In This Land of Bloody Saints

  •        Shaun -- leader of the Institute, a man now well into his sixties -- sits on the red and white couch in his office that overlooks the concourse. The man he has recently come to know as his father, Salvatore, but a year older than he was the day Shaun was born, sits in a small chair across from him with a .44 magnum in his hand.  

     

           Shaun speaks in a low, gruff tone.

     

           “How has it come to this? That after everything you’ve been through, you would still deny that the Institute is humanity’s best hope? How can you side with those who breed only misery? The Commonwealth died long ago, yet you threaten salvation to salvage what few scraps of humanity remain. Why?”

     

           Salvatore runs his finger back and forth along the groove of the .44’s cylinder, choosing his words.

     

           “Those you so easily damn are the only reason I was able to find you. There are saints among the sinners. They helped me hunt Kellogg; they decoded the Courser chip; they built the teleporter that brought me here – you don’t believe I found you all on my own, do you?”

     

           “No matter. A few good people cannot undo the terrors that thousands have wrought. Even those you might refer to as ‘saints’ in the Commonwealth anoint themselves in blood.”

     

           “Only because we must.”

     

           “You must? I thought better of you. I hoped better for you. I gave you the secrets of the Institute – I gave you safety, a home, and a chance to be at the forefront of humanity’s last, best hope – you have seen everything here, yet you still long for the filth of the wasteland, for the destitution and evolutionary dead-ends.”

     

           Salvatore looks out the bay window of the office, down into the concourse. Soft faces in white coats move from room to room, awash in blue light. Those with red arm bands walk the red lines painted on the floors. Blues walk blue, greens walk green, yellows walk yellow. Order and efficiency ensure the fate the Institute envisions for humanity. Remake man. The pinnacle of scientific advancement is a church of man’s hubris.

     

           Salvatore taps the revolver on his thigh and speaks, still gazing out the window.

     

           “Do you believe in God, Shaun?”

     

           “I do not concern myself with such fables.”

     

           “Mm. You would have. I did. God was always a lingering sensation in the back of my skull. A bundle of questions that could only be answered on faith alone. I didn’t pay them much mind before. But when you were born, those questions came up again. I felt blessed, as though my life had been imbued with a purpose higher than myself. I was a father.”

     

           Salvatore reaches into the neck of his leather travel armor and pulls out a metal beaded chain with two silver rings. They clink together as he lets the chain fall back against his chest.

     

           “These were ours. Mine and your mother’s. We were married in a church. A house of God. Houses now home only to ghouls. When I escaped the vault and saw what was left of our home – of the world – the questions in the back of my skull unraveled and came spilling out as I screamed into a dead sky.

     

           I fell to my knees and I prayed. For Sarah. For you. For me.

     

           For Jesus, for Allah, for Ra and Zeus. Sometimes I think the Buddhists were right. Hard luck there. They reincarnated into shit. But I prayed to them all anyway. Even called upon Atom a few times. God is more than just a fable, Shaun. He is hope, and He perseveres in the human spirit. He is the reason I never stopped being a father, and why I created piles of bodies to find you. He is man. But you—”

     

           Shaun stares hard at Salvatore. He clenches his jaw and clasps his hands to control his shaking. The hard lines of his brow are dewed with sweat.

     

           “Who do you see as God, Shaun?”

     

           “Such foolishness. Man surpasses God – the synth is evidence of that.”

     

           Salvatore leans in towards Shaun and studies his face. The aging zealot wears his convictions as though they were his skin; they’re written in his sunken cheeks and dark eyes.

     

           “God gave us free will. With it, you recreated humanity, only to deny your creations their freedom. If this is the image of man you revere, then man is as far from God as ever.”

     

           Shaun stands and storms across the room to the bay window, shouting and gesturing with a grandiosity that betrays his age.

     

           “You would see all this work destroyed? All of this progress and hope? We have improved humanity by stripping it of its biological determination towards self-destruction! The synth is all the hope we have left.”

     

           Salvatore stands and watches him from the couch, speaking in a constant cadence.

     

           “You turned your back on humanity -- your own kind. You saw no hope in us because you’ve never known us. This is not progress – it’s an abomination. Synths should not exist. You and the whole Institute went astray the moment you decided to replace humanity instead of helping it. You allowed us to slip this far.”

     

           Salvatore pulls the hammer back on his revolver. Shaun turns around.

     

           “I’m a hero to them, you know. ‘The man who infiltrated the Institute – and lived to tell about it.’ And now I’ll be the man who brought it all down. Because that’s how the world works now, Shaun – we must destroy those who threaten peace – until only peace remains.”

     

           He raises the revolver and aims at Shaun’s heart.

     

           “Father…no.”

     

           “In this land of bloody saints, I am Lord.”  

Comments

12 Comments   |   Meh and 2 others like this.
  • Amornar
    Amornar   ·  December 5
    Damn man I have to agree with the others, you have captured the misery, justice, and raw emotion of the Wasteland perfectly. Well done good sir!
    • Legion
      Legion
      Amornar
      Amornar
      Amornar
      Damn man I have to agree with the others, you have captured the misery, justice, and raw emotion of the Wasteland perfectly. Well done good sir!
        ·  December 5
      Thanks Amor :) I was hoping the fallout folks would stop by
  • Mottyskills
    Mottyskills   ·  December 5
    whoa holy shit. that's good legion. thank you for sharing. little genius nuggets like " A house of God. Houses now home only to ghouls." 
    oh yeah. it's good.
    • Legion
      Legion
      Mottyskills
      Mottyskills
      Mottyskills
      whoa holy shit. that's good legion. thank you for sharing. little genius nuggets like " A house of God. Houses now home only to ghouls." 
      oh yeah. it's good.
        ·  December 5
      "Whoa holy shit" is pretty much the best review I could hope for :D Thanks. I'm glad you liked it. 
      • Mottyskills
        Mottyskills
        Legion
        Legion
        Legion
        "Whoa holy shit" is pretty much the best review I could hope for :D Thanks. I'm glad you liked it. 
          ·  December 5
        figured that's what you were going for :)
  • Meh
    Meh   ·  December 5
    God this dark, but I have to say this is amazing Legion.
    • Legion
      Legion
      Meh
      Meh
      Meh
      God this dark, but I have to say this is amazing Legion.
        ·  December 5
      :D Thanks Sith Lord, glad you enjoyed it. 
      • Meh
        Meh
        Legion
        Legion
        Legion
        :D Thanks Sith Lord, glad you enjoyed it. 
          ·  December 5
        Your welcome, and it reminded me of a Death/Black Metal song which is the reason i like dit so much.
        • Legion
          Legion
          Meh
          Meh
          Meh
          Your welcome, and it reminded me of a Death/Black Metal song which is the reason i like dit so much.
            ·  December 5
          Which song?
          • Meh
            Meh
            Legion
            Legion
            Legion
            Which song?
              ·  December 5
            No song particular. It just has the vibe of one like I could see Venmon, Burzum, Emperor, Slayer, or any band like that making a song like this.
            • Legion
              Legion
              Meh
              Meh
              Meh
              No song particular. It just has the vibe of one like I could see Venmon, Burzum, Emperor, Slayer, or any band like that making a song like this.
                ·  December 5
              Yup, I can see that!
              • Meh
                Meh
                Legion
                Legion
                Legion
                Yup, I can see that!
                  ·  December 5
                Awesome!