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The Vessel, or USS Democracy, is an American pre-War nuclear ballistic missile submarine, now located in an American submarine base on the Island, in a place which is now known as the Nucleus. At some point before the war, she entered the naval base for repairs. She had a payload of four strategic SLBMs, none of which were ever used. On the ship's captain's terminal, notes reveal that the Democracy was under orders from Washington to return to the South China Sea, probably intended to launch its SLBMs in case of war. Her captain, Arnold Wabash, was reluctant to participate in the nuclear exchange and sabotaged the sub's reactor, which caused a radiation leak throughout the whole ship. The crew was recalled, and a hazmat team was dispatched to clean the Democracy, and the entire base itself.
As stated before, because the sub was under repairs inside a submarine base, none of her four nukes ever were used. Three of them were compromised over time, such as malfunctioning or leaking their radiation. Only one remains totally operational and ready for launch. She now sits, rusted to the insides of the Nucleus, and serves as a very large crypt for the Children of Atom.
The Vessel shares a similar internal and external layout as the Chinese submarine, Yangtze. The sub has the same body shape, but many of the details that Yangtze has, are altered or changed on Democracy. She has two large propellers on either side of the main body (lacking the third one under the reactor control room that the Yangtze has) and another smaller one near the rudder at the stern of the ship. Democracy lacks the large dive planes that Yangtze has on her bow, but has the same four torpedo tubes on her bow, and has only four Submarine-launched ballistic missile tubes compared to the larger sub which has six. The USS Democracy's conning tower is a new style, with a large half-circle platform surrounded by a railing just over half way up the conning tower. Unlike the Yangtze, this sub lacks stairs going up to the main hatch, and has a simple ladder connected to the platform. The Children of Atom have draped their flag over said railing, and have placed a construction light facing it, so it shines brightly.
The original control room of the ship lies beyond the entrance, having been converted into a sort of throne room by the Children of Atom. Heading behind the throne towards the front of the sub is the captain's quarters, used by the High Confessor as his personal worshiping area. Down the stairs at the front of the room leads to the missile launch and reactor control room bundled into the same room.
Similar to the Yangtze, there are doors on both sides of the room that lead to propeller drive shafts; the room is highly irradiated due to the radiation leak from the missiles. Heading directly backwards in between the two stairs leading down to this room is the sleeping quarters for the original crew of the ship, which the Children of Atom now use as a place to lay their dead. Going forward towards the bow of the ship is the main reactor room, taking up two floors. On the bottom floor of the reactor room leads back towards the missile room. Underneath the missile room is what appears to be a cargo or nuclear waste storage area, which has considerable size compared to other rooms in the sub.
- Edgar's note - Spawns as part of Witch Hunt, partially tucked away under the mattress of Sister Aubert.
- To my "family" - under the same mattress as above.
- Aubert's note - In a footlocker in the starboard propeller drive shaft.
- Brother Alders - In a room next to the catacombs, on a table.
- Like the Yangtze, there are four torpedo tubes on the bow of the ship, but there doesn't appear to be a torpedo room. On the outside of the ship, while standing near the four SLBM tubes on the top of the ship, it is extremely irradiated, with roughly 70-90 rads/s.
- The sub seems to lack a good size kitchen area, or any sort of mess hall for the crew in general. There is also strangely no specific radio/sonar room. It is not known if the USS Democracy had seen any action before the bombs fell, such as during the liberation of Anchorage.
- The ship is poorly lit, with the children only using candles.
- While inside the ship wearing power armor, the NPCs may comment on how they don't like the suit because it protects from "division," or how it "runs on the glow, so perhaps it's not all bad."
- Even after the main story is completed, the player character can, at any time, launch the active nuke inside the ship, provided they have the key to do so.
- Though the water outside the base may seem too shallow for a submarine to float in, the sub is actually attached to a track-system that would move it out or pull it in from the main body of water.