It’s No Emerald City

October 27th, 2287

It’s only been four days since I woke up from the Vault, and I’ve already had to kill 78 men in order to survive this horrible world. That’s right, I’ve kept count. I thought I would forget after the second dozen or so, but I can’t. The killing doesn’t get easier, but I hate to admit I’m getting better at it.

Dogmeat and I left the Red Rocket early in the morning and made our way south toward Fenway Park. Or “Diamond City”, as I suppose it is known now. Before we even got far we saw two goons who looked like they were trying to rob an old lady and her son at the Drumlin Diner. I tried to be diplomatic. He stuck a gun in my face. Without thinking I tackled him, threw him over my back, and stabbed his companion in the neck, then stomped his head in before a single shot could be fired. The old lady, Trudy, was grateful. If a little frightened. Turns out they were pushers and had gotten her grandson hooked on junk, squeezing him for cash. (Sorry, “Caps”. Apparently bottlecaps are currency now.)

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After that we crossed the Charles River, but not before getting roped into helping some military-styled assholes calling themselves “The Brotherhood of Steel”. They seem nice enough, in that racist-and-jingoistic-in-uniform kind of way, I guess. They acted like they had the authority to demand to know who I was, where I was going, and why. Even though Dogmeat and I just saved their asses from a horde of zombies. Yeah, you read that right. Fucking zombies. Of course. Apparently some people turned into “ghouls” when the bombs fell from all that radiation and now they’re zombies. The Brotherhood tried to recruit me, but I told them unless they could help me find my child, I wasn’t interested

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Downtown Boston is outrageously dangerous. There are encampments everywhere and everyone is trying to shoot everyone else. So Dogmeat and I hauled ass as fast as we could through the streets, ducking into alleys and taking alternate routes to avoid what we could. As we got closer we began to see crude spray-painted signs pointing the way to Diamond City. And then, finally, we found ourselves outside the stadium, with a very annoyed looking reporter arguing with an intercom. Apparently security didn’t want to let her in, but we schmoozed them over by convincing them I was a rich merchant here to trade my goods.

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As soon as I got in, the Mayor attempted to smooth things over with me while simultaneously warning me about Piper, the “rabble rouser” reporter. Even though no politician ever wants to give a straight answer, I got him to point me in the direction of the Valentine Detective Agency. He says that’s my best bet for finding my kid. As soon as I entered the stadium proper, I was speechless. They had transformed Fenway Park into an entire town! With shacks and a marketplace right on the field, and upper-class folks in the luxury boxes. Even in this wasteland, I guess classism and politics still exists.

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At the detective agency I found a distrought woman, telling me they couldn’t take on any new clients at the moment.

“Is there anything I can do to speed things along?” I asked, trying not to sound desperate.

Seems Nick Valentine, the detective, went out to find a missing woman and hasn’t come back. He was last seen at Park Street Station.

“Are you saying, if I find this guy, he’ll help me find my kid?” I pleaded.

With confirmation, I walked right back out of Diamond City and made my way further East. After all, Park Street Station was just a few blocks away, right?

I should have at least slept. Maybe traded for some better armor or weapons. Something. But I guess hindsight is 20/20.

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I didn’t think it was possible, but further east was even more dangerous. As it got darker, we tried to take shelter inside a church. Only to find some sort of awful green monsters grunting to each other. Are these like the ghouls? Were these things human once too? I honestly didn’t even want to look close enough to find out. We snuck back outside and tried to take refuge in an old theatre instead. It looked inhabited and vaguely respectable, at least.

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I was very wrong. The entire place was crowded with Raiders watching a cage match between one of them and a woman. I fucking lost it. I charged up to the balcony seats first, where I threw the first one over the rails, then tackled the second one before he could draw his weapon. My bladed brass knuckles made pretty short work of his face. After that I hunkered down and waited for their friends to run toward me, shooting them as they made their way up the stairs.

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“You want to come down and talk now that you’ve killed all my customers?” I heard a gravely voice say over the microphone.

I looked down to see a well-dressed ghoul (I guess they’re not all zombies?) and the girl who had been in the cage match earlier.

“Oh. Sorry. I, uh, I thought you were in trouble.”

Did I really just kill all those people for no reason? What kind of twitchy freak have I become?

The ghoul, Tommy, actually owns the place and manages fights for the Raiders amusement. Or he used to. He says maybe I was a blessing in disguise, as Raiders are already unreliable and dangerous customers. He actually tried to “sell me” his fighter’s contract, but Cait seemed less than thrilled about being handed off to some psycho. I can’t really blame her.

So I told them I actually had to get going but I would try to check back in when I could. I hope I can make it up to them. I feel like a murderous jackass.

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After a rough sleep on their floor, Dogmeat and I made it to Park Street Station, which was crawling with wannabe gangsters in pinstripes and tommy guns. I laid down some mines I’d picked up and placed them around the main entrance. Then I fired a couple shots in the air and waited for the fools to run into my trap. That took out half of them right away. I was nearly ambushed on my way into the ticket office, but I got that asshole in a headlock and shredded his jugular before he could do anything about it.

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As I made my way along the subway tracks (all while taking out more gangsters) I found the entrance to another Vault! This must be where Nick went. What better place to keep a ransomed rich girl than inside a Vault? Too bad for them, my Pip-Boy can open Vault doors from the outside.

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Inside I heard two men arguing on the top floor. As we crept up the stairs I realized the one locked behind glass was Nick, and the gangster taunting him was the only thing standing between me and the man who could help find my kid. So I equipped one of those “Stealthboys” I found that turns you invisible, and I put a bullet in the back of that creep’s head while he was focused on Nick. Then I went through his pockets and found the key to Nick’s cell.

“Gotta love the irony of the reverse damsel-in-distress scenario.” He smirked as he lit a cigarette.

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Turns out Nick is some kind of robot? I’m not really sure, I didn’t feel like asking a whole lot of questions. Especially since we needed to haul ass before the kingpin, Skinny Malone, found us surrounded by his dead henchmen.

But it can never be that easy, can it?

By the time we were near the exit we had an old fashioned showdown. Me, Nick, and Dogmeat up against Skinny Malone, his crew, and his girlfriend (not hostage!) Darla. There was no way we were going to survive a flat-out fight. We were outgunned and outnumbered. At first I tried to appeal to Darla’s family, who misses her, but that was a no-go. To be fair, I don’t know anything about this woman or her family, but she seems like any other rich brat I’ve had the misfortune to encounter.

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So instead I appealed to Skinny’s fragile male ego. Bingo.

“You’re not really gonna let this little girl tell you how to run your business, are you Skinny? That’s not a good look. Your subordinates might start to think you’ve gone soft. You’ve got to handle this like a businessman, not some lovesick loser.”

“You’re right. Nick Valentine and I go way back. So I’m gonna give you ten-seconds to walk out of here and never come back. Skinny Malone always keeps his word.”

Whatever. Don’t have to tell us twice!

It was the dead of night when we reached the surface, the cool air and bright stars were a comfort as I attempted to keep my heart from pounding out of my chest. I had been on full-adrenaline mode for far too long. But there’s no time to rest. Nick and I are going to attempt to run straight from here back to Diamond City. I hope we can make it.

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Published by

Dori Mooneyham

Dori Mooneyham is a psychology student at Texas Woman's University specializing in queer youth and their families. As a feminist, trans woman, and lesbian, she offers many unique insights and perspectives not often seen in the academic world.

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