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All across America, they were the first to run into danger: the brave fire fighters, police officers and medical professionals who selflessly served their communities. After the bombs fell, they formed the Responders. Their mission – help each other… no matter the cost.— @Fallout[2]

The Responders were a volunteer disaster relief organization operating in Appalachia after the Great War, dedicated to helping local communities survive. By 2102, the faction had been wiped out.

BackgroundEdit

All across America, they were the first to run into danger: the brave firefighters, police officers and medical professionals who selflessly served their communities. After the bombs fell, they formed the Responders. Their mission was to help each other no matter the cost.[3]

After the Great War, Appalachia's emergency personnel mobilized to help their fellow citizens. These Responders became part government, part crisis relief. The Responders provided automated survival training to anyone in need. And it was needed quite a bit. Survival and security became paramount after the devastation of the Great War, and the Responders desperately tried to help as many of their neighbors as they could. Their goals included helping people who made it through the nuclear holocaust or were born after the dust has settled. They set up numerous locations across West Virginia in a bid to establish some semblance of law and order.[4]

Charleston became the heart of Appalachian reconstruction with the Responders at the forefront - then still considered "just" the first responders, the city had an actual shot at rebuilding fast and hard. Problems with the sheer volume of refugees, however, forced them to deny requests for aid and supplies that could not be handled on the spot. That included survivors from the Pleasant Valley Ski Resort. Humiliated and left without help, the survivors banded together under David Thorpe, a cold and brutal man who turned them into a terrifying raider warband. It proved to be a costly mistake.[5]

Christmas FloodEdit

Charleston grew in the meantime and by 2082, a raider war band led by Rosalynn Jeffries was routed handily by the Responders, after they were spotted early. Rosalynn was injured and taken prisoner along with some of the other raiders. By then, the Responders were more or less running things in the city, and were doing well. their confidence made them attempt a confrontation: Face the raiders on their home turf, in the mountains, and see if they could make a deal. The Responders hoped they could get them to leave them alone in exchange for prisoners. They were wrong. Thorpe was convinced that Rosalynn was dead and wanted revenge. Using mini-nukes stolen from the Appalachian Brotherhood of Steel, he blew up the Summersville Dam on Christmas morning, 2082.[6]

In a flash, the Responders lost almost everything: Homes, supplies and most of their friends and family. Although they suffered under the devastation, they survived, keeping the idea of the Responders alive and resettling at the Morgantown Airport.[7]

RebuildingEdit

Despite the devastation, the Responders did not give up. Morgantown proved to be a jackpot, as after containing the trouble with the local gangs, they had a centrally-located base, distance between them and the nearest raider clans in the mountains, and contact with the Free States and the Appalachian Brotherhood of Steel. They even expanded into Flatwoods[8] and began restarting some of the old infrastructure in the town to produce food and provide security.[9]

Their access to food, medicine, and other essential supplies was the foundation of their relationship with the Free States and the Brotherhood, with caravans crossing through the Savage Divide regularly. Four years after the flood, in January 2086, they reached the apex of their power and influence as they fought against the super mutants in Huntersville alongside power-armored troops of Paladin Taggerdy. The victory seemed to signal the beginning of a new era for Appalachia, as the Responders and Brotherhood forged an alliance and their patrols even managed to suppress the mountain raiders (those not already taken care of by the elusive Order of Mysteries).[10]

However, things would not go their way. The Enclave, hidden away from prying eyes, split apart in the civil war after President Thomas Eckhart decided to have his way and force the automated security systems to raise the DEFCON level by releasing scorchbeasts on Appalachia, after subjecting it to Chinese drones, the Huntersville mutants, and other monstrosities. The civil war that destroyed the faction set the scorchbeasts loose, which rapidly infested the Cranberry Bog and started spreading out into the adjacent areas. [11] The appearance of the scorched was a shock to all survivors who came into contact with them, as was the plague they spread. The Responders decided to fight back, organizing a special fighting force called the Fire Breathers using the experience of Melody Larkin and Hank Madigan, a Brotherhood deserter, to train and organize the elite fighters. They would face the horrors of the wasteland and protect the lands west of the Appalachians from the scorched.[12]

Failure of visionEdit

However, the Responders failed to consider the big picture. Maria Chavez, their de facto leader, did not believe the threat was as severe as the Brotherhood made it out to be and disliked their militarism and repeated demands for supplies. What just a few years earlier promised to be a long-lasting alliance was unraveling fast, culminating on March 12, 2095, when the Brotherhood demanded information about Amy Kerry's project. At gunpoint. Although Chavez relented, the relations were soured permanently.[13] The fall of the Brotherhood in August 2095 left the Responders alone on the board and it was a matter of time until the scorchbeasts finally took them out. The raiders, desperately fleeing the Savage Divide, swept through the Forest, taking out many of the Responder outposts, including Flatwoods.[14]

The Responder leadership realized their mistake, but too late to make a difference. The research project into a scorched vaccine at AVR Medical Center was launched too late to provide a cure in time to protect the Fire Breathers. By September 2096, all of the pieces were in place to create it, but communications breakdowns due to constant scorched attacks prevented Dr Hudson from completing it and the Fire Breathers were forced to launch their operation to seal the Big Bend Tunnel and buy time for Appalachia without it. The operation took place in late October and failed. So did Hank Madigan on his attempt to establish the Scorched Detection System developed in conjunction with the Free States, captured and killed by the raiders. Finally, Morgantown Airport fell after a desperate defense against hordes of scorchbeasts and their minions on November 7th, 2096. The Responders were wiped out.[15]

By 2102, nearly all of these locations have been overrun by mutants or were otherwise lost, leaving behind a plethora of artifacts and functional equipment for dwellers emerging from Vault 76 to pick over and use to rebuild civilization again.[4]

OrganizationEdit

Photo responderleaders

Responder founders: from left to right, Jeff Nakamura, Maria Chavez, Melody Larkin, Sanjay Kumar

The Responders had a decentralized, horizontal structure designed to address the needs of people under their care and aid them in need. Regular supply trains were established between the nearby farms and the Responder headquarters, with full members assigned to their protection, such as Jerry Abernathy. For rapid response in emergencies, the Responders also established an emergency response team, trained by Felix O'Dell and consisting of Derek Castle (guard and escort), Veronica Chang and Kevin Trayjor (field medics).[16]

In the early years, Responders largely operated under their pre-existing chains of command (police, paramedics, firefighters, etc.), ignoring attempts by the Charleston Emergency Government to assert their leadership over them. However, this early structure was far from unified and required a good deal of tact and diplomacy to keep them from falling apart. This problem was exposed less than a year after the war, when the responders grappled with the problem of Chief Mayfield's heavy-handed rule of Morgantown. After he ordered his police officers to open fire on the rebellious VTU students and imposed a mandatory curfew, Melody Larkin realized that moving on him would risk splitting law enforcement responders from the organization.[17]

Ironically, it was the Charleston Flood that solidified the leadership structured and forced it to reform into a much more efficient, united structure. After relocating operations to Morgantown Airport, the faction was effectively guided by five senior members: Maria Chavez (senior Responder and de facto leader), Claire Hudson (chief medical officer), Sanjay Kumar (chief engineer), Melody Larkin (combat trainer), and Jeff Nakamura (quartermaster). However, the division of labor was handled on a merit basis, with the senior Responders working together with junior members. The Fire Breathers combat unit was a notable exception, operating with a strict chain of command under Melody, as a matter of necessity.[18]

RanksEdit

FO76 Responders Poster Volunteers Needed!

A Responders poster calling for volunteers

  • Senior Responders: De factor leadership of the organization, typically people who have been with the organization since the beginning.
  • Responders: were fully trained members of the faction who each had a job, a specialty, and housing assignment. The job of Responders was to help everyone, including volunteers and candidates.
  • Volunteers: People who underwent the automated training, enjoying weekly rations from the self-serve kiosks, access to the Forest Watch and other Responder communications, and a discount at the official vendors. Like Responders, volunteers also had jobs, specialties, and housing assignments. Survivors registered to become volunteers with a Responder or at the self-serve registration kiosk. Survivors and candidates became volunteers by participating in two experiments and/or training sessions.
  • Volunteer Candidates who are undergoing training (whether automated or under another Responder), or too young to become Volunteers or Responders. At the age of 13, candidates could be promoted. While candidates were assigned housing, they were not assigned jobs or specialties.

DivisionsEdit

Fire BreathersEdit

Main article: Fire Breathers

Led by Melody Larkin, this division was assembled with the goal of exploring the Ash Heap some time after the Responders had been formed.[19] They were based in the former Charleston Fire Department and made up of a mix of pre-War Charleston F.D. and post-War volunteers. Player characters can become Fire Breathers by undertaking the requisite exams during the quest Into the Fire.

Flatwoods ParamedicsEdit

Their cosmetic uniform is rewarded upon the completion of the main questline in Flatwoods. Along with the primary Responder forces in Flatwoods, they provided medical services and helped in recruiting efforts before the Scorched overran Morgantown Airport.

Responders' Police ForceEdit

Their uniform is rewarded upon the completion of the main questline in Morgantown.

  • Morgantown P.D. - assisted in the large scale defense of Morgantown Airport and also protected civilians within the city itself. Most of the police force was wiped out in the failed defense against the Scorched, and many police officers are seen to have turned into Scorched themselves.
  • Charleston P.D. - responsible for maintaining law and order in the city of Charleston, they were wiped out along with most of the city following their capture of raider Rosalynn Jeffries, which her partner David Thorpe responded to by stealing a mini nuke and destroying Summersville Dam in what would come to be called The Christmas Flood.

TechnologyEdit

Responders relied heavily on existing infrastructure and equipment they recovered from police, medical, and firefighting units across Appalachia. Most notably, they had a large network of repurposed Protectrons and Eyebots to assist the community and automate training and labor, even though they tended to be a little unreliable due to mechanical jams and faulty programming. Sanjay Kumar and Miguel Caldera were indispensible for maintaining the fleet and keeping it operational.[20]

Forest WatchEdit

The Forest Watch was an automated network of robots established to monitor the Forest region, where Responders operated. Primarily an early warning system, it was established to compensate for the Responder attrition rate due to the pressure from the raiders, Scorched, and other problems. Robots were easier to replace, maintain, and allowed monitoring around the clock. Sanjay Kumar and Chelsea McKee were responsible for establishing and maintaining the network. Their work proved to be particularly resilient, as the Watch remained active as late as 2102, broadcasting automated alerts about rogue robots, massing mutated wolf packs, and other warnings. They proved indispensable to the Vault 76 dwellers in their re-emergence.[21][22][23]

Outside relationsEdit

The Responders had an uneasy relationship with the Brotherhood of Steel, as the Brotherhood tried to recruit skilled Responders away to join the fledgling Appalachian chapter. The organization did not have the equipment or expertise that came with being a former military unit like the Brotherhood, as much of their equipment came from their origins as civilian emergency services, meaning members of that caliber were both needed and in short supply. Like the Brotherhood, the Responders fought against the encroaching Scorched, and also researched a means to develop a vaccine against the Scorched plague, but their efforts ultimately fell short and they were wiped out some time before Vault 76 opened. There is evidence of a Responders Radio station that operated prior to the group's destruction.[24]

Notable membersEdit

Senior members
Supply trains
Rapid response team
Forest Watch
Fire breathers
Other
Flatwoods
Other
Robots

Interactions with the player characterEdit

VendorsEdit

Responder vendorbots offer the following items:

Ammo
Gunpowder, .45 caliber, 10mm, .38 caliber, .44, shotgun shells.
Consumables
Stimpak, Rad-X, blood pack, plus various raw and processed meat-based consumables.
Components (bulk)
Adhesive, aluminum, gears, wood.
Mods
Excavator power armor mods plus random nearly all mods.
Weapons (melee)
Board, knuckles, meat hook, boxing glove, pool cue, rolling pin, switchblade, tire iron, walking cane, shovel, Bowie knife, drill, fire axe, golf club, gatchet, pickaxe, pitchfork, sickle, baseball bat, baton, knife, lead pipe, machete, and sledgehammer.
Weapons (ranged)
.44 pistol, pump-action shotgun, 10mm pistol, hunting rifle, pipe gun (regular), and tomahawks.
Weapon plans
Workshop plans
Armor
Random metal and leather armor pieces, generic underarmors.

AppearancesEdit

The Responders appear only in Fallout 76.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Sharon's angry letter
  2. https://twitter.com/Fallout/status/1053336600913104902
  3. Fallout Twitter
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fallout 76 Official Game Guide
  5. The Christmas Flood
  6. The Christmas Flood
  7. Charleston terminal entries
  8. Flatwoods terminal entries
  9. Event: Feed the People
  10. Riverside Manor terminal entries
  11. See Enclave (Fallout 76) for references.
  12. Lt. Thomas' Action Report
  13. Tygart water treatment terminal entries
  14. See Flatwoods for references.
  15. AVR Medical Center terminal entries
  16. Morgantown Airport terminal entries
  17. Charleston Capitol Building terminal entries: "3.29.2078 Sender: [M.Larkin]
    >> Morgantown
    I need you to bring the situation at Morgantown to the council. Chief Mayfield opened fire on the students and has imposed a mandatory curfew. I'm not saying there hasn't been looting, but they are just kids Abigale. I've tried to talk to him but he won't see reason and if I move on him, it risks splitting off those responders who were with law enforcement. Most of them are good folk, but there are always a couple foxes in the hen house.
    I know it'll put you and Holbrook at odds again, but we need something to quell the situation, and quick.
    -Melody"
  18. See Fire Breathers for references.
  19. The Fire Breathers
  20. Responder protectron config tape: "The Responders have a large network of repurposed Protectrons we use to assist the community. We love the little guys, but they tend to have...mishaps - faulty processing routines, mechanical jams, tripping on a rock and toppling down the entirety of Seneca Rocks - you know, the usual. So, with Sanjay's assistance we've cooked up something to help our robot pals. I'll explain how it works. - run DetectProtectronDistress.exe to find any Protectrons emitting a distress signal. This will give GPS data to track them. - if the unit is asleep or in low-power, run ReconfigProtectrons.exe - this basically reboots them and should solve most problems. (If not, please tell Sanjay!!!) "
  21. Morgantown Airport terminal entries
  22. Event: Fertile Soil message: "Automated message. The Forest Watch detects all Supervisors down. Good job. Responder team proceed to the Ag Center and get to the Mainframe. You need to reset the Farmhand targetting parameters. That should keep our people safe in the area. Be careful."
  23. Morgantown Airport terminal entries: "I rigged up a transmitter to broadcast an automated radio message when the pod Steelheart's done recharging, so at least we'll know when to turn him loose. It's the best I can do until I can get his power unit fixed. That could be a while.
    Anyway, I think that brings this little project to an end.
    This whole experience got me thinking... at the rate we're losing people to the Raiders, the Scorched and whatever else, we might need to lean more on these robots for support.
    In fact, I think I'll start planning a new projcet. Maybe something using the eyebots as an early warning system. The forest's a pretty big place and we could use some help watching it."
  24. Riverside Manor terminal entries
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