A cyborg in the Wasteland

This is technically a crossover between the universe of Fallout and the niche tabletop game Eclipse Phase, which is described as a world of 'transhuman horror.' The main character is a combination of the memories of a random isekai and the memories of a transhuman scientist from Eclipse Phase. I originally published/am publishing this on the site Sufficient Velocities, but decided to cross post here. However, you don't need to know anything about Eclipse Phase to enjoy this novel. I suppose you don't even need to know anything about Fallout, but that would help a lot more.

SpiraSpira · Video Games
Not enough ratings
99 Chs

Just a flesh wound

Lily was restive for the rest of the day. There was clearly something unearthly about that obelisk in the bowels of the Dunwich building. The only reason she didn't bury it with a judicious application of explosives was she was aware of the Point Lookout DLC, where you needed to use the obelisk to destroy what amounted to the Necronomicon.

She didn't know which was a greater threat, but she didn't want to accidentally start an actual zombie outbreak because she or someone else accidentally mispronounced "klaatu barada nikto." However, she was somewhat sceptical that the Evil Dead could survive concentrated plasma fire from hundreds of combat bots.

She rode back to Megaton with her eyes closed, sort of meditating as she tried to remember the void she found herself in before arriving in this world. She was a different person back then in many ways. Her "first set" of memories made all of those decisions, and her clear memories of the void started after she was already finished entering her selections for the character generation, which resulted in Meimei's memories being merged into her.

None of these memories had been digitised, either. It was like they did not exist in her brain, yet she could remember them. When she tried to remember them, the area of her brain associated with memory did activate, but no particular physical area was associated with remembering these things. That, more than anything else, made her think there could be something to this whole "soul" business.

It just meant that a soul was some type of currently unexplainable energy field, though. It actually made her brighten a little, as for someone who planned on living a very, very long time, the idea that there could be more to be explained and discovered was a beautiful thought.

After over two hours of sitting very still and breathing in a slow, meditative pattern, she did start to remember some things. She did not remember selecting this perk, but she had a few glimpses of some of the options she did not select, and they were all quite enticing.

There was an option for a large, kilometre cubed, undetectable hammerspace. That would have been... so very, very useful, and it was only listed as a Grade B perk. Another was listed as giving one immunity to all diseases, biological immortality and a small regeneration factor. That was grade A. The only grade S or above perk she recalled was one called "Psyker Paragon", which would have given her both telepathic and telekinetic powers, even if such powers did not exist in whatever universe she found herself in, and even if she was a robot, she would be a psychic robot even if that did not make any sense whatsoever.

The Inviolable Soul perk was listed as SS+, whatever that meant. Had Mandy just selected the highest grade perk available on the list? That didn't quite sound like the gaming strategy that she would have preferred when she was Mandy, although it was close to it. While she did prefer delayed gratification in almost all builds, she thought the Psyker Paragon would have been too good to pass up. Especially if she then gamed it so that she was in a universe with no psychic powers possible.

That or the immortality one. Although she thought that was kind of silly now, that was because she had Meimei's life experience. Back then, when she supposedly made these choices, she would have had only Mandy's, and that would have been very tempting even if it was only of A rank.

However, at least seeing the memories of these things made her a little more sure that she hadn't seen hallucinations with that perk, or worse, it being a trick by the obelisk in order for her to stay around it more. ("See, little girl, you're immune to me... stay around me...") However, she wasn't sure enough that she would ever step foot in that accursed building ever again.

"We're back, ma'am," said Leftenant Wilson, which caused Lily to open her eyes and nod.

Lily glanced around from inside the back of the armoured RV. The trooper who had been driving it rubbed his eyes after taking off the VR helmet Lily had kludged together. "Very well, leftenant. Your men have zhe rest of zhe day off, but I want you to begin planning an operation in D.C. to start tomorrow or, at the latest, Monday."

He looked a little surprised. Of course, it was SOP to avoid DC like the plague for Spider Company, and Lily rarely approved paying jobs for them going there, either. "What are the goals of the op, ma'am?"

"I want zhe Library of Congress secured, and zhe raiders currently using it as a base pacified. I 'ave intel on zhe composition of zhe raiders in and nearby, as well as probable best approach paths. I want minimal damage to zhe building and its contents," Lily told him as they both left the vehicle. In the Fallout universe, rather than being right next to the Capitol building, the Library of Congress was on the south side of DC, near the Pentagon, for some reason. She had intended to secure it for some time and, in fact, had already discussed the plan with Sarah Lyons.

She had their approval to conduct operations in their backyard so long as she allowed the Brotherhood Scribes the same access as she had to anything she pulled out of the building. It grated on her to "get permission", but she did not really mind giving them the take, either. She intended to place all the millions and millions of digitised books and media in the Megaton Public Library.

In addition, once she managed to put a communications constellation in orbit, she would open a digital Earth Public Library, which would allow anyone to request a digital copy of any or all of the books to be beamed down to any location on the globe.

"I'm not sure we have sufficient forces, ma'am, with squads six and seven not expected back for several days and with the responsibilities we have back home. We wouldn't be able to take much more than we did today," Wilson offered, a little unsure.

Lily hummed. Wilson was one of the few, along with the Apprentice, to actually know how many robots she was storing, yet to use. "Check out sufficient robotic assets. Whatever you need. I don't care if you take a hundred with you on zhis mission; just don't forget the logistical needs of that many if zhat's what you think you need." If they took seven or eight robots for every human trooper, then they would need a lot more space to bring robot charging stations and generators to power them, too.

Although Lily couldn't see it from behind his helmet, she thought he was grinning, "Could we radio in indirect fire missions if necessary?"

Lily blinked and then nodded, "You can take the RV with you; use it as your CP while you're away. There are about two dozen kamikaze drones aboard, and zhe driver can operate the weapon systems using top-down real-time images from loitering assets. Just try to avoid using zhem on zhe library itself, please. And make sure you don't blow up any Brotherhood patrols, as well." She'll have to get her own hardsuit out of her RV before they left, just in case she needed that at home while they were gone.

"Excellent, ma'am. I'll have a preliminary plan for you to review before 1900 tonight, and we'll plan on a 0500 departure," Wilson told her before departing, after delegating one of his troopers to see the two trucks checked over and returned her slowly growing motor pool. She had been building about two trucks a month. At first, she intended to just buy all the trucks from the Mechanist, but he was selling everyone he could produce himself and was ramping up production.

She still had the same equipment he used to build the first four, and it looked like Scott was slowly disassembling the Corvega factory and taking almost everything useful out of it. She had noticed him make at least a dozen trips back and forth. Not only had he gotten all of the fission reactors remaining, but she was pretty sure he got tons more machine tools, as well.

With his sixty or so Protectons rebuilt into her Kaytron standard, he was able to use them for general and even skilled labour if he or Sophie supervised them. Of course, she needed to do a little work herself when it came time to assemble a truck, but that was it. Ninety per cent of the effort was completely automated now.

Checking her schedule, she had a meeting tomorrow with a few of the people identified to potentially form a city council again. The problem was that they didn't particularly want to run the city, either. Moriarty might, but she had some doubts as to whether his expertise could scale past his criminal and quasi-legal enterprises.

She'd spend the rest of the day relaxing and finishing the work on the large fusion-powered first stage for her probes. Maybe she could begin full-sized flight tests soon?


Two days later, as she was watching the prototype semi-space plane take off, she got word on the radio that some elements from the mission from the seed vault were returning and that there were some wounded people that needed medical attention. Blinking, she triggered a transmission telling the Vertibird to drop the wounded off at her hospital roof and gathered her things. She hoped the Apprentice was alright, but there were very few things that could really hurt the girl in that armour.

The prototype would continue its flight plan, climbing to forty thousand metres while departing northwest. In the event of a power systems failure, the thing should be able to glide almost five hundred kilometres even with no power.

She intended for this first really long flight to look at a number of potential places of interest in the Continental US, looking mainly for enclaves of civilisation that she didn't already know about, including the west coast, so she could see how the NCR was doing. Only five hundred kilometres of range wouldn't be enough to glide it back to DC, but it would be enough to glide it somewhere it would never be found if there was a serious issue, like directly into the side of a mountain, the bottom of a Great Lake, et cetera.

Humming, she got into the little golf-cart-sized electric vehicle she made for driving through the kilometres of tunnels and started driving back to the hospital.

Walking upstairs, she waited for the Vertibirds to arrive. Two did, and she was already aware that the Apprentice was on one of them because she got a number of messages from the girl a while back. She guessed Alice just queued messages as she discovered things, and now that she was back in the range of the Mesh, they were being delivered. She decided to just wait and see what she said first before reading the messages.

The Apprentice jumped out of the first Vertibird, in her pink Power Armour, waving... a stub where her hand should have been?! The girl yelled, "Dr St. Claire! I killed a Deathclaw!"

What the fuck?! It seemed like Lily had been thinking that phrase a lot lately. She rushed over to Alice, pinging her medichine hive for her current medical status, "What zhe 'ell?! What happened to your hand?!"

The girl held up the stub and shrugged, "'Tis just a flesh wound."

That bitch! No more Monty Python for her! She growled, "Alice, get out of zhat armour zhis instant and let me take a look at zhat 'and!"

Even she hadn't killed a death claw yet. In fact, she was still kind of scared of them. She certainly wouldn't have sought them out. Alice sighed, very much put-upon but triggered the release mechanism for her armour and stepped out of it. Sarah Lyons was also on the same Vertibird, so Lily glared at the woman briefly while she examined the Apprentice's stub.

Sarah Lyons held her hands up placatingly, "Alice saved three lives when she did that." As if that made it any better. Lily would rather have had the entire expedition wiped out to the last man than the girl get seriously injured. Of course, she didn't want any of her soldiers injured at all, but ultimately that was their job; to take risks.

"Zhis looks like a burn injury," Lily said, confused.

That caused Alice to laugh, using her good hand to rub the back of her neck, "Well, you see... there was a small group of Deathclaws that made the entrance to the seed vault their home, and one of zhem was about to tear a couple of Scribes to pieces, so I shoved my hand in its mouth and started rapid-firing the built-in plasma gun."

Lily blinked at her as if she had trouble understanding what the girl had said, "Zhat... sounds really stupid, Apprentice." She then briefly inspected the missing arm of the girl's armour. It seemed like there was both cutting and melting damage.

That caused Sarah Lyons to crack up, "That's what I said! It definitely killed the Deathclaw, but combined with the claw biting down and possibly that plasma gun exploding, well, you can see the rest. But really, she is a hero. Even after losing her hand, she saved two others who were bleeding out. She's a hell of a doctor." She wasn't a doctor at all yet! And probably wouldn't survive to the point where Lily awarded her that title if she kept shoving her limbs into the maw of monsters.

Lily hadn't even realised that Sarah Lyons was personally leading this expedition; in fact, she thought the woman probably wouldn't due to how busy she was. Lyons continued, "That was basically the only danger involved. Say, you said you only wanted the samples of any plant and animal in the vault, right?"

Lily nodded, calming down now that she realised Alice wasn't actually seriously injured. She was already warming up the cloning machine, both for the girl and the three others being unloaded from the Vertibirds that were missing a limb. Two arms and one leg. Were there no fatalities? She watched the two Vertibirds unload, there were a number of injuries from both her soldiers and the Brotherhood, but she didn't see any DoAs, which was good. And extremely lucky.

If it wasn't the girl's dominant hand that was missing, she would have made the girl do her own hand replantation surgery as a lesson to her. She grinned a little now that she wasn't so anxious, "Yes, zhat is all I really want. Why, did you find a lot more goodies zhan zhat?"

Sarah nodded, "Yeah, a lot. A bunch of cloning machines, kind of like the kind you have. You gave us the design specs, but we haven't had a chance to build any. Did you know they were made by a carbonated drink company? Wild, huh? Makes you wonder what Nuka-Cola's secret ingredients were. There were a lot of other things, too."

Lily chuckled a little, "I wonder why zhey 'ad multiple cloning machines. But yeah, all of zhat is yours. If zhere are any general supplies, we can split it."

Alice piped in, "It wasn't just a seed vault. It was supposed to jumpstart the repopulation of the flora and fauna of America in the event of a nuclear war. It's a whole Vault, built to Vault-Tec standards, including completely in-tact habitation and accommodation sections and a huge powerplant to power all of the equipment. That's why there were so many samples of both native and domesticated animal genomes."

Lily blinked. That would be... very useful. She didn't much care about the facilities, but she didn't expect there to be so many actual animal samples.

Sarah Lyons nodded, "Yes, we're going to co-opt the location as a forward operating base, as the bridge going east through the Kent narrows into the eastern shore of Maryland is intact and in good repair. For now, we'll need to fly in and out, but we're considering making repairs to the Chesapeake Bay bridge. It isn't as bad as it looks. The structural elements are in good shape; just about six small segments of the bridge have dropped into the bay. It should be easily repairable, especially now that Megaton is exporting concrete. The Scribes think it is a barely three to six month project."

Lily would have blinked in surprise again, but she stopped herself, as she thought she had been showing surprise too much today already. The Brotherhood... making repairs to a bridge? What was going on here? This didn't sound like them at all. They are usually more the type to blow up bridges. What was so important about the Eastern shore of Maryland and Delaware? Lily couldn't really think of anything, so she just bluntly asked, "What's so important about that part of Maryland or Delaware?"

That caused Sarah Lyons to grin, "Beyond the fact that a lot of rich pre-war people lived there, and you'd be amazed at what you could find in some of their basements, Eastern Maryland and Delaware had a lot of research corporations before the war."

That was different from what Lily remembered from Mandy's memories, where that part of Maryland was pretty sleepy, and Delaware itself was coma-like. In the America she lived in, there was the famous Research Triangle, which was in North Carolina but not Delaware, though. Sarah Lyons continued, "Plus, there are actually a lot of fairly large settlements in Maryland and Delaware that can't trade with the DC area because they'd have to travel too close to Baltimore, and that's a death trap. We thought if we could repair the Chesapeake bridge, we could patrol almost to Delaware -- not only would it be good practice and mostly safe, but we could charge tolls to cross the repaired bridge over the bay."

That sounded more like the Brotherhood she thought of, but it still didn't quite fit. They were stretched thin, even suppressing the Super Mutants in the DC area. Lily asked, surprised, "You'd have infantry patrols all the way to Delaware?"

To that, Sarah Lyons shook her head, "No, no. But we've managed to purchase a lot of newly manufactured vehicles lately. Uhh... at first, we kind of thought you made them because you have the same models of trucks, but then we tracked them down to what used to be Vault 108. Gary told me a little bit more about the builder."

Ohhh. She was wondering who was driving the Mechanist to sleepless nights fulfilling all of the orders he said he had. The Mechanist didn't like the Brotherhood, but he wasn't the type to blacklist them either. She thought he must be selling them through a third party, though, "Ohh... I did collaborate a little bit with the man you're ultimately purchasing them from. But he likes his privacy." So long as you left him and his robowife alone, he would likely continue helping you, she didn't say.

It made a lot more sense if they intended to be mechanised infantry. Delaware was only a couple-hour drive once you got past the Chesapeake Bay. And if there were potential tech finds in that part of Maryland or Delaware and not much risk, then it presented an avenue to direct the traditionalists towards. Kind of a distraction or candy held up in front of children. She thought the main reason Elder Lyons didn't allow much scavenging in DC was because DC was a death trap.

That caused her to nod, "Yes, that's why we haven't approached him directly at Vault 108. But uhh... could you maybe ask him if he'd create a different model?"

Lily tilted her head to the side, "What do you mean?"

"A smaller, armoured four or six-wheeled vehicle that could carry four men in Power Armour, with a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree man or remote-operated turret," Sarah said firmly.

Oh. Like an armoured Humvee or, more realistically, an MRAP. Lily hummed and considered that. That might be doable. The fission motors were a little above four hundred horsepower, so a light vehicle to carry 4 men in Power Armour and their supplies could be doable. In fact, she would like a number of these herself for her troopers. It probably wouldn't have a very high top speed, though, but at least eighty kph on roads might be possible.

Lily nodded, "I'll ask him. I zhink I'd like a few of those myself, too, so I'll mention it soon." Lily watched the Vertibirds lift off and fly away, "You only brought the wounded back?"

Alice nodded, "Yes, we didn't have anyone killed, and the Deathclaw family was out of their den when we first got there, so they kind of surprised us this morning. The rest, including Mr Gary, are still there cataloguing things or exploring. Kent Island didn't get hit by any nukes at all, so there is still some vegetation and trees, even."

Lily nodded. She had taken images of various parts of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and North Carolina every time the first stage flew to Europe for a probe launch. She'd vary the flight plan a bit to get images of different places. Delaware really wasn't hit very hard, surprisingly, and there were signs of some somewhat large villages and settlements, including some vegetation over there as well.

Lily glanced at Sarah, "You're going to 'ead back to the Pentagon?"

She nodded, "I'll make sure the two injured Scribes are settled in, and catch a flight over to talk to my dad about the mission."

Lily nodded, "Wait a bit, if you don't mind. While I'm waiting for zhe cloning machine to run off Alice's new hand..." she paused, "Unless you want a superior robot hand, girl?"

Alice shook her hand rapidly, which caused Lily to sigh and continue, "While zhat is happening, I can tell you about zhe successful operation around zhe Library of Congress. All of zhe raiders are dead, and it's safe for any Scribes who want to peruse zhe stacks. I 'ave ten men and over forty combat bots patrolling zhat block right now, but I could pull my men back if you want to relieve me."

The raiders were a lot more dangerous than either Lily or Leftenant Wilson had thought, and they had two human casualties, one KIA and one that barely survived. They had managed to medevac her in time to save her life, and Lily had a plan to slowly replace all of the woman's limbs with cloned variants over the next week. It wasn't a great idea to do too much surgery all at once, sometimes.

Lily didn't know if the woman would be up to continued service mentally, even if she would make a full physical recovery. If not, Lily would medically retire her and pay her a full disability pension, at least until she got some other job training and was gainfully employed. Psychological problems were one of the few things she couldn't reliably heal. One option was to completely physically repair her body and then erase her memories of the injury, but she would only do that if the woman agreed to it.

"Oooh... I told Elder Lyons about what you were planning. Were you able to secure the database?" Sarah asked interestedly.

Lily nodded, "Yes. I zhink zhere are many more physical books in zhere zhat hadn't been scanned yet, zhough, before the bombs fell. Zhere are probably over ten million books in zhat building, even if only ten per cent are in any shape to preserve zhat is still an incredible find and will take years to sort zhrough." The digital database only had about three million books in it. Only. That was hundreds and hundreds of times more than she had before now. Plus, it had a ton of other media, including music, films and even images of paintings and other art. The basements held what would have been considered priceless artefacts, too, like the original copy of the Declaration of Independence and other historical documents.

Lily watched the Apprentice get back in her Armour so she could store the damaged machine downstairs before she walked downstairs with the Brotherhood woman.


The next night when the prototype arrived back in range of her Mesh, Lily was startled by some of the data it had. She had just picked a random flight path going to and from large cities on the way to the west coast, and a number of them appeared to be inhabited to a greater or lesser degree, about the same as the DC Wasteland, but there were no signs of industrialisation or everyday use of technology until the aircraft arrived over what was Las Vegas.

The city was not damaged very much at all! There should have been a lot more nukes targetting that major population centre, which was a little bit odd. What was even odder was that what remained of Downtown and the Strip were lit up brightly at night, almost like she could go and play craps at Caesars Palace right now if she wanted to. Well, she doubted there was actually Caesars Palace, but whatever the local equivalent was looked like it was in operation.

Lily almost tripped in shock when she was flipping through the sensor logs and noticed a radio broadcast from the largest building in Vegas. It was a simple voice-encoded carrier wave on the airband, a sophisticated-sounding man's voice asking, not quite imperiously but demandingly, "To the unidentified aircraft circling over the Strip, please identify yourself immediately."

Lily didn't have real-time comms with the aircraft once it left DC, so there was no way for her to respond when this man made a demand, nor was the aircraft programmed with any kind of verbal interface. However, it did log all radio broadcasts. How was her very stealthy aircraft detected, she wondered? And why did that voice sound familiar?

The message wasn't repeated, and eventually, her aircraft continued its programmed flight path and departed to the west.

She directed a question to her muse: [Does that voice pattern, cadence and speech pattern match any previously recorded samples?]

[Affirmitive. 95% match to Robert Edwin House, PhD.]

Dr House?! Was he alive?! She had listened to holotapes of about five different speeches he had given to his alma mater, the Commonwealth Institute of Technology. They were amongst the first interesting scientific discussions she had found on the planet so long ago, even if he seemed a bit arrogant, perhaps even narcissistic, from the tapes.

That wasn't a big deal. It wasn't like she had room to throw stones from her glass house on that front, after all.