Tuesday, July 31, 2012

RETRO: Fallout 3 War Journal #15

I decided to head southwest from the old robot factory to a place on my map called Tenpenny Tower. I get there just in time to overhear an argument between a ghoul named Roy. Seems he's trying to move into the town but they don't take ghouls.

Thanks to my speechifying skills, I manage to talk my way in, convincing the guard at the gate - Chief Gustavo, it turns out - that his boss, Mr. Tenpenny wants to see me. Walking around the place and talking to people, it becomes clear that I'm in a neo-con paradise. Everyone is well-off, white or "acceptably ethnic" and scared out of their wits that the ghouls are going to eat them. Grim security guards walk the halls with the finest high-power weapons, unwilling to talk to a simple traveler who needs directions.

So yeah... in case you missed the subtle metaphor, the big white tower is an Ivory Tower, Mr. Tenpenny is The Man, most of the tower residents are the usual bunch of deviants who inhabit gated communities fearful that the poor/minorities are going to rise-up and kill them and the ghouls are your minority of choice.

Still, I go up and see Mr. Tenpenny and it becomes clear that he's the worst of the lot. Not only is he a rich elitist and a bigot but he's the one who hired the guy that tried to hire me to blow up Megaton. Why? It offended his view of the wasteland from the top of his tower.

Mr. Tenpenny: It is regrettable, but occasionally some must die for the benefit of the better people. It is survival of the fittest.
Me: Really? Well, I never thought of it that way. Hey! There's a puppy and kitten ranch being built in the distance!
Mr. Tenpenny: Where? I don't recall authorizing the zoning for that!
Me: (pulling grenade from pocket) It's WAAAY out there. Keep looking that way...

For blowing up a defenseless old man who wasn't expecting it - Good Karma!

I go back into his suite, expecting a firefight. Amazingly, the guard right outside the door either didn't hear a big kaboom or he doesn't care. But surely the guards outside heard that, right?

Not so much. Even Chief Gustavo seems rather blase about somebody dying on his watch, much less the guy who would sign his paycheck if they still had paychecks these days. I ask him about trying to reason with The Ghouls. He laughs this off and says if I want to get eaten alive, be his guest.

One sojourn into the nearby train tunnels later - after having discovered that with all my gear and all my bonuses, I am now capable of sneaking up on someone with their back-turned and hitting critical-damage sneak-attacks from point-blank range. With a shotgun.

I also discover realistic physics as my shooting at a ghoul while standing in the middle of a gas jet results in my being knocked down and set on fire. Amazingly, the fire kills the ghouls and only mildly annoys me. Thank you amoral mad scientist who gave me the powers of a fire-proof ant!

Eventually, I find Roy - who it turns out is leader of the local non-feral ghoul community. He's agreeable to trying to work something out with Mr. Tenpenny (apparently word hasn't reached the sewers yet) but how if that fails, he wants me to unlock a security door in the tower's basement so that they can unleash a horde of feral ghouls into the tower and then move in themselves.

Considering this as a last resort since there are a relatively few decent people in Tenpenny Tower who don't deserve to be the first against the wall when the zombie revolution comes, I go back and talk to Chief Gustavo, who still hasn't put 2 and 2 together on "stranger shows up saying he needs to talk to the boss" and "boss mysteriously explodes". In fact, the only acknowledgment of Mr. Tenpenny's passing is Chief Gustavo's assertion that he is in charge now.

Me: I talked with the ghouls. They're peaceful. They're friendly. They're just folks trying to get by. They'll pay rent same as everyone else - they just want a place to stay.
Chief Gustavo: Like hell! The only way those hideous freaks are coming in here is over my dead body.
Me: You feel that strongly about it? You sure there's no other way this will happen?
Chief Gustavo: Yep. Only way ghouls will ever live in this place is over my dead body! Now drop this nonsense! I have my eye on you...
Me: (pulling my sniper rifle) Really? Do you have eyes in the back of your head? If not, I can put them there.


Random Guard: Get him!
Me: Ah hell... (running inside)

Another Random Guard:
He's in here!
Me: Oh come on! I kill the boss on his balcony with an explosive in broad daylight and nobody says anything! I snipe the head of security, in the dark of night, from a distance, and suddenly the security team wakes up! (running for basement door)

Me: Okay. I've got 20 mines, 15 explosives and about 50 Stims. I think I can take on the entire security team, not to mention every single crazed bigot in this place who probably have enough guns and ammo in their underwear drawers to make Ted Nugent weak in the knees with joy. Or I could just unlock the doors down here and let the zombies do it. It'll be a karma hit, but hey - there's always beggars who need fresh water.

(fiddling with door) Dammit. This door must open someplace else. No switches obvious. Guess I'll have to become Death, Destroyer of Worlds

Me: (running through door) Yippie Kai Yai Yay, Mamma-Jamma!
Security Guard: Hey! How's it going?
Me: ... the hell?

Yes. Apparently all it took for me to be forgiven for shooting the sheriff (but I did not shoot the deputy) was to hide in the basement. After I exit, I find that not only are the security guards smiling and friendly, but that I have apparently been granted Superintendent powers. Every bigot I talk to afterward curses me and my ghoul friends for destroying their paradise, asking where they are supposed to go now.

Me: Not my problem. You can live with it... or you can live somewhere else. Don't hurt my feelings none if you leave.
Bigots: You bleeding heart do-gooder! My death will be on your head! We'll get you next time, Captain Planet!

For evicting a bunch of rich white pricks - Good Karma for each one!

So yeah... the non-bigots are quite happy with their new neighbors. Ghoul women in sun-dresses walk the halls freely. And me? Well, I'm moving on - my only regret that I didn't follow the bigots out of town to laugh as they get mauled by a giant scorpion and loot their bodies.

The Moral Of The Story? The best way to combat racism is not through education but by blowing up the rich white guys in charge, shooting their bodyguards in the head and forcing the rest of the rich bigots into the streets to live like mangy dogs.

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