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


Grace and her team were back in town, and Herr Miller was there with her. He had brought the balance of the payments Lily was owed, which, honestly, she had forgotten about. A stern note was made to herself to either set up reminders or hire some sort of business manager to take care of everything for her. Honestly, she should have someone to handle negotiations in any case.

She met him in the cafeteria for a late lunch. It was pretty well empty. Lily's organisation was still small enough that it was quite egalitarian as far as seating in the cafeteria was concerned; there was no special private dining facility for her or the other doctors.

"Monsieur Miller, how is the arm treating you?" Lily asked, then after a pause continued, "Have you come for an upgrade?"

"Oh, pretty good," but then he stopped short and asked quizzically, "What kind of upgrade?"

Lily got excited, "Ah, you see, since I 'ave acquired certain technology, I 'ave tentative design plans for a hybrid bio-mechanical limb. It would be, internally, much like your current limb, but it would feature a fully biological, humanised layer of skin and nerves. So you would be able to feel with it just like your other 'and!"

She wanted someone to test this technology, as it was the first step to incorporating a bunch of integral tools into her arms. She just needed to find some way to reliably deploy the tools in the arm up without slicing the layer of skin every time.

He did seem interested but shrugged, "That does sound interesting, but... perhaps another time. I mainly came to give the balance of what we owed you, as well as to talk about purchasing more things from you in bulk."

Lily nodded, "Zhat is fine. I 'ave something that I developed recently zhat I zhink you may be even more interested in." She paused in order to give him time enough to look interested before saying, "I reverse-engineered zhe machines zhat refuel fusion cores, and while I can't yet build new fusion cores, I can easily build zhe refuelling stations for zhem."

Instead of the pleased reaction Lily had been expecting, Miller said, "Fuck!"

She blinked at him before tilting her head to the side, "To be 'onest, zhat wasn't zhe reaction I was expecting... but I often 'ave difficulty gauging zhat, I suppose."

Instead, he just sighed, shaking his head, "No, it's just now; I likely won't have enough resources nearby to buy everything we need, and that is one thing we will definitely need to buy in quantity."

That caused her to grin, "Well, I am certain I could entertain extending credit, or alternatively, I am willing to 'ire your group of exiles to perform some tasks for me."

That caused him to gaze at her suspiciously, and he said, "Well, first, let's talk about what I want, then we can dicker about the price." At Lily's slow nod, he continued, "Firstly, I'd like fifty more doses of that clean metabolism treatment. Then I would like one hundred doses of the faster reflexes and life-extension treatments and the sleep reduction one. Basically, I want a full course of treatment that you offer for at least one hundred people."

Lily raised her eyebrows. If she went by her retail prices, that would be several hundred thousand bottle caps or equivalent. She provided all of these services gratis for her employees, but Miller and even Grace had a stubborn, independent streak that she really admired. She would definitely offer a steep discount for such a large purchase, but...

"Even if I offered you fifty per cent off, we're still talking almost two hundred thousand caps for all zhat... Considering you wanted time to pay me just zhe few thousand you owed me, I'm wondering 'ow you intend to pay," Lily said to the man gently.

He chuckled, "Yeah. We do have a fair amount of resources, although not straight bottle caps. It isn't as though we used them where we came from. However, I intended to pay you in precious metals?"

Lily blinked at the man, "Zhe Brotherhood is paying me in bars of gold, too. Did you guys raid all of the federal reserves as you came from the west coast?"

He nodded solemnly, "Yes, yes, we did. However, I don't have access to that; it is not as though Colonel Autumn would send a lot of resources along with a bunch of dead men. However, we do range a bit farther afield than either the Brotherhood or the Enclave. And I do have a list and general location of a lot of the homes of the richest people Pre-War. I diverted that data before I left Raven Rock. You'd be amazed at some of the things we've found in private underground vaults in Martha's Vineyard, for example."

He paused, then chuckled while saying, "So long as silver is negotiable, I think I should have enough to pay whatever extravagant rates you charge us."

Silver was a very useful metal to her. She was curious, "Just how much silver do you have available?"

That caused him to look uneasy, "I'd rather not say as it might tend to affect the value of the commodity." That was saying a lot in of itself, Lily thought.

She waved a hand and said, "My valuation on silver isn't predominantly based on its rarity as a precious metal or a medium of exchange of value but on its industrial applications. Let's settle on an exchange rate for zhis transaction in advance for zhe moment, and then will you answer my question? I'm just curious."

Lily and Miller went back and forth for a few minutes before they settled on a rough valuation of silver per gram. Then he shrugged and said, "We have a little over a hundred and twenty tons, all in about thirty-one-kilogram bars."

Well, shit. That was way more than she thought! They could buy the entire city of Megaton, although if they tried, the value of the commodity would, as he thought, drop sharply. It wasn't like thousands of people could take bricks of solid silver into the Wasteland and survive or thrive. However, he shocked her by continuing, "There is still over forty times that amount at the location we're taking it from; we just have to do it a bit at a time. And no, I won't tell you where it is. You'll show up with some fucking giant Zeppelin and float it away or something."

Lily wished she had a Zeppelin!

Over five thousand tons of silver? Lily started rolling her fingers over the top of the cafeteria table in thought. "Monsieur Miller. I understand you're first and foremost looking out for zhe well-being of your people. But why 'aven't you settled down in one of the larger settlements around 'ere? From what I can tell, you spread your people somewhat widely around, some here, some in Rivet City, some wherever your secret hideout is. 'ave you seen what I have been doing with the city of Megaton, it is only a start, I assure you."

He sighed, "Mostly because any single place is a single target. I doubt Autumn would raid Megaton just for a bunch of deserters he thought dead for almost a decade, but the odds are a lot better if we're not conspicuously in one place. And yes, I have. It's impressive. Are you really putting up turrets, lights and fencing around the entire city? I've noticed you have a rather military-looking 'security force' now too. Are you planning on taking over the control of the government?" the last he asked with a lot of humour in his voice, before adding, "Because we have a number of teams available for hire, I'd give you a discount on that job."

Lily shook her head rapidly, "Non, non, non. Absolutely not!" She leaned back and sighed, "Any kind of government you can consider as a constraint on your actions, in zhe theoretical absolute liberty sense. In zhe ideal case, zhat is an agreed-upon constraint, common sense stuff, no? More commonly, zhough, and I include Megaton in zhis category, it is imposed, arbitrary and capricious. Still, it is a predictable constraint and one I can plan and work around. When dealing with zhe government, zhe only greater constraint on a person's actions zhan submitting to a government would be if zhey ran it."

Miller looked askance at her as she shuddered as if she bit into something deeply distasteful before she continued, "Even absolute monarchs or dictators have a court of some sort, and even the most tyrannical of states must put at least some lip service to their subjects' opinions or zhey get stabbed by zheir best friend, Brutus. No way. Running a government, even if you're a dictator, is something zhat would consume every moment of your life. To some, zhis is a vocation, and I wish zhem well, so long as they will mostly leave me alone, but I wouldn't 'ave any time to be anything but be Queen of Megaton if I took up zhat mantle."

When Tannhäuser Station was completed, she attempted to run the government. That lasted three weeks until she begged anyone to take it over. In the end, the station became a direct democracy, although she and the other founders included so many fundamental restrictions (such as you couldn't kick out property owners for any reason) that really the government didn't have a lot to do, except maintain the station and keep the peace, which suited everyone just fine.

It had been her opinion that people often acted like kids who had just discovered a new toy when it came to laws. Like, they just found a hammer, and everything looked like a nail. Was it really that necessary to institute new laws all the time? Back when she was in America, there were so many laws on the Federal books that nobody could even count them or give an estimate of how many laws existed, as numerous laws referenced other laws, regulations, tribal rules or even foreign laws.

It seemed like the nation might be descending into a potential tyranny where every single person could plausibly be an unindicted felon, and it was only prosecutorial discretion keeping any single person out of the pokey. However, she died before such a thing actually happened, so it was only a guess on her part.

Now Miller looked extremely amused, "Oh? And what if the mayor of Megaton came marching down to this hospital and tried to arrest you? Something tells me that you wouldn't actually submit to his judgement, even if you were actually guilty of the hypothetical crime he accused you of."

Lily spread her hands in a conciliatory gesture, "I never claimed I wasn't a 'ypocrite. Most people are. If I actually did some genuine transgression, I'd try to make it right. I just want to be left alone as much as possible. However, in zhe past, when zhat happened, I generally removed myself from zheir jurisdiction. People, especially governments, don't like entities zhat they cannot really control, but it's a balancing act. I try to provide more benefits to the area I am in, and 'ope zhat after a while, I am just seen as an eccentricity."

Miller smirked, "Rather than the actual threat that you actually are." To which Lily nodded. It had been her experience that governments, regardless of what type, were incredibly stingy with the whole "monopoly on initiating violence" thing, which was something that she refused, steadfastly, to accept.

Even though she wasn't particularly violent in her past life, she maintained the capability for violence in wholesale job lots. It was what inevitably drove her away from the habitats that she had lived in. She grew up in a sort of neo-communist habitat built by the remnants of the Chinese government, and honestly, she didn't have a bad opinion about it except that you had to trust people to enact justice and deterrence upon your behalf, and they often didn't.

She knew she had to leave there when she realised that they would throw her under the bus as they felt that she was just one person, and the needs of the many outweighed hers. She didn't, fundamentally, have a problem with people who wanted to live that way so long as she wasn't forced to, herself.

So long as something didn't intrude on her life's goals, she was actually remarkably selfless in her past life. After she accumulated enough money where she reached the point of diminishing returns as far as her goals went, she gave most of it away until she had to finance the construction of an entire space station almost on her own.

On the other hand, if something did impinge on her life's goals, she was remarkably selfish or even completely ruthless. She had, on multiple occasions, gone as far as to imply she would use total war and strategic use of weapons of mass destruction to prevent herself from being stopped by people who obstructed a particularly important portion of her plans, even if they didn't know precisely what she was being stopped from doing.

People usually called her crazy after that, but crazy or not, she used to have the equivalent of thousands of weapons of mass destruction and multiple robust delivery systems. Smart people honoured that capability, regardless of what they called her behind her thorax. Now, she only had a few, but she was still building up her stocks!

Lily was a little bit different from her past, but not that different. Her memories from America moderated her somewhat; she was, for the most part, a mild-mannered ideal citizen, an Obama voter even. But secretly, she knew, if she had the same power that Meimei had in space, she wouldn't have given it up either.

"Why do you ask? I was considering increasing the number of people in Megaton if it was going to be safer, but even if we did, we mainly get by as mercenaries. Mercs don't have the greatest reputation, and people would think fifty or so in Megaton living together would be dangerous," Miller said, bringing her out of my reverie.

Lily wasn't so sure about that, she thought it might be okay, but instead, she shook her head, "No, you could instead come to Megaton and become something that is even more dangerous than and has an even worse reputation than mercenaries, and people would thank you for it in the end!"

He tipped his chair back, carefully balancing on two legs before chuckling, "Oh? And what's that?"

"Bankers!" Lily exclaimed.


It took a while for Lily to explain what she meant, and still, Miller wasn't entirely convinced, at least not at first.

"There is no way that people would trust us to store their money for them," Miller said, unconvinced.

Lily nodded, "Not at first. But after they start trusting the value of the currency you issue, silver coins, they certainly would."

"I get that you could help us mint coins, but why would anyone use our coins or trust them to begin with?" he asked, unconvinced.

Lily rolled her eyes, "Your competing currency is literal bottle caps off soft drinks, Monsieur. You would have wide acceptance. Especially when I can make zhem unique and basically impossible to counterfeit by encapsulating them in a thin layer of sapphire glass." She then shrugged, "Not zhat I would expect counterfeiting to be a problem for years, but may as well stay ahead of it, no?" She nodded, "Merchants actually prefer to trade in gold and silver. It's just zhat zhere aren't usually small, uniformly predictable amounts circulating to support one's daily business."

"We'd have to offer a more or less one-to-one exchange rate with bottle caps, at first, to get market acceptance. That would cost us a lot, except..." he then chuckled, "We could always sell the bottlecaps we take in exchange to real long-range traders; there's a lot of them. I get what you're saying now; the real profit would be how we could slip our own minted coins into the economy, so long as we didn't add too many coins over a period of time such that it would trigger inflation."

These weren't complicated economic principles, but Lily didn't expect him to have such a grasp on them. Still, then again, he said he grew up in the Enclave, and they must have had libraries of economic textbooks freely available to read. They had way more silver than they could "spend" without ruining the economy for silver, but by turning it into a currency that they issued, they could steadily add it into the economy.

Gresham's law would tend to, over time, have the "good" silver currency he issued leave with traders or be hoarded by locals who would probably tend to prefer it to just bottlecaps. He would have to eat these losses until such a point where the "bad currency" bottlecaps might become so bad that it wasn't even accepted anywhere around here, at least not for the same exchange rate. The same as glass beads weren't accepted back in America. The bag holders for this scheme would be anyone who had large stockpiles of bottlecaps and didn't get rid of them.

At the same time, he could also use this economic principle to his advantage by buying foreign goods with silver coins that would leave the area and, therefore, not become locally inflationary.

Lily really did have the feeling that maybe someone was operating machines that made bottle caps and just slowly introducing them into the market, the same way Lily was suggesting Miller slowly introduced silver coins because the amounts involved in trade didn't make sense at all. There seemed to be too many in circulation. Also, many of the bottle caps she had seen seemed to look brand new. Of course, if that really was happening, Miller would make an enemy, but it would be interesting to see.

If that happened, she would definitely assist him because these hypothetical shadowy bottlers were slowly taking away the real value of everything she spent or bought through small amounts of inflation over time. Inflation! It was the invisible tax that everybody paid! If it wasn't her or at least her friends collecting that tax, she would be incensed!

"Even if you don't want to venture into the traditional banking sectors of usury, you could also make a profit by way of seigniorage; for example, I would pay you to convert all the silver bars you're about to pay me with into more usable and trustable coins.," Lily told him.

That caused him to be sceptical, "You think people would pay me more than the face value of the currency in order to mint it for them?"

Lily nodded rapidly. "It used to be zhe premiere way zhat monarchs made money, such zhat zhey would chop-chop your 'ead if you dared to mint your own coins without giving zhem zheir cut. You won't 'ave zhe advantage of being able to outlaw competitors, but I doubt zhere will be any of zhose."

The two continued discussing this for another two hours until the dinner crowd came in for dinner.


Lily spent the next few evenings with Grace, and while Miller didn't come out and agree with her plan entirely, stating that he had to go speak with some of the others, she got the impression that he liked her idea, especially after she took him on a short tour of her first sub-basement level and offered to build him out a similar area below whatever building he bought or built for a fee.

If you were going to be a bank, you had to have a Vault! Or at least some place to store valuables. Lily forgot that the eight T-51b Power Armour suits were down there, and he was surprised to see them and wanted to buy those as well.

That confused her until Miller told her that these pre-War suits were a lot easier to use in the open. He could have a team wear and utilise them without being instantly identified as Enclave or Enclave deserters. The Brotherhood didn't like people using Power Armour, but they wouldn't attack even small groups that used it. They'd just lecture at them, usually. That made a lot of sense.

Lily got a sly look on her face. The man was trying to use his concentrated wealth to buy things money shouldn't be able to buy! But Lily could build these suits of Power Armour, now. She still couldn't quite replicate the laser gyros they used, but she just replaced those with eight separate accelerometers and a computer to handle the same task. She felt it was superior, too, since it was more redundant and didn't have any moving parts.

They settled on a trade; she would give him four T-51b suits in exchange for one suit of the Enclave's most advanced power armour suit. The other four were traded for even more silver bars that he would have to bring next time.

She also demanded, if not subordination, as she didn't think his group would accept that, that they at least form a tentative alliance. She considered Grace and her team friends, and Miller was "friendly." So, she wanted to formalise the relationship. They had a lot of things to offer her, mainly information and training assistance to her Spider Company, while she mainly had technology and additional military support to offer them.

Oh, and she secretly wanted their help to kill President Eden and possibly Colonel Autumn later, but she didn't tell them that at this point.

Surprisingly was a lot easier to sell to him on that than becoming a bank and having a monopoly on the currency used in the Capital wasteland. Weird.


"I thought you had already designed all the drone models you were going to design, Dr St. Claire," the Apprentice asked Lily while she was watching her assemble what appeared to be a large triangular-shaped aerial drone in the underground workshop. It was almost the size of a small plane.

Lily nodded. She had said that after she rebuilt all of her drones to utilise the levitation technology, along with stealthy radar features. "Yes, but zhis isn't a drone."

Lily suddenly stopped when she realised what she was saying, "Okay... eet is a drone, but it isn't what I meant. You see, zhis is hopefully a two-stage launch vehicle. Zhis is zhe first stage, zhat can use similar levitation technology as to zhe other drones to get forty kilometres into zhe atmosphere before zhe air gets too zhin, yes?"

"A launch vehicle? Are you trying to put something into space?!" the Apprentice asked excitedly.

Lily nodded, "Yes! Hopefully. Zhis zhing should be able to take a second payload about halfway zhere, almost into orbit itself at forty thousand metres. Zhen, zhe second stage will separate and use a very efficient plasma drive to get zhe rest of the way into orbit. I hope. I zhink I should be able to get a payload of two hundred kilograms up into orbit zhis way, zhen I can use normal transfer orbits and a small amount of reaction mass to eventually get into high or even geostationary orbit. Not only would satellites of my own be very useful, but zhere are a number of satellites zhat I am interested in either co-opting or destroying."

Then she frowned and sighed, "But... I will need to lighten everyzhing about zhis second vehicle first. The first design is too 'eavy. I'll need to build our own micro-fusion cells, but out of aluminium, and 'opefully zhey won't melt. Only zhis first stage is at a stage where I can begin testing."

Alice said, "Well, look on the bright side. This thing is big enough that you could always use it to drop bombs on people, even if it doesn't quite work to get into space."

Lily's face brightened. She hadn't considered that, which was unlike her.