Commonwealth Justice

My eyes are shut so tight that I don’t even realize what’s happening around me. Bullets buzz by, inches from my head. I hunker down behind a large car that’s succumbed to the wasteland while the super mutant blasts his poorly put together rifle at us. Olly takes most of the bullets, his power armor reflecting them away. If I were to stand out there, I’d be dead in a little less than a second. What happened to the world? What happened after the bombs fell and the radiation levels became safe? The surface has changed forever. Olly takes cover, his armor beeping loud.

“Took a lot of damage!” He yells over the gunfire. “Are you gonna shoot or what?”
“If I peek my head out from behind this car, I’ll no longer have one!” But he’s right, I have a gun, and I know how to shoot. I leap up and shoot off a few rounds, the laser pistol has quite a kick to it. It gets the job done though, one super mutant down, one to go.
Olly runs towards the mutant and tackles it to the ground. My mind is racing, why did he do that? His armor is failing! Maybe it’s one last hoorah before the fusion core in the back gives out. I come out of hiding and aim my pistol at the monster. I can’t get a good shot, Paladin Olly is in the way. The mutant throws him off and jumps to his feet, I take my chance and open fire. The laser hits him endlessly, round after round shoots into his chest until his body falls into a pile of ash. My heart thumps over and over in my chest, it feels like it’s about to explode.

“Shit.” Olly says. “Not sure what I was thinking.”
I inhale and exhale hard. “Yeah...That was pretty stupid of you.”
“Eh, it got things done.” He smiles and hands me something. “It’s a fusion cell for your gun.”
I take out the used cell and put in the new one, the pistol hums to life. “So what’s next?” I ask.
“The mutants are carrying some pre-war tech we could potentially use for Liberty Prime.”
“Liberty Prime?”
“Oh.” He says, he scratches his chin and smiles. “It’s a big pre-war robot. We need some more parts so we can get it running. It’ll be a great asset in wiping out the Institute.”
“I still don’t really know anything about the Institute.” I say, not even sure if I should trust the Brotherhood yet.
“The farther we go, the more you’ll learn. Don’t worry. Let’s go.”

I guard the area while Paladin Olly works on removing the door to our destination. What kind of pre-war tech would the Brotherhood need to power a giant killing machine? Why does the Brotherhood even need a robot? They have an infinite amount of power armor and a giant floating blimp. I think there’s something more to this, maybe Olly doesn’t know, or maybe he does. He saved me, but that doesn’t mean I need to trust him, doesn’t mean I need to join the Brotherhood either...but I guess I was kinda forced into it.
“Ad Victoriam!” He yells as he kicks the door down.
“Your saying is To Victory?” I chuckle slightly. “Kinda cheesy don’t you think?”
“I think it’s a great saying. Jealous?”
“Not one bit. So what exactly are we looking for?”
“The Beryllium Agitator. It’ll power up prime and we’ll be good to go. Brotherhood has spotted some Institute synths around here.” He smiles at the thought. “Maybe you’ll get to kick some Institute ass.”
“Sounds like a plan.” I say as we walk through the door.

The sounds of metal creaking sends shivers through my spine. I’ve never been in this building, not even before the bombs fell. Every step we take makes me think that the floor is gonna fall through and we’re gonna die. I survived for 210 years after a nuclear bomb, I’m not dying by the floor falling through. And it does, the floor breaks and there Olly and I go, down a flight. I land hard and roll to the left to dodge falling debris. I cover the back of my head so nothing gets lodged into my skull. Olly grabs me up and we run to a stairwell.
“Thanks. But you can put me down now. Think you’re crushing every bone in me body.”
“Sorry. I underestimate the power of this suit. The tech is just downstairs.”
We head down the stairs, are weapons aimed for any Institute hag that we encounter. Reaching the bottom of the stairs, we round a corner and enter a large room. Behind glass is where our tech is...but it’s too late. Someone is in there already, hazmat suit on, and walking back with something in it’s hand. That must be the Agitator.

“Brotherhood!” A man yells. They all duck for cover and Olly raises his gun but I quickly step in front of him.
“Move.” He says demanding.
“No. We don’t know if these people are part of the Institute.”
“They’re taking our tech, I don’t care if they’re Institute or not.”
“So that’s what the Brotherhood stands for, Paladin?” I say disappointed. “Killing innocent people for pre-war technology?”
He lowers his gun. “When you put it that way...It does sound terrible.”
“Well, let’s just talk it over with them…” I turn around and slowly walk down a set of stairs. “We just wanna talk. We need the Agitator.”
“For what?” A woman says, she comes out of hiding. She’s beautiful, black hair tied back, goggles on top of her head, war paint under her eyes, she carries a shotgun and wears rusty armor.
“We need it to power something.” I say calmly.
“We do too.” She walks closer to me. “You don’t look very Brotherhoodly.”
“Well. I was trapped in a vault for 200 years and they saved me...Just awoke today.”
“Wait...Vault dweller? Which vault?” She asks surprised.
“Don’t know why that matters but...0.1”
“Well fuck.” She smiles. “Me too. Woke up about three years ago. Names Clayton. Leader of a group called Commonwealth Justice. Most of us are from that vault.”
“Nice to know I wasn’t the only one in there…” It feels good to know that someone is actually going through the same thing as me.
“So what exactly are you using the Agitator for?” Olly asks.
“It powers up the generators in the Institute.”
Olly raises his gun again but I stop him. “Excuse him, he’s heard a lot of bad stories.”
“We all did.” Clayton says. “But the Institute isn’t at all what you think. Come back with us, you’ll see.”
“What do you think, Paladin?” I ask.
“Sure...Just to see what it’s all about. I won’t hesitate to kill.”
“Take this. It’ll feel funny but It gets us in. Stand completely still.”
My throat goes dry and we’re suddenly at a different location. That was very quick, my head feels fuzzy and weird.
“Father recently died so Nora has taken over. Father was Nora’s son, he was kidnapped as a baby and taken here. She was also a fellow sleeper in a vault called 111.”
This is all so strange. As we walk through the halls, nothing looks like it does outside. It’s beautiful, untouched by death.
“So where is this place?”
“Underground” Clayton says.
“So that’s how this place survived…” Olly smiles, I expected him to be firing at will...But he isn’t. This place isn’t how he said it to be...