Hello, SNM readers! I am Denis517, an old Patron from the SNM, coming back to show you all a new idea I have for a fan-fic based in the Fallout universe titled: Fallout: Salt Lake. F:SL is set in a remodeled Salt Lake City, and takes place a little more than a decade after the Courier used Yes Man to take over New Vegas. Because of the Courier's exploits, there is a variety of new technology that has come from Big MT, a few tribesmen inhabiting SLC after leaving the Dead Horses and the Sorrows, and tunnelers now roam some of the mountain areas that were once thought to be safe.
The city itself was founded by the old inhabitants of Vault 51; a vault that was placed in the heavily Mormon city, and had the job to test out what would happen if social norms were changed to be much more liberal and free spirited. Drugs, alcohol, and gambling were available to anyone at any age, and moderation was encouraged but not enforced. Polygamous and polyamorous relationships were allowed if not encouraged, and homosexuality was no longer hated. Vault 51 thrived for a long time by itself, and the vault dwellers were happy having little to no taboos, with addiction and social exclusion becoming very rare. V51 was the only vault to have a security force that was compulsory to serve in for every citizen, but almost never needed. The inhabitants were unfortunately too happy, however, and the citizens reproduced so quickly that the vault was forced to open its doors much more quickly than previously thought, and the vault dwellers were forced to live outside of the walls that once protected them. Luckily for V51, having a close-knit community made for a very quick development of turning the now irradiated Salt Lake City into something habitable. Salt Lake is now a metropolis where you can indulge in almost any activity you want without the condemnation of the people around you, if you have the money and the mind to protect yourself from the people running the show.
This is where Molly, our protagonist lives. Molly is the daughter of two parents raised by former Enclave members. Molly's life was much more easy than those outside of the walls of Salt Lake City, where she did not want for food, and was trained in combat by both of her parents. Molly's story will take us through the seedy areas of Salt Lake City where casinos and drug houses are on every corner, through the neighborhoods of both the wealthy and the poor, past the dangerous Families running the various places of business, and into the terrifying areas outside of Salt Lake where only the truly brave or truly stupid dare to walk through. Accompanying Molly are her two best friends; Aaron, a mechanic and scientist who wants to create things just as brilliant as the technologies coming out of the Big MT, and Olivia, the daughter of a merchant who can steal anything not nailed down and welded to the floor, and is quicker than a cazadore on Psycho.
While writing Salt Lake I am going to implement game mechanics that anyone who has played Fallout has used themselves. The S.P.E.C.I.A.L., perks, traits, and skills system, the Pip-boy, the miraculous healing of stimpacks, the inventory management, and the attempt (and sometimes failure) of speech checks. To give you all a peek at what's to come, you will see here character template for our protagonist. F:SL is planned to be a trilogy, with each act having a separate arc for the characters and the world. If you have any suggestions, requests, or critiques, please leave them in the comments section below.
Salt Lake City is a wonderful place. It was founded by the survivors of Vault 51, a place dedicated to removing the taboos of the culture at the time before the great war. It asked it's inhabitants a lot of questions that challenged the way they all thought at the time. Why should kids not be able to gamble? Why can't people marry more than one person? Why can't men date other men? Why can't people decide for themselves what they put into their own bodies? Vault 51 aimed to test and see what would happen if you taught children at a young age that you should be able to do anything you want, as long as you didn't hurt yourself or others in the process. The only bad thing about Vault 51 was that people had so much sex that the population growth was way too quick to hold everyone inside. Eventually resources grew short, and the vault had to be opened prematurely. Salt Lake has been through many changes (some because of me,) and during the spring of 2300 I was walking towards Joey's bar to receive a job that would end up turning the whole city around.
I'm Molly; a redhead raised in a military household. Both of my parents were raised by former Enclave Members, and they were taught (and taught me in turn) about combat training, a little science, and most importantly how to avoid getting hurt in the wasteland that rejected the Enclave. I was doing a combination of acrobatics and jogging on my way to Joey's Bar, a hotspot for people who like getting into trouble. Joey's is run by an old Ghoul who was a comedian before the bombs fell. He helped raise me when my parents died and taught me the ins and outs of Salt Lake that were forgotten by almost everyone. Joey helped build the city as I knew it then, and he is so old there's a rumor that people owe him more favors than they do caps. The bar is in the middle of town, and is used as neutral ground by everyone who isn't affiliated with any of the local gangs doing committing crime in Salt Lake. I walked through a tunnel that led to a drop six feet down, and used a couple of footholds to get down; then walked into Joey's bar.
Joey's bar is always bursting with energy. The left side of the bar held the stage where Joey either did comedy or let bands come in and play for the patrons. The right side held a combination of pool tables and nooks for various sorts of scams being run by one shady dealer or another. A cyborg known affectionately as Zax was running a three card Monte game, Nick was running a game of Five Finger Fillet, and had a stack of human fingers lost during the game to discourage people (or to encourage dumb people) from playing, and Sweet Jones and Billy were walking out of the bar with sacks of caps after what looked like a completely amazing run of dice games. I'm not sure what I thought was more hilarious, the fact that the local brothel was about to get two really dirty customers, or that people didn't realize that those two always loaded their dice. The bar itself was being propped up by a mixture of beautiful women waiting to get drinks bought for them, and ghouls who knew Joey from before the war. I nodded to Hawk who was on his fifth beer, and went through the back to talk to Joey. Joey is like most ghouls, he has a scratchy voice (although he says drugs messed it up before he was ghoulified,) his skin was patchy, and he smelled faintly of rot. The only real difference was that Joey was quick enough take down a Cazadore by himself. Joey was a big time thief before he came to Salt Lake. He stole from anyone and everyone he thought was a piece of shit. Drug Dealers, gangsters, lawyers, Preachers and Pimps couldn't seem to hold their caps around Joey (agility 9). He also could charm anyone into trusting him; if you listen to him talk, he will tell you about a hundred different times he just was allowed somewhere he shouldn't have, or was told information that should have been kept secret (charisma 9.) Combined with a streak of luck that would make the kids born to rich people seem like street urchins (luck 10,) Joey was given so many opportunities for success it was just a matter of when he would settle down, rather than if. He wasn't necessarily a good person, but Joey did right by people when given the chance these days.
He took me in when my parents died, and taught me a lot about the city that has saved my ass on more than one occasion. I shook his hand and asked him “any Jobs for today Joey?”
“I was actually hoping you'd come in and ask, someone just dropped something by me that's special. And I don't trust anyone else to handle it.” he said
“ What's the catch?” I asked, because there's always something when someone wants Joey to get something couriered somewhere
“You need to take this inside the Prep's Stronghold, and deliver it personally to Hartman's Daughter. That's the direct orders from the person who asked me to take this job.” The Preps were the major gang in Salt Lake. Founded by the rich assholes who made their own Vault separate from 51, the Preps were all born rich and had more money than anyone who wasn't running a major Corp or in New Vegas. Even the low members of the gang all wore combat armor and carried expensive guns. The Preps were an army, and nobody fucked with them.
“I'll do it” I said.
I left the bar just as a man was leaving with tears in his eyes after getting turned down by a super mutant. The street outside the bar was almost as lively as Joey's. The block the bar was held on had an energy weapons dealer (our smiths are brighter than plasma!) , a restaurant entirely dedicated to insect cuisine (try our radroach stuffed Cazador!), and a casino made with Vault 51’s old gambling tables (In business since the bombs fell!). And those are just the most popular attractions. People absolutely cluttered the streets in search of one form of reckless abandon or another. I decided to avoid all the temptation and started taking the underway.
The underway is a group of tunnels and bolt holes that run through the middle of Salt Lake. There aren't too many people who know about the underway, since it's a secret kept mostly by the guys who rebuilt Salt Lake after the news of New Cannan's destruction reached the city. Using the Underway can turn an hours run into a few minutes jog. The tunnels run in between a lot of the buildings that are stacked on top of each other in the city. Some tunnels go into various sized rooms that we used to lay low when we had people actively looking for us. A few tunnels lead to drops that will kill you if you fall; the only way out of these is a well hidden ladder. This time I went through a tunnel that went under the brothel that Sweet Jones and Billy were almost certainly terrorizing. I wasn't sure if it was my imagination, but I thought I could almost hear moans through the walls. I walked out a few minutes later into one of the only neighborhoods that looked exactly the way it used to before the rebuilding of Salt Lake.
The neighborhood the Preps stayed in was completely owned by rich assholes. Most of the people who lived there were either part of the gang or did in business with them. There were a couple other oddballs that lived there. One guy made his money by breaking the bank at every Casino in Vegas. Another was a weapons dealer that sold exclusively to the people fighting in Caesar’s Legion’s old territory. The Prep’s base was an old mansion before the war, and was big enough to see in almost any part of the neighborhood. As I walked down the sidewalk I saw my friend Olivia walking towards me.
I knew that the only reason she could possibly be here was to cause trouble. So I walked by her like I didn’t know her, and only caught a faint movement as she took something from the back pocket a Prep gangster walking next to her. We all walked past each other, seemingly none the wiser. As I got to the front gate of the Prep’s base, I was stopped by a hulking figure I could only guess was a cross between a Super Mutant and a regular person. This particular guard had been acting as the doorman for longer than I could remember. He barely talked to anyone, and usually only talked so he could be told why you think he should let you through. He looked at me with a face I could only guess asked “What do you want?”
I looked at him and said “I have a to deliver this package. I was given strict orders to give it only to Emma Hartman.” Then I showed him the signature that verified what I just said.
He took his sweet time making sure everything was in order before opening the door and simply saying “Ok.” Then I walked into the house that was the center of a majority of the crime in Salt Lake City.
The Prep’s mansion was everything I thought it would be. The first thing you saw when entering the house was an Enclave set of Power Armor. It sat upright like a soldier with a plasma caster in its hands, looking like it was still geared up to shoot anyone and anything that stepped in its path. I hadn’t seen Enclave power armor in my life, but it was just as imposing and glamorous as my parents told me it was. To my left was a living room with prewar furniture that had been reskinned with Nightstalker hides. A few Prep gangsters were sitting on them, reloading their weapons and gossiping about scouts outside the city going missing. I filed that away for later, if they really were missing that meant that either somebody was hitting the Preps again or something Dangerous was coming out of the mountains to eat. Nobody looked at me twice as I walked up the stairs towards the bedrooms. If I was inside the doorman must have let me in. As I walked up the stairs I the sound of someone yelling became louder. I hadn’t met the leader of the Preps before, I assumed it was going to be him. Nobody screams more than a rich asshole who knows that there’s no chance anyone would decide to even contradict, much less take a swing at.
Hartman had been leading the Preps for years now. He started out with a high rank from birth because his uncle was already high in the food chain. John Hartman went from the middle to the top by being even more brutal than the guys around him. Through coercion, bribery, and a few broken bones Hartman gained control of the once proud Energy Weapons industry, Once the Preps wiped out the Van Graff’s hold in Salt Lake things got bloody. The Graffs decided to show that they were going to teach the Preps a lesson, and sent a couple dozen mercenaries led by a group of Van Graff enforcers into what was the Prep’s Stronghold at the time. The street that the war was fought on still has deep gouges in the area surrounding both the stronghold and the area where the Van Graffs made their assault. The Van Graffs got their asses handed to them, and haven’t been back since. Hartman was made the boss just six months later following the death of the last boss who died in a suicide bombing from a ghoul who grew up in Vault 51. I got off the stairs and walked down a hallway with multiple doors on each side. The invoice for the package I had to deliver the door I was supposed to knock on was the last one on the left. As I passed an open door, I saw Hartman himself screaming into his radio.
“I told you I don’t fucking care about the people on that street! That street is still owned by us, and if they don’t want to live somewhere else we can just shoot them and move them ourselves.” A voice responds too low for me to hear it.
“Send two squads of low ranked Preps there. Have Goodman lead them and force those squatters off my street. Everyone knows that our stronghold used to be there, and if they try to resist just shoot them until they start moving themselves.” He saw me walking towards his daughters room, and he stopped what he was doing, grabbed a plasma pistol on his desk, and started walking towards me.
“Hey! Who are you and why are you in this house?” I noticed that the people who were relaxed hanging around the area now had their own guns in their hands, and every one of them pointed in my direction. The Preps were even more well equipped than I thought. Two guys in full power armor had Multiplas Rifles in their hands, while two girls in recon armor put their hands on my shoulders with ballistic fists ready to splatter my head all over each other. I started sweating immediately, and held up the folder I had in my hands.
“I’m a courier! Emma hired me to deliver this to her. Instructions told me that I had to deliver this personally. I’m not here to cause any harm.” The angry look Hartman had went away once he saw the signature on the folder, then he walked back to his desk and told me “Yeah, well hurry up and get out of here then.”
The people around me put down their guns.The two girls in recon armor went into a room and closed the door. I breathed a sigh of relief and went into Emma’s room to give her the folder which almost cost me my life.
Emma Hartman is a mystery to almost everyone in Salt Lake. Everyone knew John Hartman had a daughter, but nobody ever got to know her. Emma was occasionally seen walking through the city with enforcers trailing her, but she talked to nobody and was talked to by nobody. The only times I’ve thought about her were to think about how lonely the life of a crime boss’s daughter must be. Emma was sitting down, looking over an odd piece of tech that was glowing blue. It didn’t look like any weapon I had ever seen; just a metallic looking cube that had a small dome on top. Emma never even looked at me, just kept working on the cube in front of her and said
“You’re Molly, right? I told Joey that your reputation for getting things delivered would ensure that I got my package. Well, just hand me the pictures that are in the folder.”
I opened the folder and handed her the pictures. I took a glance at them and asked “Why are these pictures so important to you? It’s just a picture of the Courier and some crudely drawn schematics for a grenade launcher.”
“It’s not just a grenade launcher. The scientific community got wind that Big Mountain and the Sierra Madre have working Hologram technology a few weeks ago. The unfortunate thing is that the Courier controls who does and doesn’t get to buy it or even have it. He refuses to give holograms to anyone who would use them for anything not defensive, and outright has blacklisted anyone even remotely tied to crime from ever buying it. The Courier has also made it known that even if someone develops Holos themselves they cannot use them offensively without the Courier declaring war on them and obliterating them from the map. Do you know why?” [Science 60]
[Succeeded] “Because holograms are completely invulnerable to damage. Anyone who had one could set it loose and kill anything they wanted without losing a single unit. Why are you trying to develop holograms if you know all of this? Even the Prep’s firepower and army couldn’t hope to stand up to the Securitrons and Roboscorpions that the Courier uses as his army.”
Emma looked at me for a while. I could almost see Emma asking herself whether or not she should trust me. She eventually nodded and told me “ If I can develop this Hologram technology, I can make sure that this city has an emergency defense plan, and I might also find some way to defend against other people using them as weapons. These Holograms are worse than nukes, because right now nobody knows how to defend themselves against them. I’m not making this for the Preps. I hate everything my family has done to this city, and the only thing I want to do is to protect it from people like my Dad. ”
The surprise on my face must have said how I felt more than anything I could say would have. Emma swallowed, apparently trying to get some courage back into herself after what she told me and said “I know it sounds cliche, but I don’t like how this family works. I read a lot about Vault 51 and Salt Lake before the families took over this city. Salt Lake used to be one of the only cities where you could always feel safe.”
What Emma told me wasn’t something I hadn’t heard before. The ghouls and old people who had lived in Salt Lake before the Preps and the other three families came all had the same opinion. “The citizens of Salt lake used to have a spine.” they would say; “if we weren’t so old and tired we would’ve just killed any petty thug that thought they could buy their way into our home.”
What I heard was dangerous for me to know. Everyone knew that Harman had no mercy on anyone who tried to get in his way. There were few brave souls who still talked about what happened to Emma’s mom when she tried to divorce Hartman. I’d had enough with this job. I had guns pointed at me by every up and coming criminal in the Preps, and now had information that would almost certainly get me killed if people found out I knew. Emma might be trying to do good, but I wasn’t about to get hurt over an idealistic girl who thought she alone could save the city. Trying to keep the frustration out of my voice, I turned towards the door and told Emma “I need to go back home. There’s people waiting for me and they might start to wonder where I am.”
Emma nodded and pressed a button on the terminal sitting on the workbench in front of her. I could hear as much as see the turret guns powering on and locking onto me. I turned back around and tried to keep the nervousness out of my body. “Of course you know that you can’t tell anyone what you heard here. If my dad finds out, he’ll kill both of us. Me for turning against him, and you after I tell him it was your friends who made me turn.” Emma looked just like I did. Scared and trying her best to hide it. Whatever it came over her that made her confide in me, it was gone now and she wanted to protect her own life.
“You didn’t have to threaten me. I wouldn’t have told anyone anything anyway. You think that I want Hartman’s attention anywhere near me? If you’re going to trust someone do it fully, because now whatever sympathy or solidarity I might have had for you is gone. I’m out of here, do what you want.” This time I got a lot of looks as I made my way down the luxurious Prep mansion. It all felt so oppressive this time around. All of this wealth around and there was nobody laughing, nobody enjoying themselves. The prep mansion was all business, all the time. Was this how Emma felt walking through the Mansion? A little girl growing up surrounded by killers and crooks only looking to make their next score?
The doorman gave me a whisper of a farewell on my way out. Once I got out I quickened my pace and kept my head down. What I told Emma was starting to eat at me. I know how it feels to be alone, and I had just shut down what might have been the only cry for help that she had given anyone.While I was walking down the dingy alley that led to the underway I heard a scuff behind me, and I got pushed from behind as I mentally kicked myself for letting myself get to deep in my thoughts. “Hey girlie, gimmie all you got. Caps, weapons, clothes and all!”
The ragged voice that gave these commands followed it up with what I could only guess was a snigger. When I turned around and looked at the psycho addicted moron holding the chipped switchblade in front of me, it set me off. Why was it today that I had to deal with so much bullshit? My hands went up to my head as I got into my fighting stance. “If you want anything from me you’ll have to take it.” I followed that up by exaggerating a boxer’s posture.
“I was planning on taking you all anyway” he said with a grin. The addict tried some flashy taunt with his blade as he moved closer to me. When he got close enough, I hopped forward and threw a slow left overhand that gave itself away quickly and let the addict have time to react. While he was busy looking at my left hand I quickly change my footwork and used my momentum to land a low kick to his knee. The addict tried to slash at me on his way down, but he had no balance and the blade might as well have been miles away from me. He landed on his leg with a yelp and used one arm to get himself up.A snap kick to the elbow put him back on the ground. The alley was full of trash the rich people who lived nearby threw away. I grabbed a handy 9 iron and swung for the fences. The crack I felt from the addict's neck confirmed that he would not be getting back up.
I don’t like killing, but when it comes to psycho addicted rapists it’s a chore like any other. Besides, he came from the underway. Its identity had to stay a secret. The dark and damp underway did nothing for the mood I was in. After passing underneath the brothel I realized I was too tired to even try and make a joke about Jones and Billy again. Assholes like the addict were a ten caps a dozen in Salt Lake, and I had dealt with enough of them to not feel too bad about having to put them down. Something else was wrong, but I couldn’t tell what.
I decided that heading back to Joey’s wasn’t going to cheer me up. The mood at Joey’s was great to relax if you wanted to drink, gamble, fight, or hook up with a leggy blonde, but sleep sounded much more appealing after the night I had. After I sent a message to Joey telling him that I would pick up my money tomorrow, I climbed up the wall to my right using cleverly disguised holes and headed home.
Halfway to my house I heard a disturbance outside. The tunnel I was in had a balcony that overlooked a street that a family called the Steses. The Steses were founded by officers of the Legion who followed power rather than Caesar. They convinced a fair number of recruits to join them, and their leader Brutus (self named of course) was able to get the White Legs who hadn’t been killed in the war for Zion or war with the 80’s tribe to go on their side. The Steses dealt in quality melee weapons, human trafficking, and combat sports tournaments. They controlled the older part of Salt Lake that was now inhabited by refugees and people too poor to live anywhere else.
A young kid was running as fast as he could away from three gang members chasing him. Whatever the problem these four had, the kid thought he could talk himself out of it. “I lost it” he would say when he had to catch his breath, and once when they got really close he yelled “I’ll find it, I swear!” as he quickly turned and jumped a fence as he kept running. The older part of Salt Lake wasn’t nearly as easy to get lost in, so I wished him luck and walked the last bit to my house.
The proximity of my pipboy unlocked my front door automatically, so I walked in and tossed whatever was in my pockets at my couch. The heavy bag hanging from my ceiling usually looked alluring at the end of the day, but I decided that sleep was more important than a few minutes of cardio tonight. After using the bathroom and drinking some water, I put my recharger pistol away and went to bed. As my mind drifted from the fight with the addict, Emma’s confession, then to Hartman’s reaction to seeing me, the last thought I had was why the Preps would be chasing one of their own through Stes’s territory.
Here is a playlist of videos that I made for reasons more than just "I want to look at this later." It has no consistent updates or consistent theme. Don't expect too much from my Youtube channel.