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Lenore Coffee avatar 11:27 PM on 09.21.2009  (server time)
Defiling the Wasteland—A Memoir in Parts

Imagine living your whole life in darkness, in a monotonous debasement of mundane tasks and surrounded by the same handful of people the entire time. Imagine just a single shelf of books to read over and over again, the same replayed holotapes, same tins of food and moronic banter to go with it. Now imagine you knew of a place without any of it, without walls and rules and this regiment of futility, and you knew that world was out there, somewhere, not far off, just above your head, but you couldn’t get to it. You’re locked in this Petri dish and told that this other world, this blessed escape, is full of danger and evils so perilous as to make life in this can a Paradise.

Well, you’d do everything you could to get the hell out of there, too, right? Only there was no out. All vents and ducts led in the same circles as the rest of life. I just never imagined Dad, of all people, would be the impetus of my liberty, nor did I imagine the stupidity with which he’d pull off such a stunt. If I taught him nothing all these years, I thought at least he’d understand that when you engage in activities other people (i.e.: everyone in this sink hole) decidedly do not favor, it’s that you don’t get caught doing it. Then would come the “blah blah morality” and “blah blah what would your Mother think?” Fuck whatever “Mother” would think. I never knew the woman.

In addition to leading to my subsequent release from Vaultic Oppression, Dad drove the final nail into my argument against “morality.” If there was ever a man who extolled signals of virtue, the likes of which I had read but scarcely seen, it was my father. This same man, who defended even the murkiest of characters to insipid rationale, then ventured to leave his life behind, without dropping even a hint of his intention, and me with it. Me, his daughter, left to fend for my life not only in getting out but with no actual conception of what lay before me.

Luckily, I’ve always been quick on the learn.

Bless the Wastes for all this space, all this sunshine, all the many varied things to do out here. Chalk it up to naiveté, but I just strolled up to the first sign of civilization I found: Megaton, great heap of all junk heaps, the population of which, well, the only person of partial interest I met was a shady, self-styled “gentleman” called Burke, who proceeded to hit on me with insufferable zeal and then proposed a piece of business, in that order.

I’m also fortunate in that I’m not the most emotive of individuals, for I was a bit surprised to hear this man, this complete stranger, ask me to detonate the giant nuclear bomb that sits quaintly in the middle of Megaton, but I suppose this is how things are done out here. “Pleased to meet you! A) I’d like to shag you senseless, and B) Care to annihilate a community for me?” I didn’t exactly have any qualms about the job itself—anyone content to make a centerpiece the means of their eventual destruction must, at least secretly, yearn for its arrival. I was also promised a lofty reward.

By reward, however, I do not recall the words “undying” and “love” making their way into our agreement. True, I used my baser charms to secure the contract, but I’ve yet to see the wily bastard since. All I get are these damn “letters,” which are more like sprawling spews of sentimental tripe. Very well, I resolved—if I can’t blow the place, someone here should have the sense to want the threat neutralized, which seems to be the only sense our local “Sheriff” does possess. I got a sack of caps and some local real estate from the deal, and while there’s not much of a view, at least it’s a start.

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