“What can tell me about Syracuse?” I ask the lady at the front desk.
“Syracuse? You mean Camp Syracuse? One of the largest Enclave camps in New England?”
“Yes, that’s the one. How can I get there?”
“Are you crazy? No one wants to get there. I’ve heard stories, but the bottom line is that is not a place you want to be.”
Before I could continue a man in his 40’s, wearing a suit and glasses walked up behind me.
“Good evening director,” the lady greets.
“Good evening Gwen,” he replies, “how are we doing?”
The Director of the Institute? Standing right in front of me? Wow.
The lady speaks, “This man here is looking for a way to get to Camp Syracuse.”
“Camp Syracuse? What business do you have there, young man?” asks the director.
“They took my sister. The Enclave did. She used to work for the Institute… All through her childhood. The raiders captured her and a few others. They sold them to the Enclave, but they were betrayed by them and killed. A Vertibird took all the captives away, to this Syracuse place… I overheard them talking. There wasn’t anything I could fucking do…”
“Hold on, slow down. The raiders tried to do business with the Enclave? And what could the Enclave want with a bunch of wastelanders?”
Gravely, I replied, “Don’t they want to exterminate all “unclean” wastelanders?”
“Right, but wouldn’t they have done it just then? There’s something new going on, and it deserves investigation.” He paused before continuing, “I’ll send a few squads to do some surveillance on Camp Syracuse, see what they’re up to. You’re welcome to go, young man, but we won’t be responsible for you.”
“Thank you sir. Thank you so much. And I can take care of myself.”
The next few months were beyond hectic, and so writing a day-by-day record of my travels was a near-impossibility. Instead, I have assembled a summary of those days.
The surveillance team from the Institute went to Camp Syracuse and after a lengthy operation discovered evidence of experimentation using wastelanders as subjects.
“So that’s why…” I had thought.
The key to obtaining this information was a man on the inside. Yes, someone from the Institute had managed to infiltrate the Enclave. He continued to leak plans, research documents, records, and other files to the Institute. According to the Director, this man had stayed under cover for 10 years. 10 years.
The Enclave was an intimidating presence in the New England wastes, but they were not a massive coordinated army. After the fall of Raven Rock and losing of the D.C. Purifier, the East Coast Enclave fell into several autonomous divisions, with their own commanders. The only thing in common was their adherence to the old Enclave values.
Having said all that, it would be assured that no backup from the outside would arrive for the Enclave. Nevertheless, communication channels from Camp Syracuse were jammed before the siege.
The Institute, working with the New England Federation (NEF), staged an attack on Camp Syracuse at dawn of October 8th, 2283.
We had, however, underestimated their defences. Our inside guy’s cover was compromised and he was presumed dead.
It was exactly 5 months before Camp Syracuse fell on March 8th, 2284.
Being among the attacking forces from start to finish, the only way I could’ve gone on at points was by the shred of hope that Jill would be alive. Day by day that shred diminished in size, but I kept reminding myself.
I kept reminding myself that this was the only thing I had left.