Background[edit | edit source]
A square bound book, burnt and scarred around the edges by caustic chemicals, and much overlaid with coffee cup circles. The word "Journal" is printed in big gold letters on the front cover.
Transcript[edit | edit source]
Why are you poking around in an old woman's memories? I guess good manners were among the many things to die in the great war. Oh well, since you're here anyway, might as well sit down and read on.
I was born in an odd time in the Wasteland. Nominally a time of peace, there were still few places one could consider safe. My home was a small community, near enough to Quartz to benefit from its protection – such as it was – but far enough away to be left alone by its more... anarchic elements.
Out there we couldn't rely on the Rangers or Needles or – heck – even the Guardians, when trouble hit. We had to fend for ourselves. I can still remember looking out the window to see my father or my brothers standing guard as the sun set. I think it says something that those are my fondest memories.
Not that it was a hard life, relatively. But as a child I thought it was. And life only got ""harder"" as I grew up. I suppose one of my main worries back then was being a burden on my family. I taught myself how to shoot a gun, but my brothers would never let me stand guard with them, so my father taught me what little he knew of working the earth. It wasn't enough. Turns out I loved farming, and wanted to learn more than the stubborn old men of my community could teach me. So I left my home in search of knowledge.
You learn hard lessons fast out on the road. I followed the river up to Needles, and thought I'd found a better place to live until learning the town was completely populated by crazies. I hear little has changed since. Vegas was no better, and if not for my trusty M1911 I don’t know if I would've made it through.
Next, in a blatant show of naivety, I headed north into the desert. There isn’t much out there, but with the kind of luck no one really deserves, I discovered an old abandoned Gizmonic Institute research station. I camped inside the security post, only to be awoken in the middle of the night in a brusque manner. Turns out this research station wasn't as abandoned as it looked.
They did not take to me much initially, but it was obvious I was not the spy for the Guardians they thought I was. Being discovered by the Guardians was a great fear for the research station, which was sitting on a wealth of prewar tech and knowhow. Once they grew to like me, they were quite willing to share some of it with me.
I should write more about these kind people, considering I spent decades with them, but let’s be honest here, I’m writing this as much for it to be found after I die as I am for myself, and they value their privacy too much for that. Even with the Guardians gone, and the fact that it is decades since I was there, better safe than sorry!
Years later, with a mind full of new knowledge and ideas, I finally felt ready to go back home, the wastes have no interest in closure or happy endings. Arriving at my old home, I found nothing but black cinders and the bones of old memories. I left as soon as I could and have never been back.
I headed east then, and found the kind of places I'd been looking for all along in the Agricultural Center and Highpool, thriving communities in need of my help. This was a time of change in the Wasteland. I would never call the rangers bad guys, but their story is not the one of endless heroism they often present. In my younger years they were mostly known as useless if well-meaning fuck-ups, with the occasional bad apple climbing too high up the ranks. But things changed when Vargas and his team went on patrol, making things better pretty much everywhere they went, and ending so many of the Wasteland’s problems, including the Guardians, if only by the skin of their teeth. I still don’t quite know how they did it, but they did.
Sadly our paths never crossed, or I would’ve offered them my help and my gun.
Despite the delightful young population of Highpool keeping me occupied for a while, I found my true home at the Agricultural Center. It was a time of rebuilding for them after the Old Man passed on, him having lead the community for most of its existence. My farming experience and scientific knowhow were welcomed with open arms, and we started many aggressive research programs to produce even higher yields than the giant plants the agricultural center were already producing.
Since then, Highpool has thrived with us, and the Rangers seem to be doing better of late, so the future looks bright.