Civil Affairs--Chapter One: Cold Case

Discussion in 'Non SS General Forum (Chat Here)' started by WetRats, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. WetRats

    WetRats Well-Known Member Patreon Supporter Community Rockstar Wiki Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    1,337

    A while back, @Rudy started a thread about the characters we pictured ourselves playing.

    As an old-school roleplayer, I am all about the backstory, so I wrote a little thing, and was happy with it.

    A while later, @MrCJohn built a really nice quickstart mod inspired by my story.

    Then @RayBo went and did this.

    So I decided to revisit what I'd written, and see what Major Coolwater got up to once he thawed out.

    A caveat: Major Coolwater has a very colorful vocabulary. If you are offended by profanity, you should probably turn away now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
    Rites, Lysandor, Koeran83 and 2 others like this.
  2. WetRats

    WetRats Well-Known Member Patreon Supporter Community Rockstar Wiki Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    1,337

    Civil Affairs
    by Wetrats

    Chapter One: Cold Case

    Do you really want to know my story Miss Wright?
    It ain’t pretty.
    I hope you’ve got a lot of paper.
    And a lot of booze.

    ---

    I suppose I should start with a proper introduction.
    Major Jonas H. Coolwater, US Army, Retired.
    Civil Affairs Division.


    Civil Affairs.
    There didn't turn out to be much civility in Alaska, did there?
    Not that the Canadian Pacification Program was particularly civil, either, but at least I got to do the job I was trained for.
    Alaska went tits-up fast.
    I was there when the ye---... when the Chinese invaded. R&R at a little hunting camp/brothel about 100 miles inland from Anchorage.
    80-odd officers from 40-odd units, none of us below Major, and 100 or so support staff and another 100 or so ... hostesses.
    General Fontaine was convinced that after 33 years riding a succession of ever-larger desks his moment had finally come and did his best to organize us into a behind-the-lines resistance and sabotage cell.

    His best wasn't very good.

    There were only twenty-seven of us left by the time we hooked up with the survivors of the commando team.
    Their mission was spectacularly FUBARed, and they were every bit as cut off from support as we were, but Genius Jonas here decided that we could salvage their mission.

    And we did.

    In a fashion.

    Because by then I had discovered I had a gift for violence.
    And ruthlessness.
    I could make sacrifices and still face myself in the mirror when I shaved.
    So I made some sacrifices.
    The goo-- the Chinese lost their supply dump, and I slunk back to the camp with three remaining commandos and the two Trixies.

    The High Brass was really pleased with me at first.
    There were medals, press conferences, even a photo with the President.
    Then someone dug up Col. Tillerman's journals, and they learned what happened to Fontaine.
    Having made me a hero, they could hardly turn around and prosecute me, so they had me diagnosed with severe battle fatigue and sent me to Parsons for "treatment."

    Parsons was not fun. I'll just leave it at that.
    But Alaska didn't break me, so neither did that place.
    I'm not sure how she found out about me, but some hotshot young lawyer took up my case and got me released with a clean record.
    Then I found out what her fee was.
    Turned out she was knocked up and needed to get married in a hurry if her hopes for a political career were gonna survive.

    So we settled down in Sanctuary Hills, and pretended to be a happy little family.
    I was almost able to fool myself that I was actually happy.
    Sometimes for weeks at a time.
    Then the anger would build up to the point I needed to hurt someone.
    I didn't love Nora, but I was grateful to her, so I kept things away from the neighborhood, despite how much I would have loved to kick the crap out of that kid across the street.
    I'd usually go somewhere in Southie to cut loose. Play drunk at some dive, wait 'til somebody tried to roll me, then take them out.
    I'm not sure how long I'd have gotten away with it, but somebody pushed the big red button and I became the coldest cold case ever.
     
    Lysandor, Loci, Koeran83 and 4 others like this.
  3. WetRats

    WetRats Well-Known Member Patreon Supporter Community Rockstar Wiki Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    1,337

    The noise from that damn vault being dug had robbed me of months of sleep.
    Well Vault-Tec paid back that debt, anyway.
    With interest.
    Aside from one ugly little interruption, I slept for more than 200 years.
    And I guess I should be grateful that I didn’t dream.
    I’m not a big fan of dreams.

    I got thawed out just to watch some bald bastard execute my wife and carry off her baby, then went right back to chillsville.

    Oh right. My son. Call him that, it’ll make me more sympathetic to your readers.

    I’m not sure if Mister Personality and his pals sabotaged the other pods, or if it was shoddy workmanship, but when I was dumped out of mine, all the other -- what did you call us? Vault Dwellers? -- all the other Vault Dwellers were dead, so I got to find my way out of that roach-infested hellhole by myself.
    Only to discover the whole goddamned world was a hellhole now.
    OK. I’ll admit it. My world was a hellhole, too.
    But it was clean, and the plumbing worked.

    Guess I should have paid extra for the home maintenance upgrade for Codsworth, because Nora’s ridiculous status symbol was still puttering uselessly around the ruins of our old house. And you know what the first thing it says to me was? “As I live and breathe.”
    As. I. Live. And. Breathe.
    It’s a fucking robot, it doesn’t do either. General Atomics engineers may have been brilliant, but their programmers were apparently a bunch of dipshits.

    Shame that demented robots wasn’t the worst of it.

    Or the weirdest.

    Because as soon as I head across the bridge toward Concord, I meet a dog. A purebred German Shepherd. Looked like he’d just come from the Westminster Dog Show.
    There’s a story for you, lady, who the hell, in this godforsaken, post-apocalyptic mess… seriously who the hell is breeding German Shepherds? Is there some robotic puppy mill out there somewhere?
    I’m not sure if the dog stirred them up, or I did, but it turns out there was a nest of some sort of ugly-ass giant rodents under the filling station.
    Tunneling ugly-ass giant rodents.
    Good thing I found a lot of ammo in the vault.

    And then I stumbled into a firefight between a gang of some sort and a lunatic Revolutionary War reenactor.
    I would have liked to take a minute to size up the situation, but Rex the Wonder Dog went right for the throat of the nearest one, and then I’ve got a whole flock of shitbirds coming after me.
    I gotta admit, after the last few hours, I was ready to kill somebody who could appreciate the fact that they were getting killed. Giant mutant vermin are just annoying pests, doing their giant mutant vermin thing, but a proper enemy is a lot more satisfying target.
    Of course, there wasn’t much proper about this enemy. They were just a mob of untrained, ill-equipped idiots, and after my time in Alaska, they really weren’t much of a challenge. Gunfights in the street aren’t my preference when it comes to a fight, but I knew the neighborhood, and it was pretty easy to straggle them out and pick them off. Especially with Rin Tin Tin keeping them distracted.
    Inside the old museum was much more to my liking. Poor lighting conditions. Distracting noises. Plenty of cover. Perfect place for knife work.

    Turned out Johnny Tremaine had himself a few civilians he was trying to protect, and my blood was up, so before long I was up on the roof, looking at a rusted old T-45.
    I really don’t like power armor. See this old burn? That’s what happens when the optics system shorts out. And I got lucky, most folks lost an eye or two when that happened. But that T-45 would give me the strength to handle the Rockwell minigun that was also up there, and might even protect me if the damn thing misfired. And the odds of a misfire in a 200-year old, mass-produced weapon throwing a truly stupid amount of lead were really high, but like I said, my blood was up. Hell. Just a few hours before, I watched some asshole blow half my wife’s face off, and here was a fresh batch of new assholes just begging to be ripped apart five millimeters at a time.

    Saying that now, I’m realizing that I’m probably exactly the right kind of crazy for this fucked-up world of yours.

    Anyway, stupid as I was for even thinking of pulling the trigger on that thing, the clowns in the street were even stupider, because they didn’t run away when I started spraying away at them with God’s own gardenhose.

    The thing you’ve gotta understand, Miss Wright, is that I’m not a berserker. Berserkers don’t last long. They can be really useful as a distraction, and sometimes they can do some good damage before they get themselves killed, but ultimately they’re doomed idiots.
    I have always fought smart. That’s why I came home with all my important bits intact, and a relatively small collection of scars.

    But not that day.

    No. That day I went berserk.

    I jumped right off the roof. Three fucking stories.
    I knew a T-45 was built for that, but it was two hundred years old and completely unmaintained.
    I didn’t give a shit.
    I jumped off and charged headlong at the nearest asshole.

    And they still didn’t run.

    And they didn’t even run when God-freaking-zilla burst out of the ground and started killing them too.

    Liberty Bill must have had quite a show from the balcony as Larry the Lizard and the Tin Woodsman merrily ripped through the pack of poor bastards from opposite ends of the street.
    I’m not sure what I expected when the two of us met in the middle, bits and pieces of dead dumbfucks scattered all around--a handshake and a couple cigars? Who frikking knows? But what I got was my ass knocked clear back to the steps of the museum.
    It had to have been sheer luck that I landed where I did, because there’s no way there are any angels looking out for me, but there was the Rockwell, right where I’d dropped it when I Geronimoed.
    The last fifty or so rounds in the magazine blew out the back of T-Rex’s skull as it came to finish me off.

    I lay there for a good twenty minutes, half buried under a thousand pounds of dead lizard.
    You’d think Yankee Doodle and his pals would have come and dug me out, but no. They stayed in the museum until I used the last juice from the fusion cell to heave that carcass off of what was left of my own carcass.
    So I staggered inside, and they’re sitting around the lobby, arguing about some nonsense or another. Sergeant Preston of the Commonwealth Mounties thanks me and hands me a pouch full of bottlecaps--Bottlecaps? What the fuck is wrong with you people?--hands me this shit and asks me for more help.
    Seems that they’re heading to my old neighborhood to make a new start. Based on a vision of some sort from this old hippie lady.

    What the hell.

    Sure.

    At that point I was ready to get back in my pod and let the Elvis impersonator try to re-freeze me.
     
    Lysandor, Loci, Koeran83 and 4 others like this.
  4. WetRats

    WetRats Well-Known Member Patreon Supporter Community Rockstar Wiki Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    1,337

    I ended up spending a few weeks helping them set up a rough camp at what’s left of Sanctuary Hills.
    I had a lot to learn about this brave new world I’d found myself in, and the more I could find out before I ventured much farther, the fewer ugly surprises I should encounter.
    I explored the vicinity, usually with the dog. Met a few nice neighbors, and far too many nasty ones. Including some ghouls. Feral ghouls, Garvey called ‘em. Said there are a fair number of poor irradiated bastards who somehow manage to keep alive and relatively sane, but the ones I came across at the Flynn brothers’ truck yard just wanted to eat my face. I’m pretty sure a couple of them WERE the Flynn brothers. I got well and truly drunk for the first time since I woke up from the big sleep after that encounter. Predatory animals I understood. Predatory humans I understood even better. But mindless husks of human beings, walking around for centuries until somebody finally kills them? That is a whole extra level of fucked up.
    After that, my interest in exploring cooled. Maybe I should just fix up the house, get the farmer’s daughter to teach me how to grow melons, and see if I could convince her to let me teach her a few things in return.

    Then Carla showed up.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever met her, but that is one seriously tough lady. First person I met since the bombs that I could truly respect.
    I liked the Abernathys. I liked Sturges. Hell, the rest of Garvey’s crew weren’t that bad, even the crazy old junkie. But Carla was competent.
    Staggeringly competent.
    She’d seen pretty much everything this wonderful world of yours had to offer, and she just pushed her way through the muck and worked.
    Until I met Carla, I figured there was nothing left in this world but chaos, hunger, fear, and death. But she taught me that, strange as it might be, there is a core of civilization left, and even an economy.

    Where there’s an economy, there is opportunity.

    Not just the smash and grab opportunity the parasitical raiders see.
    Not just the meager survival opportunity the hardscrabble farmers see.
    Not just the dumpster-diving opportunity the scavengers and traders see.

    But an opportunity to start building, instead of just picking the last few scraps of of a dead world.

    All it needed was someone with the right knowledge.

    Someone trained to build networks of formal and informal leaders to accomplish important missions in diplomatically or politically sensitive areas.

    Someone trained to apply knowledge of governance, economics, and politics to affect human behavior in the context of military operations or in support of strategic objectives.

    Someone trained to interpret U.S. and foreign maps; conduct civil, governmental, humanitarian, and defense assistance; apply organizational and leadership skills required in field operations; and conduct research on documents and other aspects of urban and regional studies.

    Someone like Major Jonas H. Coolwater, US Army, Retired. Civil Affairs Division.

    And someone with the ability to be ruthless when necessary.


    END CHAPTER ONE
     
    Lysandor, Loci, Koeran83 and 5 others like this.
  5. WetRats

    WetRats Well-Known Member Patreon Supporter Community Rockstar Wiki Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    1,337

  6. Lysandor

    Lysandor New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    7

    Damn, that is so good. I can hear his voice in your writing. Well done!
     
    WetRats likes this.
  7. WetRats

    WetRats Well-Known Member Patreon Supporter Community Rockstar Wiki Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    1,337

    Thank you!
     
    Lysandor likes this.

Share This Page