Blue's Blues Part 3
So that was it. That definitely explained her attitude lately. Judging from her reaction, the reunion must not have gone well. I sat down next to her and let her continue. "I was too late." I was almost too afraid to ask. "Is he.... dead?" "No." She patted her tube. "When you are in one of these things there is no sense of time. The Institute kidnapped my son over sixty years ago. Now my son is old enough to be my grandfather." I'm so sorry." She took a deep breath. "It gets worse. He is now the Director of the Institute. My son, my baby is considered the greatest villain in the Commonwealth."
Once again I was stunned. I could only look at her numbly. She then proceeded to tell me how she found the escaped scientist Virgil in the Glowing Sea. Then with the help of others she found the courser beam. She went in fully armored, with enough firepower to level a mountain. She was ready to kill anyone or anything that got in her way. What she found instead gave her the shock of her life. "They call him Father." She went on to say. "They used his DNA and by extent Nate's and my own to create the third generation synths. They are technically my grandchildren. The closest thing to family I have left." "Jesus Blue." I said finally finding the words. "There's more." She continued. "He wants me to join the Institute. To possibly be his successor." "What did you tell him?" I asked "I told him I would think about it." She replied.
"What am I going to do Piper?" She said, her voice starting to quiver. "Every faction wants me to lead them on a grand crusade to wipe the others out. Even Preston is pushing me to use the Minutemen. First there's the Railroad. Even if they are synths, they are good people. Betraying them would be like selling my grandchildren into slavery. Then there's the Brotherhood. I swore an oath to them and Maxson is so dedicated to bringing order to this chaos. Also, God help me.." She glanced at her husband's tube. "I'm in love with Danse." She said quietly.
That last bit was the one thing that didn't surprise me that day. During our "sleepover" she brought up the Paladin's name a lot. So much so that Cait started making smooching sounds anytime Blue mentioned him. It was fortunate that the tragedy that befell their relationship was still in the future.
"Finally, there is the Institute. I swear Piper that it is the most beautiful place I've ever seen and that includes Prewar. I was actually able to take a hot shower in pure nonradiated water. But the most important thing is Shaun. How can I betray my baby? The one person that gave me the will to go on. I still remember him in his crib, to me just a few months ago."
Tears were welling in her eyes again. Her voice was cracking. "They all want to kill each other! None of them realize if I pick a side I will have to betray and murder people I care about!" She paused, composed herself. "If I don't choose they will tear the Commonwealth apart. No matter what I do good men and women are going to die." She mumbled. "I just wanted to do the right thing."
She then curled up and put her head between her knees. Perhaps because of her earlier outburst she wanted to keep control. However by the way she was convulsing it was obvious she was trying to hold in her tears. Now I consider myself to be as cynical as only a news reporter could be. Yet when I looked at her sitting next to me struggling to contain her grief. I found tears were running down my cheeks as well. But, I was angry. Angry at our world for doing this to such a noble lady. She had lost so much and fought so hard. She went boldly alone into the Deathclaw's den on a holy quest to save her baby. Only to have that quest used against her. Now she was given a choice. She could either betray and kill people she loved or watch the Commonwealth burn. I was furious! I wanted to throw something. I wanted to hit someone. I wanted to scream "It's not fair!" at the frozen corpses all around us. Instead I just hugged her. "It's ok Blue, let it out."
She turned, hugged me, buried her face in my shoulder and started sobbing. When I look back now it seems strange. The future Steel Queen*, Champion of the Commonwealth in my arms crying like her heart would break. She seemed smaller somehow. The old memory of how I held Nat when our father was killed surfaced. So I coo'ed her and rubbed her back. She cried for a long while. Like she was pushing poison out of her system. Eventually she stopped, but she kept hugging me. She was so still I thought she had fallen asleep. Then she slowly pushed away. "Thanks Piper, I needed that bad." She said as she wiped her eyes. "No problem Blue." I replied, with as much sincerity as I could muster.
She quickly stood up and walked over to her husband's tube. She whispered something to him and softly kissed the glass. As I stood up I watched her pull the wedding band off of her finger. Then she lifted the chain with her husband's ring from around her neck. She knelt down and placed both rings at the foot of Nate's tube. She looked at them a moment in silent contemplation. Then she straightened up and looked at me. "Look alive, we got work to do."
I felt sad as we left that awful place. It seemed that something had died in her that day. True, she had regained her resolve. But at what price? Her hope, her compassion, even her naivety was gone. These were traits from a past that is unimaginable today. Traits that I had always secretly admired in her. Yes, our world had finally won. It had beaten, broken and shattered her spirit. All that was left was her iron will. An iron will forged in the frozen hellfire of Vault 111.
Many praise the Steel Queen. She has brought peace and prosperity to the Commonwealth. Others despise her for the forces she has unleashed on us. Yet Tyrant or Savior, Sinner or Saint, it doesn't matter. Because to me she will always just be, my best friend Blue.
- Steel Queen: A name first coined by Supermutants because of her power armor, later adopted by the rest of the Commonwealth.