Author has written 3 stories for Naruto, Doctor Who, and Fallout.
THE GOLDEN LADYBUG AWARDS
Given only to those showing tremendous skill in their respective field of Fan Fiction Writing, the Golden Ladybug Awards are an exclusive and prestigous trophy. Made of Solid Internetz, it is worth... pretty much nothing actually.
So, It might be small and puny, But the Golden Ladybug will recognise your achievements (And maybe recover 500 Life Points), and reward you for a job well done. And a heartfelt promise that you will never be devoured by killer butterf--
Wait, I've said too much. Anyway, thats the Golden Ladybug Awards, and have a Good Day
Becoming a Lonely Wanderer
I like Fallout Fanfiction, I really do. RPGs make great settings to build a story on, because you can do whatever you want and still keep the setting genuine. But one thing I always notice, is that no one really develops their characters from the history we're given (not that thats a bad thing, since most of the time it would just create clutter).
The Lone Wanderer (because this is of course a Fallout 3 story, since I have not got New Vegas), Ashlyn, comes from a life that, while probably unpleasant, is not going to turn you into a killing machine when you're let loose on the Capital Wasteland. So thats the challenge I set myself: Write a Fallout story that builds from that concept, of a character sooo thoroughly unprepared for life in the wasteland, and see what happens. Based primarily on my current (ongoing) run, with some little tidbits from previous ones. Make the Characters that spend their time in the limelight interesting, develop the background characters enough to make it seem like a real world. Build a story based on Fridge Logic. Fuck Yeah, Seaking!
Okay, maybe getting a Game of the Year Edition as a present helped motivate me to do this. But that other stuff still counts, too.
I'll be taking a few liberties with how the story unfolds. The Game is not going to stop me from making my story go the way I want it to go, but I'll stick to it (most of the time). And, while it might be Tagged Romance, dont expect it to be a really major theme. Its just there, in the background. Kinda. But its not the focus, Ashlyn becoming the Lone Wanderer is the Focus. Not Romance.
I'm serious, guys.
Oh, and Amata wont be around much, but she is still a main character. I mean, I could have tagged any of the companions except Clover and Charon, its just that Amata is the most signifigant character to Ashlyn. I wont reveal all my plans just yet (haha, bluffing with no cards), but she does deserve the other main character tag.
A/N Chapter 1 - I
Okay, its the tutourial levels, so nothing that happens here will suprise anyone (much). I've written it over the course of a week, in between looking after my little brother and other duties that Real Life requires of me. So, I find it a bit different in feel at the end compared to the begining. Maybe thats just me, maybe not.
Anyway, the main purpose of this chapter is obviously to introduce you all to Ashlyn, and filling out her history in the intervening time skips. I aimed to give you all a sense of how her life flows, of what her main character traits are, and her devotion to Amata. I also set up the grounding for how the character is gonna work. I wanted to justify why Ashlyn is good with Guns, why she can fix things, why she can pick locks. Its all there in the History. I'm going to try and do that throughout, use the gameplay as background to run the story on.
The Springvale Elementary bit is a nostalgia moment for me, since that pretty much happened to me the first time I played Fallout, ever. I walked out of the vault, having guessed the password, picked the lock, punched all of the Radroaches (because I couldn't figure out how to equip weapons, derp) and escaped. I didn't save Amata from Mack, because I didn't see her, I didn't save Butch's Mum, because I lost him around the corner, I didn't pick up the Medicine Bobblehead, and all sorts of horribly embarrasing things. So, I'm outside, I miss Megaton completely, and just walk over to Springvale Elementary. I walk inside...to be shot to death by raiders, which I desperately try to punch to death. It was so tragic, that I couldn't help but include it in here.
Also, Ashlyn hasn't conciously realised that she's in love with Amata yet (trust me, she is. I'm the Author). Her dreams have got it covered, but she hasn't worked it out proper yet.
A/N Chapter 2 - Am
This was originally going to be much longer, and would deal with a whole lot more. But, I decided to push the second half of this chapter back, and cover it in chapter three (anyone want to fathom a guess as to to what that chapter will be called ;P).
Anyway, Ashlyn is sitting in a fairly bad place here. To start with, she got shot, and was in a mini-coma for a few days, and now she got shoved into the middle of a world that she doesnt really know how to exist in. Not to mention, she fell in with Jericho, who isn't the best rolemodel for a newly-minted Lone Wanderer. And, when completely out of her element, she got conscripted by Moira to help with the WSG. This leads her to the Super Duper Mart, where she was faced with the problem of killing people. Of course, she already has Mack's blood on her hands, but that doesn't mean she's happy to wipe Raiders off the face of the earth. As you can probably guess, this is gonna be a problem for her.
But its not all bad, at least. She met Dogmeat, who is gonna use his capacity as Man's best friend to help her through this. Next time, its off to Minefield, and Arkansas! Seems like she's finding her feet.
Too bad, I guess, since all that will fall apart soon.
A/N Chapter 3 - Alpha
Yeah, stuff happened.
The main thing that I needed to talk about today is the Rad Regeneration perk, and the way I'm treating it. Stuff like that are almost completely useless in-game, but don't they just sound awesome? The way I'm planning to build my own personal Fallout 3 world is gonna be heavily reliant on small thinks like that growing and becoming better. I have two or three things like this that I'm gonna make a big deal out of, so that'll be nice.
Hey, remember that scene were they shelter from Acid Rain under a bridge? Yeah, that came out of nowhere. Originally, there wasn't gonna be any rain, and Ashlyn was gonna get attacked by Mirelurks. I just ended up throwing it in, because hey, why not. Also, I got to write random Raider's being civil. Also, since a Raider put down his weapon and ran away shouting "please don't kill me" recently, I think I had to put some semblance of humanity into them. Anyway, this was the scene I'm least happy with, but it's also something that I did not plan, not in the slightest, so that probably contributes.
I had fun deciding on how I was going to portray Walter and Simms. That was a good ten or so minutes, thinking about what sort of characters I wanted them to be. Oh, and Moira is totally like that. No one who is as Naive as Moira seems to be could survive in the wasteland. She's faking it, and is actually the most crazy prepared person in all of the Wasteland. She's Fallout!Batman
Oh, and Dogmeat is a pain. I kept forgetting I needed to write about him ;)
A/N Chapter 4 - And
Wow, this chapter was a monster to write. The pacing is all over the place, I kept going back to change things, and it turned out completely different to what I'd planned. I kinda like it though, and thats what matters. First of, a bit of trivia; did you know that Jericho is 65 years old? Neither did I, but The Vault says thats how old he is, and I'm inclined to believe them. How cool is that.
Anyway, about the actual author's notes thing...I really want to write Ashlyn as completely clueless about how to fight and survive in the wasteland, but if I did, she'd have died already. So, that means when it comes to me writing a fight scene, stuff like this chapter happens. Ashlyn is capable of holding her own, but her mind gets in the way. So, when the mind isn't in the way (say, when she thinks that she'll never see Amata again) she cuts loose and beast-modes her way through three raiders. I think that makes sense, sorta like how mum's have moved cars out of the way with their bare hands because they're protecting their children.
The Family are literally my favourite faction in all of Fallout 3. Blood Ties is the first quest I ever finished, and I've played it to some extent in every single playthrough I've ever done. So, when I wrote down the details of the trek from Megaton to Arefu by playing the game and recording the route, I didn't need to with the Train Tunnels because I just know them well. I think it's just a cool place. And triggering and getting hammered by all those traps is another reference to my first time playing. I was so bad at this game once -_-
Okay, what's next...oh yeah, all those Injuries. Ashlyn is going through hell, because every single thing that happens to her could potentially kill her, and I have to treat it like that. Hell, if she wasn't so Determinator-ish, she would have died in the train tunnels. A Chinese Pistol might be one of the worst weapons in game, but in story it'll kill you just as much as anything else. Another writer on this Site, Less Wrong, said in there profile something to the effect of this: The reason a Mary Sue is a badly written character isn't because she is all-powerful, but because she lacks an equally powerful enemy. I took that to heart, and I try to exemplify that. Also, go check out Less Wrong in general. He has written what is possibly the most entertaining Harry Potter fanfiction ever (It's in my Favourites)
Hmm, what else...Oh yeah, Meishuu brought up a good point in his review; Ashlyn's SPECIAL says she has 10 INT (Well, not anymore, but I'll get to that), and I need to write her as someone with 10 INT. I replied by promising to give Ashlyn more oppurtunities to use her brain soon, but since then I've been doing some thinking. I can't write Ashlyn any smarter than I am, I'm not that good a writer. Its the same way telling people your character is a tactical genius doesn't mean much, because you're not one. In sheer smarts, I'd reckon I'd rate about 7 INT. But then I did some MORE thinking, and realised that the way the Intelligence stat works, it would make more sense to class it under Adaptability. It corresponds mainly to how many Skill Points you get on level up, so wouldn't it make more sense for me to say that Ashlyn isn't a genius, but she's a quick learner? yes, yes it would.
Ashlyn isn't a Genius, buts she's a quick learner. See, now everyone is happy. And, to be on the safe side, Ashlyn will be doing a fair bit of Mechanicering, since I'm saying thats what she is really skilled at. If you want to stay true to the common definition of INT, lets say most of her points come from her aptitude there. We hit the same problem, of course, because I'm not a Mechanic or an Engineer, but thats okay.
Also, I dropped a point of INT, because I realised that I'm never going to explain or even mention the Bobbleheads in-story, so that point shouldn't actually be there.
Finally, I'm sure you've all figured out the Gimmick I'm using for chapter names, but I actually goofed pretty hard in that regard. In the original plotting I did, where I put all the necessary information down for each chapter, I somehow thought that there were 23 words in 21:6, when in fact there are 27. I'm going to try and remedy this by cutting down the bigger chapters I had planned into smaller ones, but I anticipate at least one spare chapter slot to use. So, if anyone has a quest they'd like me to have Ashlyn take part in, send me a message or say so in a review.
P.S. Dogmeat is still a pain to write in, and he's being just as annoying in game, and has so far killed two friendly NPCs that I could easily have left alive otherwise, and turned a whole town hostile. Whats up with that?
P.P.S. I saw the coolest thing last time I got on F3:GOTY. A Deathclaw and a Giant Radscorpion duking it out. The Radscorpion couldn't handle the pressure, and went down. Then Two Yaoi Guai rock up and start attacking the Deathclaw. Kaiju Fight!
A/N Chapter 5 - Omega
Another BIG chapter, but I'm enjoying writing at about this length. It lets me put some focus on world building, and I can have scenarios that are cool, and still have plot. Anyway~
This chapter starts off in a weird way. Like always, a lot of the sequences I wrote I have lots of doubt about, and the whole time Ashlyn is in Moriarty's is one of those from top to bottom. I don't know if I made Moriarty too much of an asshole, but I kinda like it anyway. In any case, I actually like Moriarty as a character. He's a pretty sad excuse for a human being in our society, but hes a bit of a cool guy nonetheless. Too much of the time he just gets killed, and you lose a magnificent bastard, and thats terrible. I love keeping Villains around. Thats pretty much the only reason I made a point to introduce Mr. Burke, even though he didn't really do anything. I wrote him in just in case a Villain is needed at some point later on, because Burke is pretty damn awesome.
Anyway, that scene with Nova isn't just semi-fanservice, it's sorta character development...Well, in a way at least. Its like I'm setting a precedent or something? I don't know. But THE POINT IS that Ashlyn gets a moment in thinking she did something with another girl, which means she has a path to discover her feelings for Amata (because that's part of this story, believe it or not...It'll come up soonish, promise). But, it was also semi-fanservice. Everyone put up your hands if you thought it was serious.
Then after that we get to the DC Ruins. Ya know, the thing I most hate about Fallout 3 is the sheer number of insurmountable waist high fences. Those piles of rubble should be unable to prevent me from climbing over and taking a shortcut to my destination. It can't be that hard? Hell, theres even stuff in some of those areas for people who sequence break into them (the Beta Tesla Cannon, for example). So, I put in a bit of stuff to justify my hatred for those piles of rock. After 200 years, those buildings probably aren't the most stable of places. Also, I know that the bridge near Super Duper Mart isn't the one covered in mines, I just thought it would be cool if it was.
I'm not sure if I did the 'lose an eye, lose all your accuracy' thing well. It'll suffice, I suppose.
Oh, and Super Mutant Overlords bug the hell out of me. In fact, all of the enemies Broken Steel gives you to fight are horrible, horrible monsters. I've CSA'd past a point where Super Mutants spawned, and Overlords have started shooting me. I have 100 points in stealth, and I'm invisible, I have Silent Running...and they STILL saw me and shot me to death. So after I died, I returned to that point, snuck up behind the Super Mutant Overlord, pulled out the Terrible Shotgun, and shot him in the head. With a Sneak Crit, 100 in small guns, and a Fully Repaired TS. IT BARELY EVEN SRATCHED HIM!!!! THE SHOTGUN THAT CAN TAKE AWAY MORE THAN HALF A BEHEMOTH'S HP IN THIS EXACT SITUATION DID NO DAMAGE AT ALL
CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL
Also, Jericho. Did he survive a Mini-Nuke Explosion at close range? Did he die? The answer...is pretty damn obvious; he's dead, and its sad. Bet you guys didn't expect that to happen.
Oh yeah, and the world (as in the Earth) didn't explode. It was just me using colourful language to show that a big explosion happened. The World is fine.
A/N Chapter 6 - The
Okay, let's cover the Raiders first. While watching a few videos of this quest, and when I did a run over the area in-game I noticed that there is a huge gang of Raiders, with Turrets hanging from the ceiling, who attack you in the Subway tunnels. When you're actually fighting them, they're pitifully easy, even if you have the bare minimum when it comes to gear. A Hunting Rifle was all I needed to dispatch them all. BUT from a story perspective, how the hell would Ashlyn win in that situation. Everything in this version of the Wasteland is hyper-deadly, so getting into a firefight is bad news. If Ashlyn went up against four to five Raiders at a time, she'd die, simple as that. So, my options were to pretend that they weren't there, or think of some other way. I like what I thought up A LOT.
I tried to give a sense of depth to that group, and thought up a bit of a story for each. This is the first time Weasel has gone out raiding, precisely because of his glaring Sadistic tendencies, and the others were taking pity on him. He acts like a Big Man to try and earn their respect, but he just doesn't have the right idea. I imagine him as looking like Gollum. Banner was going to be a shout-out to the Incredible Hulk, but when this chapter got lost in the suicidal throes of my computer, that all got lost. I couldn't remember the context I had it in when I rewrote it, so he was just their leader. John "Johnny" Smith is a bit of a joke character. Johnny is a shout out to both the Pyro from Team Fortress 2 (the uncertain gender and the status as a Flamethrower wielder) and the Human Torch from the Fantasctic Four (Name and Fire-y-ness), and I'm not sure what to do with the character, at all. Dane...whoa, I have no idea what I was channelling when I came up with the idea of him carrying the skulls of his family members around on his belt. That was a really wierd moment to write, I'm telling you. I didn't develop his sister Pyrrah beyond that she was dead, and was supposed to let them through that door. The Name means something though; its based on Pyrrhic, as in Pyrrhic Victory. The Ghouls killed her, but they lost three of their number to do it.
Jewel, on the other hand, I know exactly what was going through my head when I made up Jewel. She's not all there, in a mental sense, and there are a few key components missing from her being a fully functioning human being on any level. She is fascinated with fire, is completely desensitised to violence of any kind, and acts too-happy for any situation. That Knife fixation certainly isn't healthy, and not just for however she's tracing that blade all over. Also, she's not just a token lesbian/bisexual who decided Ashlyn is cute, I don't think she has any sexual identity at all...she wanted to keep Ashlyn as a pet, or a doll or something. That disturbs me on so many levels, but I think it makes for an interesting character. She certainly spun out further than I'd expected her to, but I'm not sure if I want to go through with all the ideas I had with her. We'll see.
Anyway, having 'sympathetic' Raider characters is something that I think could be interesting, and not just for deconstructing 'What Measure is a Non-Mook'. When you think about it, the only time a Raider has been hostile to Ashlyn was when she was stealing their food, which is pretty understandable in a world like Fallout.
The way Three Dog sends you out to do him a favour after you just saved his ass from a Super Mutant invasion seems a bit...mean spirited to me. Sure you can convince him to just tell you, but it still seems a little bit...off for the guy who verbally crucifies you for doing anything wrong. I can sorta see his point of view, but I see that Ashlyn has every right to be Angry at him much more clearly.
Speaking of that Anger, I can see it worked sorta like the Force does; it makes you more powerful, but you lose yourself in it. Ashlyn tried to out strength a Super Mutant because she was angry, after jsut fighting a group of Ghouls with crap tactics. On the one hand, theres the Survival Mode she goes into when she's got Amata on her mind, which I pretending operates by some sort of Zen mode thing where she disregards pain and gains intristically amazing battle tactics, rather than just because I said so. On the other hand, there's her being incredibly Angry which just makes her try to kill things. She's got a lot of violence bottled up, does Ashlyn.
Oh, and the Ghouls. So what if they're basically a joke until Reavers start popping up, they're still really fast hostile zombie things that are really hard to kill and thrive on Radiation. That live in Dark Subways. And have this Eerie hissing thing they do. And come equipped with Sharp Claws. And attack in groups. Seriously, those things are Deadly! Theres a damn good reason nobodies tried to clean up the Subways; these things live there!
Hmm...what else...Oh right, all this horrible stuff thats been happening to Ashlyn near constantly. Look at her Luck Stat, now back to me, now back to her Luck, NOW back to me...sadly, its 2, so bad shit is going to be happening to her a lot. Good thing she has a huge tolerance to pain (something that I take from personal experience. I've had someone twice my size try to joint lock me and felt only a mild tingle).
I think thats it, actually. I hope that I get a few afternoons off, or something of that nature, so I can still write during School, but I'm not counting on it. I'd be nice, though.
A/N Chapter 7 - Begining
Guess who is briefly back? That's right, for the next week, I am going to be doing little else besides writing as much more of Becoming a Lonely Wanderer as possible. Luckily, my mouse has been stolen. Why is this lucky? because not having a mouse prevents me from playing Team Fortress 2 on my laptop, so instead I'll be writing!
Okay, lets get serious. This chapter has been waiting to get written from the the very begining. This chapter is basically the entire reason this fic even exists! If it weren't for me playing along, and realising what a broken perk Cyborg is, I would've never started writing this story. So, that's a pretty important milestone for me to reach.
Anyway, we've hit the biggest BAD END! so far in the story, and its a little bit of a doozy. Ashlyn got completely decimated by Armitage, and now she's practically a zombie. That's really, really bad, especially because as a direct consequence of her failing to defeat Armitage and kill Zimmer, Harkness has been captured and the Railroad exposed. The Institute just won because she wasn't good enough. Because she wanted something to do so she could get her mind off of Dr Li blowing her off. If she cared about what Three Dog said about her, she'd be in for such a verbal tounge lashing. I also made up a whole fictional history of The Institute's development of AI, and Zimmer's role in it specifically. I will share if anyone's interested?
Speaking of Dr Li blowing her off, I really enjoyed writing her as this completely arrogant, stuck up bitch. She doesn't care that her best friend and love interest's child appears in front of her begging for aid, she's just gonna insult her competence and go check on her weather balloons.
Really, there isn't much more for me to say here. I enjoyed (really, really enjoyed) writing again, and trying out different ways of making my versions of Pinkerton, Zimmer and Victoria Watts unique was fun. I lost a little bit of the intended dialogue for Victoria in the revisions, because I changed how Ashlyn was refering to Harkness/A3-21. Shame really, it was a damn good line. Oh yeah, how did me swapping between Harkness, Harkness/A3-21 and A3-21 when I was referring to him work out? Some of that was to show what personality traits he was exemplifying, some of it was me just scrambling for a name to give to him. Some of it was meaningful though, and that's what counts :P
I also decided to just write Dogmeat out of this chapter rather than find a way to include him in all this, which is pretty much the only reason those Super Mutants appeared. I kept debating whether to have them take Ash prisoner and have her escape the camp with that Wastelander who's a captive (it's a random encounter, I think, that spawns in the Super Mutant camp that's near Rivet City. You have the choice to free her for good Karma and some supplies, or leave her there). In the end, that subplot got too clunky, so it got cut. I think that made the Super Mutant scenes a little forced, though...opinions on that?
Also, that voice in the italics that got Ashlyn to start using her brain is her...conscience maybe? I don't have the right term for it, but its the voice in the back of your head that keeps its head in bad situations, and gets you to do the right thing. It's already made an appearance when she was debating with herself about whether to shoot Arkansas to save Jericho. Also, and this may be relevant, it has Amata's voice.
But wait, you say, normal people tend not to have voices that counsel them in what to do. Well, thats completely correct, to the best of my knowledge normal people don't have voices that tell them what to do (or at least, they tend not to listen to them). Ashlyn on the other hand, has a mental state that is less healthy than the plague.
Finally, I'd like to leave a reply to the anon reviewer known as "A" who commented on the last chapter. It really annoys me that s/he choose to not use their own account to leave a review, because than I could have just sent them a Private Message to cover this, but I have to put it here instead. Basically, A's call is that I'm handling the S.P.E.C.I.A.L scores badly (as well as saying I take criticism badly?), which is something I'll freely admit. If I could go back in time and beat myself over the head, drag my unconscious past self's body away from the computer and erase the S.P.E.C.I.A.L scores from this page before I even posted the first chapter, I would. It was a stupid decision to bring that particular piece of gameplay in this story, because it's just distracting clutter (and I've also lost track of where all the points are supposed to go, because Ashlyn is subject to so many S.P.E.C.I.A.L altering effects that I have no idea what they were originally anymore. That thing down on her character sheet is just a vague guess). I don't refer to them while I'm writing, beyond the general "Ash has shit Charisma and Luck", "Ash has really good Agility and Perception, and smarts", "Ash has mediocre strength and endurance". I don't compare the actual scores to the things that Ashlyn does in my Story and make judgements about whether one or the other is accurate. They are a decent guide for the areas I'm aiming for her to be proficient or not in, but they're not the be all, end all. Gameplay and Story segregation is in full effect here.
He or She also claimed that I make excuses for the flaws that are pointed out to me, rather than fixing them. I don't really know what you're pointing out here, since I'm fairly certain I've done my best to fix the problems reviewers have brought up to me, or if I haven't, that's probably because I don't think they're a problem. Furthermore, I see nothing wrong for giving my reasoning for why I've done something a certain way, even if that particular way seems ill advised in hindsight.
Sorry to all the other readers who are reading this, I'd have prefered to just sent a private message to "A", rather than bringing it up on the Author's Notes, but there were some things I felt I needed to respond to.
Hopefully, I'll have the nest chapter up by Monday. Also, it is almost 5 AM right now, and I spent the last 9 Hours writing and rewriting, and watching reference videos and hardly eating any food, so I really need to get some sleep.
Ashlyn's Character Sheet
Tag Skills: Small Guns, Repair, Lockpicks
Perks that are actually relevant: Rad Regeneration, Cyborg
Level (in-game, not in-story, at the time of the last Update): 22
Expect more to be added here, just as soon as I think of something else to talk about.
"Papilio dicit minime"
The Butterfly says no