasn't home."
Butch nodded. "Well he is now. I just got back with him."
Amata couldn't help but laugh again "I still can't believe it. You two are...friends out here?"
"I prefer partners, but yeah. Me and his big ol' friend Romeo." Butch scratched the back of his head "And that Lyons bitch. We're a team. We saved the Wasteland."
Amata raised an eyebrow "You did?"
"Well, I will admit, Lucas may have carried us a bit. But it was a team effort...overall I mean."
Amata smiled "I have no doubt." Amata sighed heavily "Is he still...angry?"
Butch sipped his drink "Angry? About what?"
"Him being exiled." Amata said solemnly
"Oh that. He was. He got drunk for a week solid with me in Rivet City. But, I don't know. He just stopped talking about it. He didn't forget though. He'll ask me sometimes, if I ever wondered what became of you guys. I told him I don't give a flying fuck, no offence. But I think he always thought about going back and checking up on you guys, but didn't want...you know. Cause trouble."
"I see." Amata said, staring into space.
"If you're asking if he is going to be mad when he see's you...I actually don't know, heh. Mind you it takes a lot to get ol' Lucas real mad."
"I remember" Amata said, before standing from the table. "Okay, I'll go and pay him a visit."
Amata knocked on the door, each thud send the butterflies in her stomach flutter. He was in there, her best friend, the man who had saved the Vault, the man who had made her Overseer without killing a soul...the man who she had exiled from his home. The door slowly opened and she was greeted by the Handy-bot once again.
"Mrs Amata, please do enter. I have not had the chance to tell the master of your visit quite yet. He is upstairs changing."
Amata nodded quietly before walking inside. The smelt of cooked food, there were empty dishes in the sink and she could hear noises coming from up stair. The Handy-bot hovered back towards the kitchen and Amata stood with her hands behind her back in the middle of the living room.
"Andy, who was it?" a familiar voice rang out from upstairs.
Amata froze, it was him. After all this time, his voice was still clear in her head. She remembered some of his last words to her. It's not fair...this is my home! I'm not to blame! Amata sighed heavily. What was she even going to say? Was his exile lifted? Was this just a quick hello?
"Amata Almodovar to see you sir." The robot replied.
The shuffling sounds from upstairs stopped rather abruptly.
"Hello Lucas." Amata shouted upstairs.
A figure approached the stairs, he stood on the balcony above her and looked down. His hair was longer than it was in the vault, and he had a scar on his right eye. Amata smiled up at him, but he didn't return the smile, his face...it displayed more disbelief. He slowly made his way down to the living room, staring at her.
"It..it can't be you. Amata?"
"That all I get?" she asked
Lucas's eyes widened "Is everything okay? The Vault-"
Amata raised both her hands "The Vault is fine. This is our first...trading mission."
"Trading..." Lucas put his head in his hands.
Amata edged a little closer, he seemed to be in shock. It was not the reaction Amata wished for. "Are you okay?" she asked
"I...I don't know. Why are you here? Talking to me?"
Amata recoiled a bit "What do you mean? I wanted to see you."
"To...see me? Are you serious?"
Amata sighed...he was angry now. Amata kept her voice down, trying her best to be diplomatic. "I just thought we could..."
"You just thought?!" Lucas stepped forward "You exiled me from my home! My friends, the people who I grew up with, spat and through things at me as I left! Because I was a troublemaker. And now you turn up at my house like nothing ever happened? Like hell!"
Amata was shocked, he was really angry. She rarely ever saw him like this growing up. Even when she had exiled him, he looked more sad than angry. "Lucas...Luke, you know I had to."
"Do I? I know I've had the toughest two years of my life, I had to fight and kill and...and...my dad...and yeah, I made something of myself. But I wanted to visit you guys, talk to you guys. Help you, you were all my family. Instead...I could never go back, because you all hated me."
"Thats not true." Amata said "We didn't hate you. You were a force of progress, you riled up the traditionalists, we just needed to time before we could accept..."
"We, We, We – what happened to us?! I'm from there too! Do you guys even care about me anymore?!"
Amata looked down at the ground "I'm sorry you feel that way. I won't bother you anymore."
She turned to make an exit, she felt sick. Had she lost her friend forever? She felt a hand grasp her shoulder. She turned to find Lucas facing her, he had tears in his eyes. "I'm sorry...I'm sorry...I just...I've missed you all. I've missed you so much."
Amata felt her own tears well "We've missed you too, Lucas. I've missed you. It was the hardest decision I've ever made. I hope you know that."
Without warning he pulled her forward and wrapped his arms around her. She wrapped her arms around him in return and the two pulled each other tight. "I'm sorry." Lucas said again.
"Don't worry" she said, wiping her eyes. "I understand...you needed to vent."
Lucas placed his forehead against hers, she felt it and smiled. They used to do this, to reassure each other. It was the first time since they were...this old. She could feel her face, so close to his. Their noses touched, their lips brushed against each other. She opened her eyes, she felt as if...his lips met hers, they kissed. For a long time. It's sad to say, but it was Amata's first kiss, in the vault...well there was never anyone she wanted. Except the man she banished. When she became Overseer well...it didn't leave a lot of time for relationships to build. He smiled down at her.
"Didn't expect that." Amata said with a smile
"So, the Vault is ready to reach the outside world?" he asked
Amata laughed, that was his first sentence after that? "Um yeah, yeah we are."
"You know...I'm quite influential. I could...help."
Amata smiled, and put her arms around his neck. She looked up at Lucas who smiled down at her. "That sounds just fine."
Hey guys, this was just a quick one-shot, displaying something I wish would happen in game! Let me know what you think, I might write more, if you guys think it is worth it.