Phantom Pain

  • I grip at my left arm as I walk into Diamond City, a dull throbbing pain courses through me. My eyes shut tight for a few seconds, trying to block it out. A guard walks up to me and tilts his head. "You okay, Ma'am?" A weak smile makes it's way to my face as I wave him away. "A raider band ambushed me, one of the bastards got a lucky shot. Waiting for the med-x to kick in." With that, he just nods and walks away, muttering something about watching out for synths. A low distant rumble can be heard as clouds begin to swirl overhead, blotting all the sun. Residents looked up and grumbled, "Another rainstorm?" As shops started closing, residents returned home or to Vadim's bar. The usually lively city has become empty. The lack of noise from idle chatter, talk of business, or noise of takahashi cooking was strange. My feet drag against the dirt, prolonging the walk to Publick Occurrences. It's been a while since Nat and Piper have seen me... How  will they react? As I climb the creaking wooden steps, a few raindrops fall from the recently darkened sky. The soft pitter patter could be heard from all around. My left arm raises slightly, ready to knock on their door, but the act was difficult. I gave up and used my right instead. I knocked loudly to ensure whoever was inside could hear me. Footsteps could be heard from the inside of the medium sized shack. "Public Occurrences is closed, come again at a later date please." A small voice says in an irritated tone. "Nat! Let me in! It's Ashlyn!" There is a pause for a few moments before the door opens slightly, partially revealing the younger Wright sister. As soon as out eyes met, they widened to as far as possible. The door opened even farther, Nat now completely visible. Her usual scrappy and feisty demeanor was gone. "Hey Nat, what's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost." I try to joke, but I'm not met with a smile or even a scoff, her face has yet to change. "A...Ash..." She lets out in an almost whisper, then, in an almost lightning speed, runs back inside and yells "Piper! Come look! Someone wants to talk to you!" "I don't care, tell them to go away!" Piper yells back. "You'll care a lot when you see who it is!" The floor creaks as she approaches, my heart races with each step. As soon as she's within sight, I'm shocked at how she looks... Her usual red leather jacket is gone, her cheerful and lovely hazel green eyes are forlorn and bloodshot, and her smile is nonexistent. "Alright Nat, who's at the-" She freezes as she looks at me, her face almost white and eyes just like Nat when she first saw me... How long have I been gone? I knew it was a while, but... "B... Blue?..." "Umm... Hey Pipes... How have you been?" I say awkwardly, faking a smile. I'm greeted with a smile, but this felt far from genuine. "Oh you know... Only thinking your best and only friend died and it's all your fault cause you didn't try to stop her... You know, silly things like that." Her tone might sound playful, but the pauses she takes to catch her breath or choke back a sob show her true meaning. "And what about you? See any good sights? Meet new people? Cause while you've been gone doing God knows what, I've been sitting in my office, crying my eyes out!" Tears fall anew from the elder Wright sister. "How could you?! A whole month?! The last time I saw you was when you stepped in that portal! You said 'I'll be back before you know it.'... I... I thought..." Oh... Ohhh.... "Piper..." My left arm twitches and I grab my wrist to stop it. "I'm so sorry... I...  Didn't think I was gone that long. There were... Complications..." My arm refuses to follow my orders. I grasp it tightly to try and hide it. "Can I please come in to talk to you... I need to show you something." She is silent for a long time, the rain becoming a heavy downpour, drenching me. Finally she sighs and motions for me to come in. As I enter, Nat shut the door and locked it behind us. She wakes past, heading to her "room" and continuing to write some of her homework. Piper heads to the sofa and looks up to me. "So, what was it you wanted to show me?" I take a deep breath. Now or never I guess... "Well... The molecular relay worked... I teleported into the institute and found Shaun." Upon hearing that Piper paused and smiled. "That... That's great blue!" But my face didn't match hers. This caused her smile to fall a little. "I passed out after the teleport. When I woke up, I was in a bed. As I looked around, I found him... Staring at me. All this time I thought that 10 year old boy... That was Shaun... That I lost 10 years of his life to the Institute... When I saw him, he kept screaming, calling for help, acting like I was some monster... And then... And then a man entered... He said a few numbers and words and Shaun... He shut down. That kid was a synth of my baby..." "Oh... Oh Blue... I'm so so-" Before she can even finish, I cut her off. "The man was about 60 or so, wrinkled, grey hair, white lab coat. He told me the son I was looking for was in front of me... That I didn't lose 10 years... I lost 60... He was Shaun... He was my son..." I wipe the tears welling up in my eyes, I have to do this. "He talked about me hunting him down, risking my life to find him, as an experiment... He was so cold... When I tried to reach towards him with my left arm, I couldn't feel it... I was confused and tried to look and see what was wrong... But when I moved my arm in front of me... My arm wasn't there." Piper raised an eyebrow. "I... What?" I grab my sleeve and slowly roll it up. From the elbow down, my arm looks like a gen 1 synth's. Piper yelps but quickly covers her mouth. "Apparently, when I teleported into the institute... Not all of me came out. The doctors and scientists there found me and gave me a replacement... They said it would work better than my old arm... I just had to get used to it." Piper just looks at me with a frown. "Jesus Blue... I'm... I'm sorry... I had no idea..." "My whole reason for not giving up... Pointless. My husband... My old friends... My family... My son... My life... It's all gone! And even though I know they're gone, I can still feel the pain of losing them all... Like this fucking arm! I can still just feel the pain under it... And it never ends!" Piper pulls me into a deep hug, too weak to do anything else, I simply cry into her shoulder. "Thanks Pipes..." I try to wipe the tears from my eyes. "Look Blue... I'm so sorry for all you've been through. But just know, I'm here for you whenever you need." I smile at that wrap both my arms around her, giving her a hug back, the metal arm starting to work properly. "Thanks Pipes... So... You want to go back into the wastes? Adventure awaits." "Actually... I'm ok right here, let's just wait for the storm to pass." She pulls me down to the couch and we both try to relax. I snake my new arm around her, whenni turn to speak I see her cheeks are red. "Something wrong Piper?" "W-what? Oh! No, nononono! It's just really... Uh... Hot! Yea, that!" I shrug, makes sense. "Well... Look at this cool new feature." I press a button near my wrist and a screen activates on my arm and a vault boy appears. "Built in Pip boy. With games included." As I say that, Red Menace loads in. "Think you can beat my-" Before I could even finish my sentence, Piper started the game, determined to beat me. I laughed, coaching her through it. This was the first time in weeks where the pain was gone, and I realized, there is no where I'd rather be than right here... Right now.


  • Bryn
    Bryn   ·  March 20, 2016
    I know! So little fics or blogs involve them, so I thought it might be a nice addition.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  March 20, 2016
    Even in a holocaust there's still a place for games :D
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  March 20, 2016
    This is great. You conveyed enough of a mood that even though I don't play Fallout, I was able to follow along without any issues. Good work. 
  • ShyGuyWolf
    ShyGuyWolf   ·  March 20, 2016
    this is good. you had your character loose a limb, that is cool.
  • Lyall
    Lyall   ·  March 20, 2016
    Oh, this is good! I like it! One thing I noticed:

    "... I need to sow you something" Should be show.
  • Bryn
    Bryn   ·  March 20, 2016
    A story I've spent almost 5 months on. Feel free to demolish it and tell me how bad it is,or how good, either or but I'd prefer the latter :P