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Ok, so you have your first weapon, you've learned how to shoot it, and now we have our first quest, to go meet Neil. Upon exiting your home town, located in the middle of the Boneyard, you'll find Neil waiting for you at the edge of the junkyard. Neil's dialogue will change slightly based off your previous conversation with him, he will either consider you a good friend of his or a bully. Either way, he needs your help.
Neil: That explosion the other night? I don't think it was some gas line. From what I can tell, it came from that Atomic place. I have a good feeling about this, but I could use an extra gun, what do you say?
Once agreeing, either excitingly or begrudgingly, (or you can choose to skip this, but that's no fun) the two of you will walk into the junkyard. After a minute or two of uneventful walking, you will be attacked by a group of mole rats. There will initially be three of them, but they will continue to come from behind the junk piles until you kill five of them, although you must kill at least one personally, you can't let Neil do all the work. Upon killing all of them, your weapon will break.
Neil (Good relationship): Really? What poor maintenance. You should really use that discount I gave you.
Neil (Bad relationship): Not so tough now, are you? I guess you're going to need some help with that, aren't you?
Neil will direct the player to a nearby building he uses and open the door to reveal a workbench, as well as a few crafting items, which he suggests using "creatively." An on-screen prompt will come up stating to collect a screwdriver, a weapon repair kit, and 2 scrap metal from inside the building. You can then use these materials on the workbench, with the only option being to craft the multitool mod for your Pip-Boy. The multitool will now allow you to see your weapons' and armors' condition and make repairs (it also allows splicing, but more on that later).
Neil: Well, definitely more portable than this damn toolbelt, guess that Pipboy you got comes in handy, huh? Anyway, can we keep going now?
It would only be a few more minutes of walking now, pretty much uneventful except any random spawns. You'll reach a large building, your destination, with the General Atomics International logo on the ground. Upon entering, you'll find the inside is virtually destroyed. Neil will be quick to point out something.
Neil: Now look, for some idiotic reason, they put the factory in the basement. This staircase may be blocked, but there's got to be other entrances, right? If I'm right and that explosion was from here, something must still be moving down there, let's see what.
The two of you will travel through the decayed offices and destroyed hallways, with little stopping you other than radroaches. You'll find one more destroyed staircase, as well as an obliterated loading dock, neither of which provides an opening (unless you want to spend decades or more digging through stone, but that's not a great game idea). Upon going to the second floor, you can explore a bit. A terminal will have a message of someone begging for help, stating they're sealed in the basement, however Neil will mention it's from 2077. You'll eventually find yourself in the President's office. Looking around, there's a couple ways to proceed.
- Reading paper notes on the desk, revealing construction orders, one of which mentions a secret elevator leading to the basement
- Passing a Perception check of 7 while talking to Neil and noticing something odd about the painting
- Just checking out the painting
Upon interacting with the painting, you'll find, of all things, a keyhole in the wall, without a safe or door. You can choose to lockpick it (Note, unlike FO3 and FNV, you can hack and lockpick no matter what your skill is, but it's difficult) or you can find the key in one of the random books on his bookshelf (should be random, but one of the first few that are picked). Upon successfully using the lock, a nearby wall will slide away, revealing an elevator, leading the two of you to the basement.
The basement doesn't look much better than the rest of the building at first. Inactive assembly lines and deactivated Mister Handys are all over this large room. It is extremely dark, as the only light is coming from you two. However, you soon find that the only way forward is through a sealed, electronic door.
Neil: That's got to be a storage area, or maybe the rest of the loading dock, if we can figure out how to restore power...
Luckily, there's a nearby room with lots of computer equipment. Neil will start randomly flipping switches, hoping to get something to work, while you will be pointed towards the wall terminal. If the player can successfully hack it (should be even easier than usual), they will find a note by the foreman on the odd construction crews lately and, more importantly, the command to start up the assembly line. If they fail to hack it, Neil will find the switch he was looking for and manually start it up.
Either way, the lights will turn on, the Mister Handys will activate and the assembly lines, well most of them, will begin to turn again as the Handys get back to work on them.
Neil: No way, this place... this place is freaking operational! When the others find out!
The two of you will walk through the now operational door. The lights in this new room will turn on one by one, revealing row after row of Mister Handys and Mister Gutsys.
Neil: I know we might not sell robots, but with this, I think it's safe to say I can slack off for a few years. Why don't I show you one of the tricks of the trade?
Neil will ultimately have a friendly or a know-it-all tone of voice as he gives a tutorial on how to splice. Showing it off and using the ability to activate the nearby Mister Handy, which begins randomly talking and cleaning the area as a result. Hypothetically, the player could, even at this low level, attempt to splice one of the Mister Handys, even the one Neil just spliced, and have it follow the player, but doing so would be quite difficult. It's also possible to splice one of the Mister Gutsys, but that would be even more difficult.
The two of you will at this point find the only way forward is an offline, electronic door, which the player will have to splice to turn back on and open it. The door is Very Easy so it shouldn't be difficult at all, but Neil can do it instead if you wish.
Upon opening the door, you will quickly find yourself in a completely destroyed room.
Neil: Guess we know where that explosion came from.
If you do some inspecting, you can discover the source of the explosion was a gas leak, but, with an Explosives skill of 20, you can note the explosion was not an accident. Meanwhile, Neil will notice a blood trail, leading further in to the building. With a Medicine skill of 15, you'll notice the blood is extremely fresh. Walking through, you will find machinery far different from the rest of the building so far. If you wish, you can study terminals talking about the President and others wishing to safe themselves and others from the War, and you'll both realize this is basically a small-scale Vault.
Reading more, you'll find that the nuclear explosions badly damaged the building, sealing all the exits except the President's. However, with the President missing and the door leading to his entrance sealed until the machinery is turned on (which you just did), they were trapped down here.
Neil: They must've started having kids, and grandkids... They've had families sealed down here for centuries, do they even know there's an outside? Are they bat people!?
Yes, you can comment that Neil's an idiot, just putting that out there. Continuing, you'll find destroyed room after destroyed room, with multiple blood trails appearing and merging in to the one you should be following. There will be some minor loot, including weapons and food. You should be questioning how this place was destroyed (it wasn't all the explosion), what happened to the people, and what did all of this? You can also find terminals, detailing how attempts to escape were being made, but were suddenly stopped because of Vincent, who basically turned the group into a cult and convinced them to stay underground, safe from the anarchy outside.
Moving on, you'll find, quite surprisingly, a living human! However, the very nice looking girl doesn't seem happy to see you two...
Eve: You think you can trick me? What did you do? Steal his face? You FUCKING MURDERER!
Eve will at this point fire a few shots at the two of you, before running off. Even if you try, you can't catch up to her because of all of the mess in the way.
Neil: Was she talking to me? Why does everybody hate me!
The two of you will follow her down the corridor, but when you enter the next room, alarms will start going off and both the entrance and exit will seal shut, trapping you inside.
Security PA system: Security alert activated. Intruders detected. Code: Blue
Neil: Why do girls have to mess up everything, why...
The alarms will continue to sound, as the other doors (leading to small hallways) will open up one by one, releasing the Mister Gutsys inside. Mister Gutsys are usually too tough for this, however these are badly damaged. Some are missing arms, some are frenzying from the start, one has to crawl, and none of them are at full health. With Neil helping, and possibly a hacked robot, this battle should be a cakewalk.
Security PA system: Intruders, please stand still for easier elimination
Neil: Like hell I will!
When all of the Mister Gutsys are destroyed, there will be a bit of a quiet pause (not counting the alarms), but this will be interrupted by the machine again.
Security PA system: Security level elevated, Code: Red...
Neil: Bring it on! We can take whatever you got!
Security PA system: ...Mister Armory activated.
Neil: Shit! Move! Now!
A garage-like door will begin to screech open but stall about halfway through. This won't stop the Mister Armory inside from crashing through it. The Mister Armory is just as badly damaged as the Mister Gutsys (you should really be questioning what caused all of this damage), all of its weapons are offline except its Gatling laser, its flying erratically, and it's frenzying. It will start shooting all over the room, without aiming at anything, before crashing through a column and the door leading further in to the facility, allowing you to continue on. However, the building will shake a bit after it leaves.
Neil: Centuries without maintenance, that explosion, we have to stop that thing before it brings the building down on top of us!
Security PA system: Intruders in secure area, security level elevated, Code: Black
Neil: I'm starting to hate this place.
More damaged Mister Gutsys will come, but ironically many of them will be killed by the Mister Armory as it continues its destructive frenzy. However, thanks to its speed, the player will have a hard time keeping up with it. This will come to stop however, when it crashes through a wall, leading to the second floor of a large room, where it will fall to the first floor and crash into a damaged steel pillar. It will now be pinned to the ground and start spinning erratically as it continues firing.
The two of you will enter the second floor, where Neil will stay. There are multiple ways to defeat it, which will be yelled out by Neil randomly:
- Fighting - Its Gatling laser is strong, but it is still spinning in circles while randomly hitting the first and second floors, meaning it should be easy to avoid. Melee and Unarmed fighters may have to circle around it to avoid fire.
- Splicing - Normally a Mister Armory's control panel is difficult to reach, thanks to it being on top of it. However, with you starting above it, it should be simple to jump on top of it. It's panel is already open and, with many of the wires already damaged, figuring out how to power it down should be simple.
- Hacking - There is a flight of stairs leading to a third floor. There is a damaged Mister Gutsy here, but once destroyed, you will find the terminal controlling the security systems. If you can hack it (it's an Easy difficulty), you can shut off the security alert and the computer will forcibly shutdown the Mister Armory.
- Explosion - There are a few damaged pipes underneath the Mister Armory. With an Explosives of 20 or a Luck of 7, you can use a nearby machine to release explosive gas from the pipes. When you or Neil next fire at it, the gas will explode destroying the robot instantly.
Security PA system: All robots offline, security alarm deactivated. Any surviving intruders, please report to your local authorities. Have a nice day!
Neil: Forget everything, let's just burn these damn robots.
With the security gone, the only thing left to deal with is Eve, who has locked herself in the next room. There will be a diary nearby that actually belongs to Eve, which should give you some idea what you're working with. Neil will try talking to her through the door, but she will continue to scream at him.
Neil (Good relationship): Hey, [Mr./Ms.] Wonderful, want to take a whack at her? She at least wasn't aiming for you.
Neil (Bad relationship): Listen, you two have a lot in common. She hates my guts, you hate my guts. Why don't you use that to bond with her a little?
If you have a Speech of 20 or you've read enough of the terminals and her diary, you can successfully calm her down, in which case she will open the door and throw her weapon on the ground, although she will sob quite a bit. Otherwise, she will come outside and turn hostile, requiring you to kill her, unless you have a nonlethal weapon. Either way, there's only one, optional room left to check out. The room where the blood leads. Inside is a large hole leading in to the shelter, the hole will either be on the ceiling where you can see the inside of a building, or the hole is on the ground and leads so far down you can't see the bottom (don't jump in, seriously).
Who created this hole, killing and dragging away everyone but Eve? Destroying all of the robots. I don’t know, that’s not my department, ask Avellone or Sawyer. Could be tunnelers or giant ants or the Enclave or something. Some random, sad attack or foreshadowing for what's to come. Either way, when talking to Neil, you two, or three if Eve is with you, will leave this place. Neil will go back to his bosses, get paid and give you your cut. Unless you want to be evil and kill him... After all, no one knows you’re down here but him and Eve, wonder if there's another way to profit off this...