Looking at my map, I find that there's a point I haven't explored yet called "Temple of the Union" a little ways to the Northwest. After a short trek across mutant-bear infested wilderness, I find the place. I am greeted by a surly woman with a shotgun who lets me know she'd just as soon kill me but the boss insists that anyone who approaches and says they are friendly has to be let in.
Give that woman points for honesty.
I eventually do meet the boss - a gentleman by the unlikely name of Hannibal Hamlin.
Hannibal Hamlin: Before we talk about anything else, I need you to promise on your solemn oath that you will never speak of this place to any slaver, especially the people in Paradise Falls.
Me: *laughs* Sooooo not a problem.
Hannibal Hamlin: Good! Here's a key to our community.
Me: You know, if I were lying this could get you intro trouble.
Hannibal: True. Of course if you were lying, confessing it right now in the middle of a room full of jumpy, heavily armed, escaped slaves would get YOU into trouble.
Me: Escaped slaves? I thought this was a temple!
Hannibal: It is! A temple devoted to freedom and a refugee to those who seek freedom.
Me: Ah. So not a place to get married then?
Hannibal: Not that kind of union!
Turns out that the Temple of the Union isn't a place to get hitched. No, seems that Hannibal - and everyone else in the Temple - are escaped slaves and that he established the Temple as a haven for escaped slaves and a memorial to Abraham Lincolin, the great president who ended slavery in American many many many years ago. Amazingly, they have the severed head of the statue from the Lincoln memorial and it is Hannibal's dream to someday get to the Lincoln Memorial and turn it into the New Temple of the Union.
Well, seeing as how I love making dreams come true and further seeing as how I love any excuse to go annoying slavers if I can't blow them up, I agree to go and scout out the Lincoln Memorial, which apparently has been claimed as a base by an army of Super Mutants. I also agree to help out the stone mason in the group by raiding the National History Museum to see if I can find a picture of what The Lincoln Memorial looked like before the war trashed it.
Tackling the later task first, I head back to Underworld and find out that - sure enough - there is a basement full of archives that nobody has bothered with - mostly becuase of all the glowing feral ghouls living down there. Nothing that me and my hunting rifle can't solve. I find the picture of the Memorial in record time and also find a fair number of Lincoln artifacts which i pick up for the museum one of the slaves was building in Lincoln's honor.
Cleaning the memorial of Super Mutants turns out to be a lot easier than I thought. I get to the Memorial (it's just down the National Mall from the National History Museum) and find that - Good News, Everyone! - the Super Mutants are all dead. Bad news is that's because a group of apparently well-armed and well-organized slavers have moved in. Apparently they're either big fans of irony or they got wind of the slave's plan and decided to set a trap.
Luckily for the slaves they have me on their side. And the forces of good are always triumphant. Because evil is dumb.
Me: *sneaking around the side of the building, readying a sniper's assault on the perimeter guard* Okay. I'm out of the range of fire of most of the guards here. I'll pick off the first guard, who should be far enough away that the others won't notice his messy death. From there, I can sneak to his post and start picking off the rest. Just need to round this corner and take the shot...
Perimeter Guard: Halt! State your business!
Me: *looking down at sniper rifle* Ah. My mistake. Didn't mean to head this way.
Perimeter Guard: Smart thinking. People who come to the Lincoln Memorial uninvited don't leave happy.
Me: *taking two steps back around the corner, raising rifle* Riiiiight.
Is there any doubt that I did wind up with more weapons and army than I could carry? I thought not.
I report back to Hamlin and tell him the Memorial is free of slavers and super mutants. I gave the mason his drawing and sell the Lincoln items for a reasonable fee. After all the slaver fingers I just picked up, I can afford to be generous. Hamlin tells me to meet him at the memorial while he and everyone else pack-up the head and get ready to move. I try to fast travel but am told - by the divine random powers that rule the universe - that I cannot fast travel from here. Looking at the map, I see a dotted trail, taking a very long path the to entrance to the main DC island ruins near Rivet City.
My purpose becomes clear. As one of the few competent forces of good in this godsforsaken wasteland, I must clear the path for these noble souls on their crusade. Well, that would be nice. I found out after the fact that there's apparently a game bug that prevents you from fast-traveling from the Temple of Union. You can fix it by entering anyplace else and then exiting... but me? I took the long path and wound up clearing the road of five separate gangs of raiders. Including two I was sure I had killed before at one point or another.
Still, eventually I help the escapees to their new home, reap a mild bounty of xp and and an even larger bounty on scavaged slaver loot and evil person fingers.
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